Statue of Justice and lawyer working on a laptop -cm

Throughout my life, I’ve been able to help run family businesses in a variety of sectors and in multiple states. They’ve ranged from a sheet metal fabrication shop to land development, viticulture and ranching operations.

The one thing these businesses all had in common was that they had either clients or customers. They all had people who were relying on our companies to produce goods and services that they wanted. There were deadlines and timelines that had to be met, and expectations of quality and professionalism.

Any entrepreneur will tell you the importance of customer service. Those customers and clients have to be kept happy and those expectations met in order for them to keep coming back. Satisfied customers mean repeat business and positive referrals. Too many dissatisfied customers and bad word of mouth often means the end of a business and having to close your doors.

It’s my goal to use the same customer service principles as the newest Clackamas County Commissioner. Put simply, I want to make sure that the county’s residents are getting what they’re paying for. And I plan to fully utilize my many years of experience running businesses and the perspective that has given me.

From day to day, the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners directs the managers who oversee the county agencies and staff. As a commissioner, I will constantly be asking questions to determine if customer satisfaction is being achieved. Are county taxpayers getting quality service? Are the county agencies being responsive to them? How can those services be improved to give county residents a better experience?

In private business, efficient operations are absolutely critical. That should also be the case in local government.

I wholeheartedly believe that the government should focus on a handful of things and make sure to do them well. None of those should be services that are or could already be provided by the private sector. The government has no business trying to compete with private businesses or getting into anything it shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Nor should the government be providing services that the public has never indicated that they wish to receive.

Good customer service at the county also involves prioritizing limited resources. What services are most important to county residents? Well, one of them would have to be law enforcement. Are emergency calls being responded to in a timely fashion? Is the county criminal justice system working well enough that victims feel well-served?

Other crucial functions of county government fall under Business and Community Services. That department oversees the county’s libraries and parks. Are visitors to the county’s park and library facilities enjoying the experience? What are the ways that they could be improved?

My hope is that by using the lens of good customer service, the county’s operations can be adjusted to better meet the public’s needs. That’s the approach I’ve successfully used in business for years, and it’s exactly what I will do as your next Clackamas County Commissioner.

*If you’d like to find out more about or support the Mark Johnson for Clackamas County Commission campaign, please check out our website at