Support of Brown
October 14, 2021
Letter to the editor,
I am writing in support of Shawn Brown, candidate for Port Commissioner seat 1. Shawn brings depth of knowledge and a holistic approach to the economic health of the county that extends beyond a single issue, or series of pet issues. He understands that in order to accomplish the growth and prosperity that we all want in this county, we need to expand our tax base and bring in businesses. He also understands that we can’t just wave a magic wand and make businesses want to move here. We are missing critical infrastructure that would make our area attractive for business and livable for workers. He has identified 3 key areas where local government can make Columbia County a welcome place for industry.
The first is affordable housing (not to be confused with low-income housing). We all know that the rental market in our area is very tight. I moved here 10 years ago and it wasn’t easy to find an apartment. Now it’s nearly impossible. New businesses don’t want to build in places where workers can’t find a place to live, or are priced out of the rental market.
The second is childcare. Families with small children can’t live and work here if there are no options for childcare. There are no daycares in Dayton. There are very limited options for pre-school. As someone who works in Dayton and has a small child, this is something I’ve struggled with myself and know a lot of other parents who have struggled as well.
Lastly, businesses need reliable, high-speed internet. The Port is just shy of the $500K matching funds needed for a $4.5 million grant that would bring reliable, expandable, broadband internet to Dayton. This is something that can help businesses in Dayton right now, and help make Dayton an option for businesses like call centers, and for people working remotely.
As we watch our community struggle to keep a pool, build a wastewater facility, attract talent for jobs, or fund a police force, most of us understand that we need to expand our tax base. And Shawn Brown understands that this is what the Port is for. Not for shutting down opportunities, but for taking advantage of them. He’s not focused on keeping people out and maintaining the status quo, because we need growth and diversity to prosper. Shawn Brown has the knowledge, background, and vision we need to help make us a vibrant and economically healthy community, and that’s why I’m supporting him for Port Commissioner position 1.