Public Comment: Characteristics of the Next DEQ Director

Frank Peters

Frank Peters

Madame Chair, Commissioners: my name is Frank Peters; thank you for this opportunity for Public Comment.

Like everyone here today, I have given much thought to the characteristics of the next DEQ Director, as that person will shape the agency, for better or for worse.

Because many others will speak so articulately, I cannot offer a better description of what a new Director should be. My suggestion is for a different approach altogether.

Bear with me as I point out your short-term dilemma: in only a few months this agency will submit budgets to the Legislature.

So even if you found the perfect candidate tomorrow, you don’t have enough time to bring her on board such that she could make the kind of contribution that DEQ will need, to make their case for the funding they must have.

So set aside this nationwide search for now; instead of paying these headhunters their worthy, yet hefty, fees, dedicate some of that money to supporting your new Deputy Director, to whom you granted Full Authority.

Crazy idea? Maybe so, but there’s a recent precedent.

The PDC, the Portland Development Commission, named a new Executive Director last month. After a similar nationwide search, they decided to promote their current Deputy Director to the job, as she was doing such a good job in the interim.

Madame Chair you warned us so eloquently,

The most colossal high-profile failures in the State of Oregon have been people that have come in from out of state to high praise and left with everybody shaking their head. - EQC Chair Jane O'Keeffe
Are we to think this time will be different?

So please, save this recruiting process and its optimistic timeline for a later date. For the short-term, apply all your resources to assuring the success of your new Deputy Director.

Public Comments on the recruitment process for the next DEQ Director can be made in person or in writing prior to the 1pm September 21st Special Meeting of the Environmental Quality Commission. Link to enter your Pubic Comments.