2024 County Commissioner Candidate – Judy Trego

2024 County Commissioner Candidate – Judy Trego

PublIshed on Apr 16, 2024

Judy Trego



Economic Development & Local Business Support


1. What specific strategies do you propose to attract and retain businesses in Deschutes County?

First and foremost, I believe economic development is a policy decision and we need to remove regulatory burdens where possible in our business community. Small businesses make up the vast majority of the economy in urban and rural Deschutes County and we must support, promote, and encourage small businesses to start and grow in Central Oregon. The Board of County Commissioners can impact those businesses by supporting rural communities, rural Chambers of Commerce, and small, medium, and large businesses in our area. I have been working in this area for a decade, advocating for the growth of businesses and have successfully managed to drive economic growth in rural areas. Indicators from my experience and successes helping businesses grow, prove I am the most qualified person to serve as your next Deschutes County Commissioner.

2. How do you plan to collaborate with local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations to promote business growth?

I have been serving as the Executive Director for a rural Chamber of Commerce for a decade and I know what it takes to collaborate with Deschutes County’s Chambers. During the pandemic, I lead the effort to provide grant funds to struggling small businesses in Deschutes County for their marketing and promotions. My entire career has been spent collaborating with nonprofits, business, and governments to drive economic growth in our county. I will continue to prioritize these efforts and I will always support our Chambers and EDCO.

3. How would you streamline bureaucracy and reduce regulatory burdens to make it easier for local businesses to operate and thrive?

Streamlining operations is what I do best. As a business advocate, it is imperative that governments, business, and the non-profit sectors work together to achieve what is best for our communities. Removing barriers and reducing burdens on our businesses must be done in order to continue to drive economic growth which in turn, provides jobs, supports our families, and allows for a sustainable community long-term.


Workforce Housing


1. What can the County do to ensure more homes are constructed and accessible to moderate income residents in the 80-120AMI income band?

We must work with non-profits, housing agencies, developers, and landowners in order to accomplish the goal of increasing workforce housing. I am fully aware of the challenges facing our workforce. People want to work at a job they love and where they can also make enough to survive in our region. As your next commissioner I will establish a fund to reduce the cost of workforce housing, provide land at a discount to developers seeking to build workforce housing, advocate for zone changes and  support building a manufactured home development to help our struggling families. This is not a matter of can we do this… we MUST get this done and in rapid fashion.

2. How do you plan to collaborate with local housing authorities, nonprofit organizations, and cities in Deschutes County to accelerate the construction of housing units for this income band?

I have a long history of success collaborating with housing authorities and non-profit organizations to get things done. I have been advocating for affordable and workforce housing for decades. We were able to successfully site Tamarack Village, the first affordable housing complex in Sisters, by working with our housing authority and our community action team. I will continue to work tirelessly to accomplish our goals to provide housing for our families who expect and deserve an affordable place to live.

3. How do you plan to address barriers to homeownership, particularly for low- to moderate-income individuals and families?

First and foremost, we must identify what those barriers are. Most of the people, government agencies, nonprofits and housing authorities working on these issues have no idea what it is like to struggle financially. We need to bring those who deal with the day-to-day struggles of working in our retail, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and clinics to the table to discuss the challenges they face living here. I will partner with Habitat for Humanity, Rooted Homes, First Story, local housing groups and developers to ensure we remove these barriers immediately. These issues are urgent and need immediate attention and you need a county commissioner who can get things done.


Workforce Development


A career-ready workforce with relevant knowledge and experience is crucial to the success of local business. Given what you know about the changing needs of employers, what steps will you take to ensure that local workers have the skillsets needed to meet evolving workplace requirements?

I have successfully lobbied on behalf of OSU to increase funding for education. I served on the Heart of Oregon Corp board of directors for 8 years and I know what it takes to ensure youth and young adults achieve a pathway to success. As your county commissioner I will be laser focused on employment, job training and education and help local workers achieve pathways to success. I have also been instrumental in providing funding to scholarship programs from preschool through high school and will continue to support and advocate on behalf of our local schools, youth development programs, Central Oregon Community College, and Oregon State University. Education is the catalyst to reduce poverty, ensure a thriving workforce and in turn make our businesses successful and sustainable.


Child Care 


What strategies do you intend to implement to support child care providers in Deschutes County, ensuring they have the resources, training, and regulatory environment necessary to deliver high-quality care while running an economically sustainable business?

The high cost of childcare and limited childcare options attribute to our community members not being able to enter the workforce in Deschutes County. As your next county commissioner, I can reduce barriers through zone changes that allow childcare centers to locate in areas outside of commercial locations. We can also subsidize childcare by working with our non-profit partners. Through my current work, I have helped local families with childcare costs impacting 77 families and 90 children.

In closing, my experience as a community and business advocate as well as valuable relationships built over three decades, makes me the best choice for Deschutes County Commissioner. I AM a leader that WILL make things happen. Please vote for Judy Trego on May 21st!

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