REMARKS AS PREPARED
LEAGUE OF OREGON CITIES
CITY DAY AT THE CAPITOL
SALEM CONVENTION CENTER
FEBRUARY 8, 2017
Thank you, Mayor Endicott.
Let me start by congratulating and thanking all of the mayors, city councilors, and city managers here today.
We are so grateful to all of you for answering the call to public service.
You will continue to contribute hundreds, if not thousands of hours to making your community a great place to live, work, and play.
Your time and energy are very much appreciated.
In my inaugural address last month I quoted the words of Governor Tom McCall from his inaugural address in 1967.
“To the extent it is humanly possible to do so,” said Governor McCall, “let us put aside the temptations to be guided by regionalism, factionalism, or anything which fragments the public interest. May we pledge to one another….to work not in partisanship, but in partnership.”
The same holds true with us – we are all partners in government, and we must work together.
This afternoon you will be visiting legislators in the Capitol. Tell them your story.
Let them know what’s important to your city – what makes it vibrant and what is lacking.
Explain why it’s important for state government to partner with local government.
Because we all serve the same customers – the citizens of Oregon.
My agenda for the 2017 Legislative Session will focus on 4 main goals to serve our citizens.
To improve high school graduation rates,
To improve Oregon’s transportation system,
To improve firearm safety, and
To extend access to health care to all children.
I understand transportation is on your agenda as well.
We will work together, along with our many stakeholders, to create a transportation package that will move Oregon forward.
Our economy and the safety of our communities cannot wait.
Also on the League’s agenda is property tax reform, PERS reform, and recreational immunity.
To address these issues, we must first ensure that each every tax dollar is spent wisely and efficiently.
Second, we must change our state’s tax structure so we have a fair and balanced tax system.
A system that provides the stable and adequate funding that allows us to properly fund our schools and to meet our critical needs.
And third, we must address the ongoing PERS liability in a way that keeps our promises to retirees and does not put us back on an endless hamster wheel of litigation.