Oregon’s Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury, came to Hood River Thursday to speak to the Hood River Rotary Club and interested public about the state of the state and ways to improve Oregon’s economy.
Bradbury began by praising the Rotarians for their hard work toward improving the community.
“I like to think my office does the same thing for the state of Oregon,” he said.
One way this work is done is by auditing the state’s financial records and performance — making sure money is being spent wisely. The audits pay off; for every dollar that’s spent for the audit, eight dollars’ worth of savings can be identified, according to Bradbury.
Administrative expenses such as travel, meetings and personal expenses are examined for legality and necessity, and many money-saving measures are implemented as a result. Last year’s auditing drive identified $25 million in potential savings.
The Oregon State Lottery has reduced its administrative expenses by $500,000.
“The people of Oregon want proof that the money is working and not wasted,” Bradbury said.
His office also works to improve the sustainability of the state’s economy by encouraging businesses to develop clear visions for their community and to make smart planning decisions. Improving the livability of an area is smart business.
Bradbury cited examples of Oregon businesses that have found their niche in the marketplace and have not only grown but have actually improved the environment in their community. One was Stahlbush Island Farms, an environmentally friendly farming and food processing operation east of Corvallis. Their methods have improved the soil and water thereby increasing crop yields and lowering expenses. He said they also have excellent labor relations, paying a family wage.
Sustainability of the economy is a major goal of the state of Oregon. One step toward that end is to market our state to the rest of the nation — the governor is calling it “Brand Oregon” — by maintaining and promoting our clean and breathtaking environment.
Some of the best changes happen through these initiatives, he said, which is why his office works to improve voter turnout and to make sure the systems used to tally the votes are accurate.