Wallowa County Commissioner-Elect Bruce Dunn submitted his proposal to establish a Human and Social Resource Advisory Committee for the county to his future workmates.
The committee was part of Dunn’s campaign platform and a way to bring stakeholders to the table to work together to solve Wallowa County issues — and to limit the influence of outside ideas and programs designed for very different cultures and landscapes.
“We help ourselves move forward,” he said during his campaign for County Commissioner. “We don’t look for another government program or money.”
Dunn has extensive experience with Wallowa-centric committees, having served as chairman of the Wallowa County Natural Resource Advisory Committee for two decades.
That panel was created to review implementation of agricultural, forest and natural resource provisions of Wallowa County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
“I think NRAC has been a success in the sense that it’s connected resources users from a lot of different levels, from agencies to resource users on the ground level,” said Commission Chair Todd Nash.
Dunn’s experience with NRAC and advising county commissioners informed his belief, repeatedly expressed throughout his campaign, that the county “needs a plan and we need a strategy.”
The mission of Dunn’s committee would be to address a broad range of issues, coordinate efforts and eliminate duplication of programs and maintain a tight focus on what is best for Wallowa County.
The 14-18 members of the committee would be drawn from the following areas of expertise:
City government, law enforcement, tourism, nutrition, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, library, family services, mental health, physical health, education, small business, senior services, fair board, disabled services, veteran affairs, physical fitness, real estate, economic development, land use planning and marketing.
“I don’t know how often these groups talk to one another,” Dunn said. “The more people you have, the more ideas you get.”
Commissioners have indicated approval of Dunn’s proposal.
“We have experts in a lot of different areas in Wallowa County, and we as individual commissioners can’t be expected to be experts in all the different fields,” Nash said. “Bruce Dunn’s proposed committee would bring that (broad) work group together.”
The committee would meet monthly or perhaps quarterly. The board of commissioners would appoint members of the committee, but those interested in being on the committee are encouraged to contact commissioners to express their interest.