The former director of the Downtown Roseburg Association, Alyssa McConnel, filed Tuesday to run for Douglas County commissioner.
She’s the eighth to file for the seat, which was vacated by Gary Leif. Leif is now the interim representative for state House District 2.
McConnel said she wants to be commissioner because she has a passion for public service.
“I like listening to the people and acting on it, and I want good things for Douglas County,” she said.
She said Douglas County has a revenue problem and she believes new ideas can lead to new revenue sources. She said government contracts need to be looked at closely and there may be new ways to make money off county-owned land. She also said she has the energy to be “super transparent” with the public.
The more the government is open with the people about its process, its budget and its spending, the more trust people have in the government, she said.
“Right now we kind of lack trust in government bodies,” she said.
McConnel said she’s been staying up late at night Googling ideas for how to fix the county’s budget problems. She said she’d like to see the county make more effort to publicize and explain the different county job descriptions, meetings and committees on social media so that younger people can figure out what the county is doing and become more engaged. She said working to restore federal timber harvests is important, but said it’s also important for the county not to get tunnel vision.
She said the county also needs “plans B, C, D, E and F” for improving the economy. She also suggested county commissioners should reach out to successful counties in other places to see how their governments make money.
McConnel was ousted as director of the Downtown Roseburg Association in April. Ninety business owners and employees subsequently signed a petition supporting her. Documents from the Oregon Employment Department later revealed she had been fired after making comments critical of the city of Roseburg. She had questioned whether the DRA was getting a good deal in its contract with the city to provide parking enforcement downtown.
McConnel said she brought a lot of volunteers and new revenue in for the DRA while she was its director. And she attended Roseburg City Council meetings “almost religiously” for the last two years while she served as the DRA director. She was also formerly on the Myrtle Creek Chamber of Commerce board, a member of the Myrtle Creek Parks Commission and a salesperson at The News-Review.
She said her experience shows she has energy and a commitment to motivating people that sets her apart from the other candidates. She said she doesn’t want to be a politician.
“My goal is just to be the leader that Douglas County deserves,” she said.