Bruce Dunn would be pleased.

Wallowa County Commissioners have formally established a Wallowa County Economic Advisory Committee. It was a concept that had been brought up by former commissioner Mike Hayward and had been in discussion for years, but was pushed forward by the late commissioner-elect.

Dunn was a natural proponent of the new committee because of his 20 years as chair of the Natural Resource Advisory Committee, a similar organization with a different focus.

The proposal was one where stakeholders from a variety of agencies and interests would come to the table to work together to solve Wallowa County issues.

Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution defining and establishing the committee Sept. 3.

“I hope it is as successful as NRAC has been,” said Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts. “We’ve got everything in place, and we’ll advertise for interested persons that may wish to populate on that committee and be part of the economic advisory committee for the commissioners.”

The mission of the committee will be to review and steward the county’s economic strategic plan and examine issues with land development, housing and workforce training. It will also monitor results of projects, reduce duplication of programs, maintain an inventory of county jobs and housing resources and make recommendations for future projects.

The 14-18 volunteer members of the committee would be drawn from the following areas of expertise:

City government, real estate, land use planning, agriculture, tourism, small business, marketing, natural resources, education, economic development and industry.

“The great thing about it is that everybody can’t know everything about everything,” said Roberts. “It’s very helpful to have people who have expertise in one area work with people who have expertise in another area. Those folks have contacts in their realm and can bring something up that probably the rest of us wouldn’t think of.”

The commissioners will appoint members of the committee, but those interested in being on the committee are encouraged to contact commissioners directly.

“We’ve identified some people we’d like to have. I don’t know that they’ve agreed to serve,” said Roberts. “We hope to hear from many others who would like to serve.”

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