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'Closer to home, there is a strong example of government'

A recent Pew poll found that 77 percent of Americans are “angry” or “frustrated” with the federal government.

While many in our community might be looking at actions like tby: SUBMITTED - Gilmorehe government shutdown or the launch of the Affordable Care Act website and questioning their faith in government, all one has to do is look locally to feel like government is working for them.

In Salem, our legislators worked with Gov. John Kitzhaber to pass a package of five bills called the “Grand Bargain” that provided tax cuts to small-business owners, improved our PERS situation and provided increased funding to schools and other important services. The Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce was very vocal in our support of this package of bills.

Closer to home, there is a strong example of government doing what it can to help the local economy. While we felt the state did make progress in helping the Oregon economy, we are even more impressed with Tualatin and Wilsonville working together for the future of the south metro region.

Just over five years ago, the cities of Wilsonville and Tualatin were in a heated debate about a contentious transportation project called “The Connector.” This project would have created a parkway between Highway 99W and Interstate 5 in North Wilsonville. Those for and against the project were very adamant about their position and many hard feelings existed.

At that time, newly elected Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp along with Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden kept the conversation going to find common ground, and they have developed a very nice working relationship that has helped our two cities work through a variety of big issues. They have worked together on a framework for transportation issues and will be working together to help guide the development of the Basalt Creek area.

The mayors have also conducted a couple of joint council meetings as well, which have been very beneficial in developing a relationship among the elected officials for the two cities. Recently the two cities created a task force to lead the collaborative efforts between the two cities that include Wilsonville City Councilors Richard Goddard and Susie Stevens.

Our south metro region has 27 percent of the employment lands in the Portland metro region and without this collaborative approach between the two cities, the chances of developing this land and helping create thousands of jobs would be severely jeopardized.

The Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce commends the great work that has been accomplished and wants to thank Mayor Knapp and Mayor Ogden for their leadership.

It is taking differences and finding common ground that makes local government work, and both have shown they are committed to the improvement of our economy, community and relationships.

Steve Gilmore is the CEO of the Wilsonville Area Chamber of Commerce.



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