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City officials visit Oregon state capital


                                                                  From left, City Councilor Ellen Porter, City Manager Nikki Messenger and Councilor Shelley Briggs 

                                                                             Loosley take part in "City Day at the Capitol" at the Salem Convention Center Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.

ROSEBURG, Ore. – City Manager Nikki Messenger and two City Councilors travelled to the Oregon state capital this week to support legislative priorities that increase local authority and help communities.

Messenger and Councilors Ellen Porter and Shelley Briggs Loosley took part in the League of Oregon Cities’ (LOC) “City Day at the Capitol” at the Salem Convention Center Wednesday, Jan. 25. The trio connected with city officials from throughout Oregon and learned about their challenges and successes when working on dilemmas involving economic development, housing and other issues.

“Unfortunately, every city is struggling with homeless issues. And everyone is frustrated. We spent time learning about recent court decisions and new Oregon laws and meeting directly with the LOC’s lobbyist working on homeless issues,” Messenger said.

Porter said she was intrigued to hear how other small cities are trying to tackle challenges involving homelessness and economic vitality.

“The highlight for me actually was talking with a city councilman from Prineville and learning how they are working to make their community recession-resistant,” she said. “They’re almost an autonomous little community. It’s impressive.”

Porter learned about Prineville’s and Crook County’s plans to build a biomass plant to generate power, that city’s short-line freight railroad and new businesses that are expected to help make the city more financially secure. She stayed on Thursday, Jan. 26, to meet with individual lawmakers at the Capitol to begin discussing how the homeless crisis is impacting smaller communities like Roseburg.

“Roseburg has some ideas on non-monetary changes that could make a difference, and Councilor Porter stayed in Salem today to take additional meetings to promote those ideas,” added Messenger.

Messenger, Porter and Briggs Loosley joined about 200 city officials from around the state to hear briefings on legislative priorities for the 2023 session from Oregon’s new governor, legislative leadership and LOC lobbyists.

“By coming together, our collective voices will make a difference in advancing our legislative agenda,” the LOC stated on its website. “It is also the time to let legislators know how actions they take could impact our communities and the difficult decisions we make.”

Posted by RoseburgAdmin