January 4, 2006
A strong belief in public service has led Barbara Briggs, executive director of the local United Way chapter, to file for a Hood River County Commissioner seat.
Briggs is seeking the Position 1 role that Carol York will vacate next year. York has decided to step down after two elected terms in office to challenge Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, at the state level.
“I have always felt the need to be a part of helping to shape public policy and provide the best possible stewardship of public resources,” said Briggs, 50, who resides on Post Canyon Drive.
“The time is right for me personally and professionally to run for Hood River County Commissioner. I have a really well-rounded set of experiences and skills that I believe will enable me to do a good job,” she continued.
Briggs has spent years working in varied roles with non-profits, schools, and government agencies. She is particularly proud of having stabilized the budget of the Columbia Gorge Center during her tenure as executive director in the 1980s.
For more than 10 years, Briggs has acted as a private business consultant to facilitate public meetings, strategic planning and board training workshops. She has also provided executive staff services for boards and commissions and project management. She has testified before the state legislature to gain more programs for the disabled and on other issues of key concern.
“I believe in being a team player, but having a mind of one’s own is the key to successful board service,” said Briggs.
Not all of her service to the community has been through a paid position. Briggs volunteers with American Legion Auxiliary Post 22 and is a member of the Hood River Lions Club.
“Public service is a personal mandate for me,” said Briggs. “I’ve thought about running for a local office for the past several years and, when Carol decided not to run again, I felt it was the right time.”
She brings first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of Hood River County’s government into her campaign.
For the past three years, Briggs has facilitated the annual goal setting sessions for the county board and, for the past two years, has been a member of the budget committee.
“I think the county’s heading in a good direction and I would be honored to be part of that,” she said. “Most of my many years of experience have involved working directly with or for boards, committees, and councils, and I am very comfortable in that role.”
As a former real estate professional, Briggs has a personal interest in the affordable housing challenge facing Hood River County. She believes that steps need to be taken to prevent middle-income families from being priced out of the housing market.
“I’ve always lived in small towns and I have watched this happen in other communities,” said Briggs. “With property values continuing to go up, I don’t see affordable housing happening in a natural course; it’s going to require public involvement to make that happen.”