Re-Organize In Order To Re-Prioritize
Steve Bates is a 38 year resident of Boring, an unincorporated community within Clackamas County.
International Business Machines, known as IBM, has been in existence for over 100 years. Originally formed as the Computing Tabulating & Recording Company, known then as C-T-R, IBM has gone through many changes throughout its history.
IBM is considered one of the truly successful American businesses. Its business model has changed time and again because of the change in the business environment. Many inventions and innovations introduced by C-T-R and IBM became outdated and were no longer needed. IBM found itself many times short on funds. They had less revenue than expenses. What did the leaders at IBM do? They reorganized and reprioritized!
Clackamas County finds itself at a similar crossroad today. It is stated that the Road Maintenance Fund is 17 million dollars short annually and it is suspected that the Building Maintenance Program for Clackamas County is short millions of dollars. County assets such as the County Fairgrounds in Canby need attention. The anticipated growth for Clackamas County will bring its sewage treatment plants to full capacity and possible failure. In 2017, the State of Oregon will be presenting Clackamas County with a bill for its share of the 5 Billion dollar PERS shortfall.
Clackamas County has anticipated expenses exceeding its anticipated revenue.
It will not get better as time goes by.
What is Clackamas County to do?
Clackamas County needs to admit that it is trying to do too much. Its government model must change because of its current economic environment.
Clackamas County must follow the lead of IBM. Reorganize and reprioritize!
While it will cost some money to do this, there appears to be no reasonable option.
The only other option is letting things stay the same and watch the situations worsen.
Clackamas County should invest in a study of its Organization Chart.
Clackamas County should invest in several studies to identify programs that are outdated, no longer effective or efficient.
Clackamas County should also convene a Home Rule Charter Citizen Committee. This committee should be charged with developing and drafting a Clackamas County Home Rule Charter to be placed on the 2018 ballot or sooner.
Clackamas County needs to return itself to its core responsibilities and services, fund them fully and only offer other programs as funds are available.
Just like IBM has done in the past, Clackamas County must focus on its strengths.
Clackamas County must focus on the basics, like roads, public safety, clean water, and social services for county residents in need.
In doing so, Clackamas County can once again be a leader in our region and our state.
Yes, Re-Organize In Order To Re-Prioritize!
Note to our readers: This will be the last article from Steve Bates for a time as he will be on hiatus.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwest Connection.)