Mark Johnson-cm

I was lucky to have grown up locally in a family that was industrious in nature.

As a child, I would hear my father talking about business as we gathered around the dinner table. Those discussions proved valuable to me later on in life, as I began to take over running our various ventures.

That entrepreneurial perspective is part of what I bring to the table in my candidacy for Clackamas County Commissioner. Spending most of my life being involved in small, local family businesses means that I understand what our job creators go through and the ways that the county government can help them out. It also means I know how to keep the county government from doing anything that would hinder them and prevent them from expanding their operations.

At one point, our family owned three businesses. Two were local and the other was based in Washington. I became the general manager of one of the businesses and got to learn firsthand what goes into managing employees, supply chains and vendors.

I’ve managed businesses in entirely different sectors. We had a sheet metal fabricating shop and have even been involved in agricultural businesses like raising sheep and cattle and growing grapes for a vineyard. 

I understand concepts like investment and sweat equity. Business owners put their hearts and souls into trying to make their enterprises successful and profitable. But they also know that their county or state government have the ability to create regulations that can jeopardize their ability to run their businesses.

Part of the problem is that so many elected officials and bureaucrats who have that kind of power have never signed the back of a paycheck. They’ve never run or been responsible for a business and have no idea what goes into keeping one going. Instead, they view those businesses and their owners as revenue sources that can be drawn from to grow and create more government programs.

Business owners know the kind of discipline it takes to wake up every morning and navigate through regulatory burdens while trying to satisfy their customers and clients. They know the sacrifice that comes with paying their employees before they can be reap the fruits of their own labor. They also know when politicians are listening to them or ignoring them completely.

I think that our best days are still ahead of us here in Clackamas County. This area has tremendous potential to grow in a way that allows basic services to be adequately funded. There’s plenty of room for our existing businesses to expand and for new ones to relocate here.

But whether or not any of that happens depends on the leadership we have in place. I’m willing to work with business owners to create the best possible climate that they need for their operations to thrive. I will put my past and present experience to work for our job creators so they can grow their family businesses, the same way I’ve been able to do.