May 5, 2022
Letter of Support – Walter Chuck, County Commissioner
I write this letter in solid support of Walter Chuck for Lincoln County Commissioner. As the retiring Commissioner currently holding that position, I know Walter is clearly the most qualified candidate and has earned and deserves your vote.
Walter presently serves as a Port of Newport Commissioner where he has demonstrated the critical analytical skills, knowledge, expertise and leadership to be a strong representative for all of Lincoln County. As a Port Commissioner he has effectively addressed infrastructure needs in re-building port facilities, managed personnel challenges and proven to be fiscally prudent in spending taxpayer dollars. He is actively engaged in efforts to improve transportation, ocean policy, renewable energy and maritime industries, all of vital interest to Lincoln County.
One of Walter’s greatest strengths is his experience in working with other agencies at all levels of government where he is respected and well known. This background and involvement will enable him to “hit the ground running” as a newly elected County Commissioner to advocate for the needs of our county, communities and people; invaluable contacts when working to solve homelessness, behavioral health services, and the myriad complex issues faced as a commissioner.
Please join me in voting for Walter Chuck for County Commissioner. His experience, knowledge and leadership will serve our county well.
January 12, 2022
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve for the past 10 years come this June in the seat held by Commissioner Don Lindly, our county’s longest serving commissioner. Sadly, Commissioner Lindly passed away last year.
It is important to realize that a commissioner represents the county on numerous committees with widely varied objectives, and I have endeavored to represent all areas of the county, now much harder with COVID. My primary areas of interest and concentration have been transportation, job creation and retention, economic development, finance and budget, personnel, and technology.
As a county commissioner there have been some highs and some lows. A couple of many highs are:
The completion of the Hwy 20 improvement, a project Commissioner Lindly “fathered”, and I have said, “Grandfathered.”
I was appointed by Governor Brown to the Maritime Taskforce where I served as Chair, and I still serve on the state Workforce and Talent Development Board where I also was appointed by Governor Brown.
As a county commissioner, I have tried to be open-minded and to listen to all sides of an issue, worked to develop compromises and to be collaborative with a long-range vision for the county. I have convened several work groups to address critical issues facing the county, expanded county services, and built partnerships, all in an effort to efficiently and effectively improve the county and services to our people.
I will serve out the remainder of my term addressing critical initiatives. I will continue working to appoint a county administrator, to complete several county building projects, and most importantly to address the structural budget deficit the county currently faces.
Finally, let me conclude with the announcement that I will not be running for re-election.
Lincoln County Commissioner
LISTENING – RESPONDING – CARING
It has been my distinct honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Lincoln County as your commissioner since 2012. I have worked hard and I am proud of my many accomplishments that have enhanced the lives of our citizens, improved the services the county provides, and bettered our communities.
Principle areas of my focus are jobs and economic development, transportation, emergency management and the internal operations of our county government.
MAJOR PROJECTS and INIATIVES
Oregon Workforce and Talent Development Board –
Governor Brown appointed me to serve on the Oregon Workforce and Talent Development Board (OWTDB). One of the primary duties of the OWTDB is to assist the Governor by developing a strategic plan for Oregon’s workforce development system. In my work toward job creation and retention and economic development, I am able to actively, strongly, and effectively advocate for jobs and our county.
Maritime Sector Strategies Committee –
I convened this committee to identify and comprehensively quantify the economic value of the maritime sector to not only our county, but also to our state and the pacific northwest region. This committee is creating opportunities through job training, education and economic development for family-wage jobs in maritime industries. Sector strategies are to promote the coordinated facilitation of education, employment, economic development and job training.
The 2017 state legislature passed Senate Bill 867 creating Governor Brown’s Maritime Workforce Development Taskforce, which I chair, in support of my committee activities and recognizing the importance of the maritime industries to our state.
Port of Toledo Boatyard – Through my efforts over $8.0 million were awarded for the development of the boat haul-out facility (660 ton) with a sealed environment containment building. The port is now serving commercial fishermen and the distant water fleet from Seattle to Hawaii to Los Angeles. Over 160 new good-paying jobs are being created by this economic development project.
Housing – A critical challenge facing our county, its businesses and our citizens is housing – whether it’s homelessness, affordable or work-force housing.
I am working on easing this challenge from many different angles, toward enabling low-income citizens to find housing. Here are some examples:
- Participation in the Newport housing summit, the countywide housing taskforce.
- Approving tax breaks for affordable housing projects throughout the county in conjunction with city waivers. Qualifying projects currently exist in Lincoln City, Newport, and Yachats.
- Pilot projects easing the expansion of urban growth boundaries for low-income housing, such as was done in Yachats.
- Using state LIFT (Local Innovation and Fast Track) funds to support multi-family housing development.
- Encouraging tiny homes as is currently allowed under county code.
- Funding in support of Samaritan House, Habitat for Humanity, My Sisters’ Place and Family Promise, examples of non-profits working to help families get “on-their-feet” and find housing.
- Support for Proud Ground, a non-profit organization creating permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers, with five projects in Lincoln county. This program in our county was selected by Governor Brown as one of five housing pilot projects across the state as part of her Future Ready Oregon initiative.
Mental Health Services – The needs of the mentally ill are a serious concern. As a county commissioner I am working to address these needs though many approaches.
- Implementation of the “Stepping Up” initiative and its “sequential intercept” process, a nationally recognized program (Stepuptogether.org) helping to keep the mentally ill out of our corrections systems.
- Priority development of mobile crisis counselors to assist law enforcement when mentally ill are first encountered in the field.
- Improved and innovative programs and staffing of our county’s behavioral health counselors and crisis coordinators, efforts to identify needs, and to locate and assist with accessing resources.
- Support for the Pretrial Justice Program, a process aimed at keeping very low risk offenders (often mentally ill) out of jail while they await an appearance before a judge.
- A reorganization of our Health and Human Services department, including the Behavioral Health Division, under a new department director, saving some $250,000.
- Improved coordination and collaborative alignment of mental health services with our hospitals and other non-profit and private providers and partners.
- Opening of the respite housing purchased by the county with state and federal funds
Sexual Harassment and Bullying
I do not tolerate sexual harassment or bullying. As a county commissioner I have made it clear that such behavior is simply unacceptable and will not be endured. We are developing a culture of zero tolerance.
The county has a strong policy clearly stating that sexual harassment and bullying are not allowed. Employees receive training to recognize sexual harassment and how to report incidents to either their supervisor, the Director of Personnel or a county commissioner. Commissioners maintain an “open door” policy and any complaint is investigated by the Director of Personnel, who reports directly to me and provides me with the results of his investigation for appropriate action.
All county employees take training and are educated on what is sexual harassment and bullying. This issue is taken extremely seriously and termination of employment has occurred as a result of violations.
Sexual harassment and bullying are not and will not be tolerated, period!
Jobs are a vital part of our county’s health and that of our communities. I have worked hard to not only retain jobs, but to also create new jobs. My efforts are widespread and comprehensive. Here are some of my accomplishments:
- Successfully advocated at the state level for over $8 million lottery dollars for the Port of Toledo eventually generating some 150 jobs. These funds have allowed the Port to construct a boat haul-out facility and an environmental containment building serving the west coast commercial fishing fleet.
- Appointed by Governor Brown to the state’s Oregon Workforce and Talent Development Board where I am a voice for workforce issues in our county. This board advises the Governor on workforce policy and plans and contributes to the economic success of Oregon.
- Convened the Maritime Sector Strategies committee to identify and comprehensively quantify the economic value of the maritime sector. This committee is creating job opportunities through training, education and economic development for good paying family-wage jobs in maritime industries.
- Selection of Newport for $50 million new grid-connected marine energy research center (PMEC), the only wave energy research center of its kind in the United States. This collaborative effort will bring a great number of good jobs and economic development throughout our coastal communities.
- Sustained funding support with transient room funds of the county’s Small Business Development Center in Lincoln City. This center assists small businesses with advising, classes and access to the resources they need to be successful. Small businesses are a critical source of job growth and creation.
- Support for the county’s Economic Development and Community Improvement Grant Program. This annual effort provides lottery dollars for projects that help maintain a healthy job market and for economic development with a strong focus on job creation and/or retention.
Financial Accountability and Management
As your county commissioner I bring the following financial expertise and results:
- Limited county government growth – only 7 additional general government budgeted positions over the last 5 years.
- Nearly doubled critical general fund reserves to $9 million
- 12 years combined experience as a banker and commissioner on the county budget committee
- Re-aligned and adjusted county salary structure ensuring equal pay for equal work for all
- New health benefits plan saved nearly $1 million annually in tax payer dollars
- 29 years experience as a commercial/community banker
- Managed a $150 million loan portfolio of Fortune 500 companies
- Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Whitman College
A Voice for All Areas of our County
I am involved in all areas of our county. Whether it’s attending the Yachats Honey Festival, the Panther Creek bazaar and luncheon, Lincoln City’s Community Days banquet or Angel’s Anonymous fundraiser, Newport’s Banquet and Balloon auction or the CASA Beach Bash fundraiser, Siletz Tribal Pow Wow, or booster club auctions, or local fun-runs for community organizations, I am dedicated to being active in all areas of Lincoln County. I regularly attend chamber of commerce meetings in Lincoln City, Waldport, Toledo and Newport where I learn about issues of importance, and ways I may help address concerns.
As a 24-year resident banker in the county, I was responsible for bank branches in Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo, Waldport, Yachats, and Siletz. In this position I became very involved in our county’s communities and gained critical insight into the unique challenges and issues faced by each area of our county.
Through my extensive community involvement, I gain a comprehensive understanding of our entire county. Whether it’s housing, health and social needs, jobs, economic development, transportation, business growth or budgets, I work with individuals, businesses and organizations to be an effective commissioner for all parts of our county.
Jobs: Selection of Newport for $25 million new grid-connected marine energy research center
Financial Management: Controlled spending and nearly doubled county reserves to $9 million
Re-aligned and adjusted county salary structure ensuring equal pay for equal work for all
Jobs: $8.0 million in lottery funds for the Port of Toledo boat yard haul out project eventually creating 150 jobs
Public Safety: Funded 2 additional employees in Sheriff’s Office
Community Justice: Funded a new domestic violence victims advocate
Veteran’s Services: Expanded and enhanced local services and added a Lincoln City office
Roads: $28 million in state and federal funding for 17 major county highway projects throughout the county
- Testified in support of $142 million in final funding for Highway 20 completion
Savings: $1.0 million in taxpayer savings achieved with new health plan
Collaboration: Successful negotiation of all 6 county employee contracts
Mental Health: Improved and expanded services through innovative programs and staffing
- Re-organized Health and Human Services department, saving $250,000
- Establishing 24/7 mobile crisis counseling services countywide
- Purchase of temporary respite housing with state and federal funds
- Working to keep mentally ill out of jail with Stepping Up Initiative and Pre-trial Justice Program
Jobs: Ensuring equal employment opportunity for all
- Only commissioner bringing expertise in finance and small business with 39 years experience
- 12 years experience as a citizen and as a commissioner on the county budget committee
Barbara Jenkins-Gibson, Lincoln City Business Owner – In support 0f Commissioner Hunt – Audio MP3
Lorna Davis, Community Business Leader – In support of Commissioner Hunt – Audio MP3
“I strive to listen, respond and care for all residents. My wife Patsy of 39 years and I loved raising our family here. I understand the unique issues facing the county and enjoy serving my community.“
Authorized by the Committee to Re-elect Doug Hunt Lincoln County Commissioner