A Few Words from Jim – July 2023
This is always the last thing I write for each issue. Sometimes I think it should be the first. A guiding light. A beacon. But no, it’s always the last thing. A recap. A taillight. Or as I like to think of it, the afterburner.
We gathered to celebrate the work life of Ken Trautman the other day as he retired. He co-founded People’s Bank and helped guide it, shape it and mold it into what it is today. So many of us, including myself, are entrepreneurs that shy away from regulation and a board of directors yet he ran toward it and look what he has done. Starting a bank took tenacity, courage and the trust of the first investors. Bill Jacobs is the last remaining board member from the original board and he spoke at Ken’s retirement party about how they were profitable exactly on time at 13 months and they hoped to grow the bank to $60 MM someday and how happy he was that it has now eclipsed $800 MM. Page 6.
State Rep. Pam Marsh put forth a bill that requires local municipalities to allow the conversion of empty commercial properties to residential ones without requiring a zone change. It was created to address our housing shortage. It’s been passed and waiting signature by Governor Kotek. I love the idea of mixed use space where commercial is on the ground floor and workforce housing is above. I also get excited by what could happen if we converted many big empty and struggling malls into workforce housing communities. Let me know what you think about it. HB2984 Page 23.
The feds have allocated $689 Million for Broadband Infrastructure to Oregon. This is designed to improve access to high-speed internet for rural, underserved communities
I’m co-chairing the 26th annual Oregon Connections conference in Ashland this year. Senator Ron Wyden is our keynote speaker. I’m excited about it. Page 38 will tell you all about it. Or go to https://oregonconnections.info/