Katy Nesbitt
The La Grande Observer

ENTERPRISE — Wallowa County elected a new county commissioner, voted down the proposed library district and approved another five years of property tax support for the weed levy in Oregon’s 2018 primary election.

Bruce Dunn garnered 60 percent of the vote in the two-way, nonpartisan commissioner race against Diane Daggett Tuesday night.

“I’m relieved because (the election is) over, but I’m pretty humbled that the people think enough of me,” said Dunn, a professional forester for RY Timber. “They might not always like what I decide, but I will try and make the best decisions I can.”

In Wallowa County, and around Northeast Oregon, Dunn is best known for his volunteer county work with land use planning, having served on the county’s planning commission for 12 years, and as the chairman of the Wallowa County Natural Resource Advisory Committee. However, he said he has more than just forestry and agriculture in mind as the county’s top challenges. He is currently working with commissioners and community leaders on a new countywide, volunteer committee — modeled after the Natural Resources Committee — that would address economic and social topics like housing and drug and alcohol abuse.

The working title for the new committee is the Wallowa County Human and Social Resource Committee, he said.

“The committee will include local business owners as well as city managers and others, appointed by the commissioners, like they do with the NRAC,” Dunn said.

Dunn doesn’t take office until January, but is planning to help the commissioners establish the committee in the next couple months.

The county voted on two local ballot measures. The proposed library district that would have added $.65 per $1,000 on property owner’s tax bill failed, while the weed levy that will add $.19 per $1,000 passed for the third five-year period. The library district received 64.23 percent of the votes against the measure. The weed levy received 77.64 percent supporting votes.

Wallowa County Republicans gave Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, more than 80 percent of their votes and backed Sam Carpenter, who received more than 50 percent, for the Republican governor’s nomination.