Below you will find some of the major issues facing Deschutes County and where Phil Henderson stands on them. Phil believes though that the issues of the voters are his issues as well. Beyond simply standing for these issues, Phil Henderson wants to fight for what you believe the County needs. As your Commissioner, Phil plans to bring an unprecedented amount of access and accountability by staying connected to the voters and their issues all year round, not only during election cycles.
Deschutes County must keep our road standards high and the number of "pot holes" low. Phil Henderson knows that gas taxes are regressive and are often toughest on those working the hardest, but they also tax tourists, which can drive away one of the area's largest industries. Deschutes County must tackle road maintenance and road safety "head-on." With so much of our local economy dependent upon the use of the local roads, the upkeep of them is one of the most important services that the county can offer to its citizens. We must commit money to maintenance, not administration.
Home ownership in much of the county has become unaffordable to many citizens. Families are forced to live in tents, even while having successful and stable careers. Phil knows this is unacceptable; and as an experienced home builder, he will promote policies that make them available to more of our fellow citizens.
Phil believes that one of the greatest assets to Central Oregon is the beautiful and spacious land we all enjoy. As your County Commissioner, Henderson will lobby legislators in Salem to break up the bureaucratic control of zoning and urban growth boundaries to return that power to local governments.
After a lifetime of working in the private sector, Phil Henderson is uniquely qualified to create government policies that will promote the economy and local jobs. Phil has started and led 4 different successful businesses locally. He knows what it takes to create jobs and is eager to connect and engage to business leaders and other community leaders who have other ideas and perspectives on how Deschutes County can create a better business friendly environment.
Deschutes County officials and leaders have never explained to taxpayers why property taxes keep increasing 3% every years while inflation and population growth over the past decade has been much lower. Even more concerning, is the fact that property taxes are increased with little to no discussion every years despite the County running at a profit and building a solid reserve fund. While Henderson is not against having a rainy day fund, he believes that the burden of building such a fund should not fall so heavily on taxpayers.
During the eight years that Henderson's opponent has been a County Commissioner, the County general fund has grown by more than 38% while the population is only 10% larger. Deschutes County needs leaders who will not tax and spend more of your hard-earned money without a strong and necessary justification. Henderson pledges that as your County Commissioner he will make protecting your money and ensuring an economically efficient government a top priority.
Deschutes County needs an experienced leader who will listen to voters and act with their interests in mind. Phil Henderson has been a successful leader in business, civic service, home-building, and law for four decades. The results of his successful leadership are tangible and life changing for countless members of Deschutes County.
Henderson believes that being a leader in government means being a servant of the people. Open access, transparency, and always hearing the concerns of the members of the Conty are just a handful of the ways the Henderson will lead our county.
Phil Henderson knows that as a government official in a democratic society, he has a responsibility to serve the people and ensure that their voices are heard. Henderson's opponent has failed several times in this instance. One such example was the recent question as to whether or not the County would allow for rural growth of marijuana for commercial use. Instead of opening the question to a vote, and giving citizen's their democratic voice that is their right, Henderson's opponent met with special interests and worked out a deal to their liking that left many rural members of the County feeling shut out and ignored. No matter where one stands on the question of private consumption of marijuana, everyone can appreciate and understand the need for an open and democratic process for a political issue such as this.
Phil knows that true leadership requires serving the people, not only businesses and special interest groups. Citizens should be able to voice their opinions not only in open hearings, but through ballots as well. As your County Commissioner, Phil promises to work to ensure that the voter's voice is not only always heard, but is the strongest.