My Priorities

I believe that collaboration is key to solving major issues affecting our community. By partnering with government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses we can work together to resolve problems more resourcefully.

As your County Commissioner, I will work with local stakeholders to address four priority areas: Land Use & Natural Resources, Health & Safety, Economic Development, and Engaged County Government.

Land Use & Natural Resources

County Commissioners are in a position to influence local regional land use planning and development through laws, ordinances, and budget priorities, and by representing the diverse interests of constituents.

I will bring my experience and values to:

Protect farmland

  • Preserve limited undeveloped land with prime soils for farming and food production to protect our agricultural economy
  • Promote housing infill within cities and mixed-use community housing to reduce the costly extension of infrastructure for water, utilities, sewage, and transportation     

Promote sustainable resource use

  • Encourage an economy that provides a truly sustainable level of timber production and planned fire resilience
  • Support industry activities for thinning, managing the understory, and utilizing prescribed fire

Manage, protect, and preserve water resources

  • Maintain our valuable water resources for sustainable use by a diverse population and economy
  • Support best management practices to benefit all stakeholders and improve watershed health
  • Assure prevention of toxic chemical herbicide sprays in the watershed areas with adequate drift buffers

Land Use

  • Fight against the use of eminent domain for private gain at the expense of private landowners

Health & Safety

A primary responsibility of Jackson County government is to address the health and safety of the people who live here. County Commissioners' decisions affect Health and Human Services (public health, mental health and environmental health, addictions, and veterans services), and the Sheriff’s office, including the jail and emergency management.

I will utilize a collaborative approach to:

  • Support and increase current partnerships and innovative strategies for community justice

  • Work with non-governmental partners to increase and stabilize mental health and addictions services

  • Seek a long-term, upstream approach to address issues of hunger, poverty and homelessness that contribute to crime and reduce growth potential

  • Create a stakeholder task force to evaluate these issues, looking at other communities’ successes as models for solutions
     

Economic Development

County governance has direct and indirect impacts on quality of life in Jackson County.

To strengthen our local economy, I will focus on these opportunities and initiatives:

Infrastructure & Preparedness

  • Participate in regional organizations involved with planning transportation strategies
  • Support and advance infrastructure upgrades in preparation for a Cascadia earthquake event

Economic Security

  • Prioritize affordable housing, transportation access, proximity to health and community services
  • Foster nonprofit and government partnerships that address poverty, hunger, and homelessness

Tourism & Recreation

  • Support programs, projects and partnerships that enhance tourism and outdoor recreation

Economic STABILITY

  • Promote investment in regional programs and initiatives that create new jobs in agriculture, forest resilience, and clean energy
  • Advance technical training programs through schools to build a skilled workforce with family-wage jobs

Engaged County Government

It is the duty of elected officials to act in the best interest of the constituents they serve and to provide opportunities for civic engagement.

I aim to make County government open and accessible to all:

  • Explore the feasibility of having some evening Commission meetings so more people can attend

  • Plan at least one Town Hall annually at each library in Jackson County to update citizens and hear their concerns

  • Build robust relationships and open communication with officials from City and State governments to support collaborative problem-solving

                    Lanita Witt                             

                  Lanita Witt                           

 
 
 
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