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Metro plans for busy 2012

I was recently interviewed on the radio about the prospects of Metro Council work for this new year of 2012, so I thought I'd share that same information with you.

I was recently interviewed on the radio about the prospects of Metro Council work for this new year of 2012, so I thought I'd share that same information with you.

As your Metro councilor, along with my six colleagues on the council who lead your regional metropolitan services agency, I continue my focus on increasing the local jobs base and economy as well as supporting vibrant communities and your quality of life.

This includes working in multiple public-private partnerships to help local, small and medium size businesses get their products to national and international markets, as well as attracting new companies of all sizes to our metropolitan region.

Exploring the prospects for a 'room block' for the national convention business with the Oregon Convention Center - for which Metro is responsible - is another example of the work on deck for 2012.

Continuing to invest transportation dollars from federal and state sources to speed freight delivery and reduce employee commute times through the Metropolitan Transportation Investment Program is another aspect.

We support increased vibrancy of downtown and town center areas through various investment programs, such as bringing consultant experts into the Hillsboro and Forest Grove downtown business communities.

Helping downtown business and building owners understand the latest consumer trends, in order to strengthen their businesses, ends up offering we community members more restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. It's a win-win for residents, businesses and the community.

In 2012, Metro will continue to provide cost-effective and efficient services in the broad array of services from regional parks, to the Oregon Zoo, to community recycling events.

Compared to prior years, there is only one state-mandated policy program on-deck for this year. Every metropolitan area in our state is required to reduce the carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emissions that we contribute to our airshed.

We just finished technical studies as requested by our advisory committees to the Metro Council. The latest technical reports show that hitting the targets, setup for just over 20 years from now, is achievable, and we now know that a mix of strategies will get us there.

We just need to figure out which sort of choices make sense for application in each of the 25 cities and three counties that make up our great region.

Through the remainder of this year, I will be working alongside all of the mayors, city councils and county commissioners in my district to better define how we can fine-tune our community decisions and investment goals.

There will be unique choices in each community.

I look forward to the array of partnership work in 2012. Please join the conversations by participating in the new convenient internet surveys at www.OptInPanel.org, because your voice matters!

Learn More

What:Learn more about the Climate Smart Communities Scenarios Project and read the report

Info:visiting www.oregonmetro.gov/climatescenarios

- Kathryn Harrington is the metro councilor for District 4, which includes western Washington County. She can be reached at kathryn.harrington@