This recent COVID-19 health crisis is unprecedented, and our country, state, and local governments have taken valuable steps to slow it’s spread. In one way or another everyone has been affected by these steps, some more than others. I will admit the situation has taken me aback and it has caused me to think about my priorities. The health and wellbeing of my family, friends and neighbors, as well as our community as a whole have always been important to me, but suddenly, this has been propelled to the top of my priority list.  

    As many may already know, I am running for Tillamook County Sheriff. I have been actively campaigning during these early stages of the election and many recognize that this election year is an important one, with two county commissioner positions, county sheriff, the Presidency, state representatives and many more open. As I attempt to figure out where campaigning falls on the priority list, I realize that it has moved down, and our community has become a far more important concern.  We all understand the importance of elections and I’m sure none of us will be forgetting this valuable process, but until this crisis is in hand, it’s easy to set my campaign into a slower speed while we take care of ourselves and our community.

    As I work through all of this, I’m reminded of something that I have always known: the citizens that make up Tillamook County are phenomonal. The support and offers of assistance have been pouring out in spades.  There are already multiple Facebook groups that have been created specifically for helping local residents and local businesses.  Tillamook Chamber has created “Tillamook Coast Takeout + Dining,” and a friend of mine started “Tillamook County Community Support.” Tillamook Chamber’s page is doing an amazing job promoting local resturants, cafes and coffee shops to help them maintain a level of business.  The Community Support page is dedicated to helping residents that may need items purchased, picked up, delivered and more. These are just a few examples of our community stepping up to help in anyway they can.  

    This weekend our commissioners listened to the voices of many community members and took very bold action to protect our people by shutting down certain and specific areas that are busy tourist locations. I have seen first-hand a vast number of visitors from out of state and out of county visiting our small and beautiful community and tax our resources. I know that many citizens are very happy with this step to protect our county, but some have also expressed opposition. However, I do believe that the safety of Tillamook County residents is the top priority of our elected leaders and their decision was no doubt a difficult one.  

    As we move through these uncertain times please remember that there are people that need our help and there are people willing to help.  We have always been an amazing community and without a doubt, always will be.

Josh Brown is a candidate for Tillamook County Sheriff

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