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EDITORIAL: Strong credentials needed for Malheur County citizens to lead economic work

Citizens, business and local government have a great new opportunity to control the future of Malheur County. We need to make the best of the money and power granted by state officials to power the local economy.

State Rep. Cliff Bentz of Ontario deserves all the applause he is getting for nurturing, sheltering and advocating this work. He led the way to get $26 million appropriated for a new rail shipping depot. He worked side by side with House Speaker Tina Kotek for novel legislation granting Malheur County special economic development powers.

Getting legislative authority is just the first step. Now, the community has to work hard to see this chance isn’t squandered. That’s going to take strong leadership, focus on the future, and collaboration that sets aside parochial interests.

The Malheur County Court has a big job ahead. County Judge Dan Joyce and Commissioners Don Hodge and . . .