>Former City of Prineville planning director cites need for continued development to ensure Crook County's future
Longtime Crook County resident A.R. "Dick" Brown is a self-described workaholic who has been in or around local government for 35 years, so it seems only logical for him to run for Crook County Commissioner.
   A registered Democrat, Brown describes his political leanings as more "in the middle."
   "I'm not a liberal by any means, and I'm not an ultra-conservative either," he said.
   He cited the possible impending recession and its effects on the county as a reason for running.
   "This is going to be a hard time," he said. "I don't know if everybody realizes it, but we're going into a recession. The county's gonna have to tighten its belt. It's gonna have to be proactive to get us through it."
   Brown has extensive knowledge of land use planning and this is where his government experience lies. He worked as planning director for Crook County from 1970 to 1979 and was director of planning and community development for the city of Prineville from 1993 to 2003. He also worked as a private land use consultant for Crook, Grant, Lake, Wheeler and Morrow counties, as well as the cities of Redmond and John Day.
   He cited continued development as something Crook County needs to thrive.
   "Now is not a time to raise permit fees and now is not the time to increase regulations," he said. "This community thrives on development. Maybe not what we've experienced in the past, but in the 80s, we went to nothing. Everybody feels that. At least 30 percent of the buildings downtown are vacant. All you gotta do is walk around to see that. You either continue to grow, or you stagnate and die, and we don't want that to happen. We've got too many good kids to worry about."
   He stated that his principal goal for the county is to "make county government open, fair and equitable to everybody, regardless of who they are."
   "I've been here through the tough times and I've been here through the good times," he said.
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