What’s it really about?
If our local commissioner candidates were elected based on how good of a person he or she is, Tillamook County would need to have four commissioners in January. Jennifer Purcell and David Yamamoto are both good people and respectable candidates, and we are fortunate to have such good choices at the local level. However, the reality is that we need our elected officials to be able to go further than how good of a person he or she might be.
We need a Board of Commissioners that is stacked with individuals who can achieve solutions on a myriad of issues. Advocating for issues such as the FEMA Bi-Op, housing, and how transient lodging tax dollars are spent is much needed. But is advocating enough for our County Elected officials to do? Is identifying the issue and saying we need to solve it the extent of what we need? I don’t believe so. At all levels, we as citizens can do that. We need leaders who can go a step further and have the ability to solve the identified issues. This is where Jennifer Purcell takes the edge and earns my vote.
I have been involved on issues where both Jennifer and David are involved. Their focus and strategies for solutions is what sets them apart. Jennifer is great at taking an issue, breaking down the components, identifying the interested parties and potential solutions, and then taking it to the next step: navigating the various political channels and moving ideas into action. I look forward to having Jennifer at any table because I know I can count on her to bring people together and keep projects moving forward.
I am disappointed when I hear members of our community refuse to consider Jennifer as a viable candidate because they look no further than her current role being with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). So here is my challenge: Look into what Jennifer does and the businesses she has helped as her role representing DEQ on the Regional Solutions Team before you cast your vote. Talk to her and challenge her with your concerns- I think you may find her much more aligned with your priorities than you give her credit for.
We can all identify issues and bring them forward; we need strong leadership that can have tough discussions while still moving forward, and has the temperament, experience and relationships to navigate the political channels and assure solutions. Jennifer Purcell is the right choice for Tillamook County Commissioner Position #2.
Editor’s note: Justin Aufdermauer is the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director