One of the outstanding attributes of Washington County is the collaboration we see between private citizens, private business and our elected public officials. Collaboration and communication is a hallmark of this county, and it has earned the admiration and envy of other political entities across the country.

Washington County’s elected officials listen to their constituencies and our private employers listen to their communities. That said, Intel is on the right track in dealing with the current issue the company faces regarding fluoride emissions. Intel company officials are addressing the omission in reporting; they have provided a vehicle for citizens ( to convey information regarding environmental issues; and they are taking input from the community regarding their concerns.

Intel is also on the right track by reconvening its community advisory panel of professionals, continuing outreach to neighbors near their production facilities in the Hillsboro area and dealing directly with residents and community organizations who have expressed their concerns. The public spoke, Intel listened, and now there are plans for working together on the issue.

In Washington County, elected officials have demonstrated their collaborative mindset when preparing the supplemental budget for this fiscal year’s Gain Share projects. The citizens’ concern over school funding was shared by officials in Washington County and led to a $3 million budget allocation for Washington County school districts.

We all know when collaboration is not in effect; it shows up in failures, in news headlines and in broken relationships. We don’t always see collaboration when it is right before us, but we can identify teams, communities and even geo-political networks that are effective in reaching their goals because they build trust with each other, work together and collaborate on issues.

Well known as a builder of successful teams, Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi said: “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

My thanks and praise goes to Washington County and Intel for valuing and embracing collaboration. I am proud to live and work in this county.

Pamela Treece is executive director of the Hillsboro-based Westside Economic Alliance.

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