The Oregon County Solutions Center (County Solutions) is AOC’s newest member service – providing support for county commissioners and judges in convening and participating in collaborative problem solving efforts in their communities and regions. Effectively supporting commissioners and their staffs requires building the capacity to be responsive when issues or opportunities arise.
Over the last three months County Solutions has been working through some early pilot projects and is evaluating the types of institutional relationships that might be developed with state agencies and other partners going forward. Initial collaborative efforts include work on issues such as: public access to recreational facilities, tying workforce development strategies to specific industrial lands, development of power generation facilities, veterans transportation needs, land use issues and Sister County agreements for disaster preparedness. Also, over the past two months, County Solutions has been been assisting the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) serving Wasco, Hood River, Gilliam and Sherman counties in developing collaborative financial sustainability strategies.
Community based initiatives provide excellent opportunities for commissioners to use their convening authority to provide leadership for local collaborative action. The new local workforce regions and integrated place-based water planning are two current examples where county commissioners and judges need to be equipped to guide collaborative processes. The Oregon County Solutions Center will provide assistance and support to commissioners who wish to seize opportunities and solve problems collaboratively.