>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

La Grande Observer Paper 08/20/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Oregon Rural Congress - Spotlight to shine on rural Oregon

Oregon Rural Congress - Spotlight to shine on rural Oregon

The statewide spotlight on Oregon’s less populated areas will soon be brightened.

The first Oregon Rural Congress is gathering Thursday and Friday in Cascade Locks “to organize and unify the vast rural areas of Oregon into a cohesive voice for rural issues,” according to a fact sheet supplied by the Eastern Oregon Rural Alliance.

Union County Commissioner Colleen MacLeod is a co-chair of the EORA and one of the organizers of the congress.

“This is not a complaining session,” she said. “We don’t want to hear your war stories.”

Instead, participants will focus on developing policy recommendations in four general areas of discussion: natural resources, economic development, telecommunications and human services.

At least eight cities, 20 counties, 11 state agencies and 12 legislators will be represented at the congress. Some 17 individuals currently signed up hail from Union and Wallowa counties.

MacLeod said each person will get to tackle two of these subjects during Thursday workshops. Sheets provided for the discussion groups will have a space for statements beginning with, “It shall be the policy of the State of Oregon (or the Federal Government) to On Friday, a more formal session convenes to discuss the ideas generated. MacLeod hopes it will proceed along the boisterous lines of the British Parliament.

These exercises are meant to compile specific, action-oriented proposals, such as comprise the EORA’s work plan, called “A New Way of Doing Business in Rural Oregon.”

This document assembles recommendations generated over three conferences of the rural alliance, and will be merged with the rural congress’s output to produce a rural report.

MacLeod said this compilation will be sent to government leaders on all tiers. “We want to make sure that every legislator at the state and federal levels gets a copy of this,” she said.

The recommendations are meant to accommodate the situational differences inherent across Oregon’s diverse geographic and political landscape.

“We are firm believers in ‘one size doesn’t fit all,’” she said.

MacLeod used the debacle over the new state ethics requirements as an example of the unintended consequences that sometimes result in parts of the state from Salem-based legislation.

Some critics argued that the rule change, which required of some officials additional reporting related to income, was too stringent in rural areas where many local government leaders are unpaid volunteers.

MacLeod believes state legislators need to more thoroughly consider the permutations that laws may take once applied in the less populated reaches of Oregon.

“Like chess — (think) three moves out,” she said.

MacLeod said she hoped the Oregon Rural Congress would assume a life and power of its own, potentially occupying some of the void left after the recent dissolution of the state Office of Rural Policy.

Organizers envision the congress as an annual event with a rotating location.

For more information about the Oregon Rural Congress, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use