Town Hall Meetings – The County Scene – Susan Morgan

THE COUNTY SCENE Town Hall Meetings

In December of 2014, the county commissioners had a hearing and discussed the need to charge fees for the landfill. At that meeting, I voted to table the question because it was clear that we had done a poor job of explaining the need for the fees.

To remedy that, your county commissioners have been working hard to reach out to you to talk about the crisis that losing safety net funding, and using up our reserve funds, presents to all of us. For about a month now, Commissioners Freeman, Boice and I have been giving budget presentations to many city councils, chambers of commerce and service clubs. We talk about the history of the county’s relationship with the federally owned lands including how safety net funds came to be; how the county has been adapting for many years to the decrease in safety net funding; how safety net reserve funds are woven into the services you receive, and why we are in trouble and our past strategy won’t work any longer.

So far, just over a thousand county residents have heard the presentation, asked questions, and shared their ideas and comments. Many more meetings are on our schedules. Along with Sheriff Hanlin and District Attorney Wesenberg, all three commissioners have scheduled Town Hall meetings around the county. Town Halls have already been held in Drain, Oakland, Reedsport and Winston. They were great opportunities to discuss many issues and share ideas.

Future Town Hall meetings are scheduled for: Yoncalla Community Center at 6 pm on 4/28; Canyonville Council chambers at 6 pm on 5/4; Roseburg Council chambers at 5:30 pm on 5/5; Sutherlin Community Center at 5:30 pm on 5/7; Elkton Masonic Lodge at 6 pm on 5/12; Glendale Elementary at 6 pm on 5/14; Riddle Community Center at 6 pm on 5/18, and Glide Community Center at 5:30 pm on 5/19. We are in the process of scheduling Town Halls for Myrtle Creek and Tri City. Please mark your calendar for the meeting in your area. We appreciate the time you will take to attend these meetings and share your concerns, ideas and thoughts with us.

If you are part of a group, even a small group, that would invite a commissioner to attend a meeting and make a budget presentation please let us know. We will accommodate your schedule, and will keep attending meetings as long as we can find groups to meet with.

To me, it is a very worthy goal that citizens understand how your government works and how your tax dollars are spent. Douglas County government is at a critical juncture. We need your attention, your understanding, your thoughts, and your ideas.

I always welcome your questions and comments. Please contact me by email at morgan@co.douglas.or.us; by mail at Douglas County Courthouse, Room 217, 1036 SE Douglas, Roseburg, 97470; or by phone at 440-4201.

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