In honor of the holidays, I want to thank the volunteers that made Drain such a great place to be over the last year.
First, is the City Council. Like most of the cities in Oregon, the City Council of Drain is made up of citizen volunteers. They dedicate time every month to meet and set the priorities and agenda for the city. City staff then take this agenda and create programs and a budget to achieve the council’s stated goals. But without the volunteers who put themselves out in front, the city would not have a direction to move in. Making decisions is not an easy task, especially if you think your neighbors will disagree or cut off all communication if they disagree with your decision.
To help out these councilors, Drain has three advisory groups. The first of these is the planning commission, which hears and reviews applications for home building, lot division and other land use issues. Commissioners listen and are able to make decisions and suggestions to help Drain be a positive place to live. Planning in Oregon can be a confusing mess of rules and regulations and I appreciate the work that the planning commission does to help think about all the citizens’ needs when they make a decision.
The Civic Center Committee and the Cemetery Committee act as advisory committees to the council. They help ensure the original intent of rules for the Civic Center and the cemetery are followed and that ideas, thoughts and suggested changes are brought to them for a hearing before going in front of the council. These committees play an important role by including more citizens in the decision-making process. The more citizens that are involved in the process the better the buy-in from the community.
Not only do we have volunteers who run the City of Drain. The area also has volunteers who successfully lobbied the community to create the North Douglas Library District. Not only did they go out and get enough signatures to get the district on the ballot, but they also raised money to campaign for the passing of the district. Then they helped weed the library of old books, they cleaned the books on the shelves, and they ordered new books. They also created the rules and organization that will run the library. These volunteers have helped make Drain a better place and I appreciate their hard work and positive attitude.
Finally, I want to thank the volunteers who run the food pantries and provide help for those in need within the community. Without their care and generosity, many people in the area would go without basic necessities. This includes the people who check on their neighbors just to make sure they are OK and that they don’t need anything.
These are the unsung heroes that make Drain a better place to live. Without them, the city would just be a place to live. With them, we have a community.