By John Bowler
Hope Johnson has been named executive director of the Crooked River Ranch-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce, replacing Paul Nemitz, who announced his retirement March 1. Johnson will assume her chamber duties April 1.
"I think Hope is an awesome selection," said Nemitz. "Her effervescent personality, social and communicative skills and absolute belief in this community are unparalleled. The chamber and the Ranch are lucky to have such a talent willing to support us."
Johnson brings plenty of local community and business experience to the position, including serving as CRR chamber board director and president, and various positions with the CRR Community Development Organization and CRR Long Range Planning Committee.
Last summer she helped organize a town hall meeting after the Crooked Fire which led to the CRR Association board appointing an ad hoc alternative exit committee which recommended developing a southern Ranch exit. The CRR board will report on the exit at its March 17 meeting.
Her business experience includes working as executive producer and marketing director of a major CBS radio station in San Diego, a variety of positions with nonprofit organizations, and owning her own public relations/media relations/marketing firm serving chambers of commerce, and businesses.
Johnson said, "I am pleased with the opportunity to work with this chamber to expand its programs and introduce new opportunities to the membership."
Deschutes library charge
Approximately 1,400 CRR members of the Deschutes County Library system received notices late last week from library officials that their free ride ends April 1.
By that date, they will have to pony up $76 per year, per household, to borrow books through the Redmond branch which most of them use.
According to the Deschutes library director, Michael Gaston, "The decision was made to institute the fee to be fair to other library members who pay taxes to support the system." CRR residents pay taxes in Jefferson County.
He did not elaborate why such short notice was given to Ranchers who have enjoyed the Deschutes system's privileges free for so long.
Sally Beesley, Jefferson County library director, explained that only CRR residents who live in the Jefferson County Library District are eligible for its membership. The library district line, established in 2000, outlines the northern quadrant of the Ranch. A map of it was not available by deadline.
Both Beesley and Gaston expressed hope that the imposition of the fee will stimulate expansion of the Jefferson County Library District boundaries to include all of the Ranch and give its residents a vote on joining the Jefferson County Library. Its members are eligible for privileges in the Deschutes system.
It is not yet clear why much of the Ranch was excluded from the Jefferson County Library District when its boundaries were set in 2000. Nor is the specific remedy available to Ranchers to rectify the situation understood yet. An investigation into answers to both questions has been initiated in response to the fee announcement.