Liz Antoine, Scappoose
There is a lot of local buzz as of late about tourism and how that will save our economy in Columbia County. This is problematic at best.
A primary focus on tourism in any economy results in creation of a lot of minimum wage, entry level and part time jobs that offer little upward mobility which are often seasonal in nature.
With an abundance of seasonal employment you can just imagine the strain on the economy. There is a higher need for public services and a smaller tax base to provide public services.
Homeowners end up paying an even larger share of property tax because there are no high value plants and equipment to tax. Fire, police and other public service have to keep asking for additional levies just to provide basic services.
Tourism should be a consideration in all economic development plans but relying on it as a primary economic driver of a community would not be wise.