The quote, “The coast is becoming a retirement area for rich Californians. They don’t care about job creation,” by Bob Warner, business development officer at the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department [OVERHEARD, June] is a great illustration of why industry is not being developed as it should by that gentleman’s agency. For Mr. Warner’s information, the largest increase in employment in and on the coast has been in the construction industry and the associated real estate, title insurance, legal and architectural entities that benefit from the “rich Californians” moving to the coast. These hard-working Californians saw an opportunity to salvage some financial benefits by selling their homes. Oregon’s coastal properties have appreciated on the average some 22.4% during the last two years. The additional jobs that were created by these “rich Californians” are at the local grocers, gas stations, car agencies, hardware stores, hotels, dentists, banks, hospitals, restaurants and, eventually, funeral homes.
Mr. Warner and his agency should be concentrating on bringing and keeping manufacturing jobs into Oregon’s rural communities. Hood River’s loss of the Luhr Jensen fishing lure manufacturing company meant a loss of 140 employees to China. Your agency could have kept that from happening, Mr. Warner.
R.K. Meyer, president
Meyco Industries, Seaside