City Club of Central Oregon – February 2018

City Club of Central Oregon February forum: PERS SNATCHERS

Is Oregon’s Pension Promise Broken? Can it be fixed?

Oregon has sought to attract and retain the best and brightest public employees by promising fixed rates of return on pensions within the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).  Oregon originally failed, however, to adequately fund those promises.  Accordingly, the Legislature reduced pensions in 2003.  But when the stock market crashed, public employers still had to make up the difference. This situation begs the following questions:

  • Is PERS broken?  If so, can it be fixed without breaking promises to employees?
  • How is PERS impacting other programs?
  • If pensions are reduced or privatized, will Oregon need to increase wages to attract and retain quality employees?
  • What are the alternatives to the current system?
  • What legal, economic, and political obstacles exist to those alternatives?
  • Who gets to decide, and how do we hold them accountable?
  • Should Oregon retire its public retirement program, as we know it?

City Club of Central Oregon – January 2018

January forum: FRESH FROM THE FARM – a conversation about how food grown in Central Oregon gets to markets, restaurants and your table

Restaurants, markets, and individuals are finding that procuring local foods to serve, sell, and eat are a priority for many reasons. According to the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, “Consumers deliberately choose to support local businesses for economic, environmental, and social reasons. Growth in farm-to-table restaurants appeals to consumers who desire fresh foods.”[1]

How easy is it for your favorite local restaurant to follow through on a commitment to serve locally-sourced foods? What are the challenges faced by the farmers and ranchers in Central Oregon? How does locally grown food make its way to you?

The City Club of Central Oregon will present a Forum on January 18, 2018, having a conversation with:

  • Megan French, farmer at Boundless Farmstead, describing the challenges and rewards of growing food for distribution in Central Oregon
  • Brian Kerr, executive chef at Deschutes Brewery Public House, discussing the importance of farm relationships in procuring local foods for sale
  • Liz Weigand, owner of Agricultural Connections, about facilitating channels to move food from a local farm to local markets, restaurants, and individual households

Moderated by Mary Orton, founder and principal of the Mary Orton Company

[1] “Economic Impact of Local Food Producers in Central Oregon: A survey based IMPLAN model incorporating the USDA AMS Toolkit guidelines,” October 2017.

City Club of Central Oregon – September 2017

September 28, 2017

Hooked! Understanding our Addiction to Opiates

In the mid 1990s, the country’s pendulum of prescribing practices dramatically swung: doctors who at one time were prosecuted for overprescribing opiates to patients were now facing mounting pressure to write scripts for chronic, non-cancer pain. Since then, both the dosage and use of therapeutic opiates has skyrocketed, leading to widespread abuse—and what is now considered the worst drug crisis in American history. City Club’s September forum will examine the causes and impacts of this crisis, as well as our community’s approach to tackling an epidemic that not only kills, but also has major social and economic implications.

City Club of Central Oregon – June 22, 2017

June forum: Oil Trains Transiting Our Community, Are They Safe?

Railways are an important part of Central Oregon’s history and our current economy. Hundreds of trains travel through our towns and cities carrying everything from logs and personal goods to crude oil. With horror stories in the news about derailments and spills, how safe is our community? An expert panel discusses what prevention programs are in place to keep us safe, who’s responsible, and, in the case of an emergency, the steps for remediation and cleanup.

Moderator:

Andrew Phelps, Director, Oregon Office of Emergency Management

Panelists:

  • Hal Gard: Rail and Public Transit Division (RPTD) Administrator, Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)
  • Michael Heffner: Emergency Response Manager / Assist. Chief Deputy, Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
  • Courtney Wallace: Director, Public Affairs, BNSF Railway

City Club of Central Oregon – May 25, 2017

The City Club of Central Oregon May Forum: Is Being Civil Important to Our Democracy & Community?

Is being civil important to our democracy? Should civility be part of our public and community conversations? We will explore these questions and hear from panelists about their experiences with public conversations and what happens when things become less than civil.

Bend Chamber What’s Brewing: Healthcare – Navigating the Uncertainty

The policies and uncertainties forming around healthcare are discussed. Find out how this will impact your own healthcare services, your providers, insurance, individual states and more.
Panelists:
Patrick O’Keefe – Owner, Cascade Insurance Center
Iman Simmons – COO, St. Charles Health System
Michael Morter, Agent and Small Business Liaison, Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services
Del Johnson,  Senior Vice President, USI Insurance Services LLC

  541.749.5151

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