Why your county government is important
A ransomware attack on computers in Tillamook County has stopped some services. The perps want money before they turn the systems back on. Tillamook County Sheriff's Lt. Gordon McCraw said the outage is creating the most havoc for the taxation and clerk's offices in the coastal county. The library will use pen and paper to check out books. Any department that depends on the internet is affected. 911 and emergency response is not affected, said reports. People's personal information is also on these systems. Smaller counties in Oregon have been hit hard economically with restrictions on timber harvests. Some southern Oregon counties wanted to declare bankruptcy, but the Oregon legislature said no. This left counties to cut programs with reduced sheriff patrols, health services, road improvements and yes, computer upgrades like the one that affected Tillamook County. When I was a Clackamas County commissioner, an attempt like this was made on my county, but was not successful. We chose not to pay, because the perps could not access the information they sought. I credit our diligent IT staff. Continued investments need to be made in order to offer the services that the public demands with the wise spending of tax dollars. The Oregon Legislature raised taxes to record levels with also record cash reserves on hand. Will counties be the recipients of that cash to carry out the services that the state government demands? Do they care?
Tootie Smith is a former Clackamas County commissioner who is running for chair of the Clackamas County Commission.
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