Russ wants to grow county
David Russ has lived in Yamhill County for only three years, but he says his prior experience in Los Angeles has given him insights into how the county can handle the changes lying ahead over the coming years.
“I see Yamhill County’s situation right now, and there is going to be a lot of growth coming at us,” Russ said. “We need to embrace this growth and develop a better future for all of us.”
He has business experience dating back to the age of 17 and would like to apply it locally as a county commissioner. He said his goal would be to make county operations as efficient as possible.
Russ has served on the Dundee City Council. He is currently chairing the Dundee Tourism Committee.
He said growth can stress an unprepared operation. He said county systems need strengthening to prevent that from happening.
He also would like to see more cooperation between the county and its cities. “We need to have a more synergistic and cooperative effect between city and county governments so we can attract more businesses, tourism and the right kind of growth,” he said.
Russ said he has his own ideas on how to manage situations, but would also seek input, ideas and feedback from citizens and businesses.
“The county can’t create jobs,” he said, “but it can help facilitate the things that create jobs.”
While he’s new to the area, he feels he has the right experience to handle the growth he predicts. He said living in Southern California showed him what helps and what hurts in communities facing an influx of new residents.
“If you are asking someone to deal with growth, and it’s something they’ve never seen before, you should get someone from outside the county who has dealt with it before,” he said.
Russ said that while preserving the county’s agricultural base is important, especially for tourism, Oregon’s land use laws hurt more than they help. “There are things with land use law in Oregon, and in Yamhill County, that are blocking growth,” he said.
He said he would like to see county government streamline its operations and strengthen its infrastructure. That would make it better prepared, he said.