The Crook County Commissioner wants to improve the budget process and the livability of the community

After serving on the Crook County Court for the past three years, Commissioner Seth Crawford is seeking a second term in office.

“I just really enjoy my job and I see a lot of stuff that I can continue to improve,” he said.

Crawford was elected in 2010 after defeating three candidates in the primary and another in the general election.

If he wins again, he hopes to make several improvements in the community, including a longer-term approach to the county budget.

“I would like to implement a 20- to 25-year strategic budget plan for different departments in the county,” he explained. “By doing that, it will give us a better chance to look at the money we are spending and spend it more wisely.”

Other improvements are focused on improving the livability of the community. For example, Crawford hopes to continue an effort to enhance Crook County’s multi-use trail system.

“I would really like to see 30 miles of trail within five miles of town,” he said. “I think it just raises the quality of life. This is a great place to live, but you need to be constantly improving to draw the right people to move to town.”

Crawford considers the trails effort one of a few ways that Crook County can encourage new businesses to settle in the community. He highlighted education as another important draw.

“I think we need to continue to promote our (Crook County) Open Campus,” he said. “I think that is a huge asset to our community when it comes to business recruitment.”

In addition, Crawford places a premium on continuing the enterprise zones. He noted that the designated zones, which provide local businesses tax breaks on property development, played a large role in encouraging Facebook and Apple to build their data centers in Prineville.

“I think they are extremely important,” he said.

Going forward, Crawford would like to focus on recruiting manufacturing businesses. As an example, he said he has worked with local economic development personnel to bring in a gun manufacturer.

“I think that would fit really well in our community.”

When Crawford first ran for office, Crook County was facing the worst of the Great Recession. Since that time, the economy has rebounded and tax revenue is expected to increase.

In recovery, Crawford believes the county should consider growth opportunities, but maintain a frugal philosophy or risk a return to tough times.

“I think you look at it on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “I am not going to spend money just because we have it, but if there is an opportunity that we see, I think we have to look at that.”

As he embarks on his re-election campaign, Crawford believes he has proven himself the best choice for the office going forward.

“I have made good decisions,” he said. “I plan to continue to make those good decisions, I’m extremely willing to listen to people.”

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