Issues

Jobs and the Economy

Lane County needs more jobs. Pat understands that government has a key role to play in job creation and that elected leaders must adopt policies that will foster—not hinder—job growth. Pat has more than thirty years’ experience creating jobs in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. As County Commissioner, Pat will build partnerships between government and employers to attract jobs, recreation and shopping to our region. Pat knows that economic recovery in Lane County will be slow: as one of the last regions in the nation to slide into recession, Lane County is likely to be one of the last to climb out too. He will make supporting our region’s economic recovery a top priority.  He has witnessed the frustration of Rexius and Glory Bee being unable to find suitable land in Eugene and moving their manufacturing outside of the city.  We need to make sure that companies who want to locate here or grow here have the backing of the cities and the county.

Budget

Lane County is projecting a $6 million general fund budget deficit for fiscal year 2015-16.  This trend has to be reversed: something that will take time and cooperation including working diligently with our State and Federal delegations. The County’s general fund budget provides for vital services for our 350,000 residents including the offices of the District Attorney, Sheriff, Health and Human Services, Housing, Public Works and Youth Services. Pat believes that government must learn to do more with less and must find ways to balance the budget without impacting vital services. When he represented Lane County as a member of the Oregon Legislature, Pat’s natural skill in addressing budget and government finance earned him appointments to the House Revenue Committee and the joint House/Senate committees on Tax Reform and Education.  Working with large budgets in the private, public and non-profit arenas has helped him find efficient ways to use limited dollars.

Land Use, Housing, and Transportation

Effective land use planning determines how and where we locate new schools, houses, businesses and shopping in balance with our precious open space.  Pat has worked extensively at every level from the school board to the massive Envision Eugene process and state-wide planning goals to determine future needs and plan new schools, public safety facilities, parks, roads and protected wetland areas.  When planning for our future, Pat will continue to look at both short and long terms needs for land use and transportation in order to maintain Lane County’s unique character while balancing that with the needs of current and future residents. Providing residential, industrial and commercial land without adequate roads does not work.  As County Commissioner, Pat will draw on his vast experience and knowledge in order to build a more vibrant community where people are proud to live. He will continue to fight to make Eugene and all of Lane County livable and affordable.

Environment

Pat has worked at the local and state level to provide new parks and open space and protect and restore natural wetland areas.  While on the Eugene City Council from 1995 to 2002 he helped dedicate hundreds of acres in Eugene and Lane County during the formation and implementation of the nationally acclaimed West Eugene Wetlands Plan.  An avid enthusiast of Oregon’s open spaces he understands the need for preservation of our natural resources.

Government Ethics

Democracy is threatened when residents do not trust their elected leaders. Pat has a 35 year track record in Lane County for ethical, honest and trusted leadership and continues to be a strong advocate for transparency in government. His leadership has extended from his service as a National Guard Officer, high school coach, business leader, and non- profit corporation director to earn him the trust and gratitude of the people of Lane County in elected office.

Education and Schools

A longtime advocate for improving our schools, Pat has served on the Bethel School Board where he pushed for the building of Meadow View Schools, Prairie Mountain Schools and Kalapuya High School.

He sat on the Bethel Budget Committee to ensure that adequate financing and long term planning were incorporated into the planning for the new schools and continued successful operation of existing ones.  In the Oregon Legislature, Pat served as vice-chair of the House Education Committee where he helped shape kindergarten through grade 16 policies and practices.  He spent time in Washington DC with the Oregon delegation to a national summit on Civics Education.

Hunger and Housing issues.

Pat has spent thousands of hours volunteering and directing core poicies surrounding hunger and housing issues.  His work with the council Committee on Homelessness and Youth produced landmark results that leveraged private and nonprofit development of effective means of providing shelter.  His work on hunger issues with FOOD for Lane County, Oregon Food Bank, America’s Second Harvest and the Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force has helped provide millions of pounds of food annually to families and children.

 

Want to learn more? Pat Farr is a regular contributor to Forum Lane–a blog dedicated to taking on the tough issues facing Lane County today. Please visit Forum Lane regularly to get Pat’s perspective on current issues. www.forumlane.com