Across Malheur County, local leaders list their top goals for 2019

Jim Maret, Nyssa city manager, said his main goal for 2019 will be to see construction begin on the new rail reload facility north of town. (The Enterprise/File).

ONTARIO – The goals are varied but the underlying sentiment from local leaders and officials is 2019 will be a busy year.

The Malheur Enterprise reached out to local leaders and asked: What is your top goal to achieve in 2019 and why is it at the top of your list? Their responses have been edited for brevity.

Randy Seals, chairman, Vale School Board: 

My top goal as a board member for 2019 is that the new middle school get built and that students move in fall of 2019 on schedule. As this has been a huge undertaking by the school district, having a completed school for the community where they entrusted their tax money for it is a big responsibility.

Ron Talbot, superintendent, Harper Charter School:

The Harper School District’s top goal for 2019 is to continue to customize our curriculum to fit our students’ needs and to achieve growth from every student participating in state testing. Our staff has been great working with individual students who struggle and want to improve, from our elementary staff to the high school. Our goal is to continue to achieve 100 percent graduation rate and have a school that all students and staff want to attend, feel safe and be a part of. Success in the classroom is the first step to all of this.

• Ken Hart, president, Saint Alphonsus Medical Center, Ontario:

My top goal for 2019 is to spread the word of our investment made in the local hospital and area clinics over the past number of years. A total of a $50 million investment by Saint Alphonsus in our local area has resulted in a new facility in Fruitland Health Plaza, a remodeled Ontario Health Plaza and each of the 49 patient rooms in the hospital being completely remodeled with a focus on patient and family experience. The staff of Saint Alphonsus Ontario is proud of the patient care provided, as well as our facilities. It’s important for our local community members to realize they can get the compassionate care they need close to their home and family.

• Dana Young, president, Treasure Valley Community College:

In addition to continuing to find ways to encourage student enrollment and success, one of our top goals at Treasure Valley Community College is finishing the work on our new Career and Technical Education Center. Since we are planning to open doors to this expanded and remodeled building by fall of 2020, this will require our focus to be on ensuring this new CTE Center has the right space, equipment and design to meet student, community and industry needs.

• Jim Maret, Nyssa city manager:

Our top goal in 2019 is to see the reload facility move forward. This project will benefit the community greatly with jobs and business opportunities we have not seen in a long time.

• Renae Corn, chair, Ontario School Board:

My top goal for 2019 is to pass a school bond to improve facilities for Ontario School District. Now is the time. This past year community, staff and board members have focused again on improving and increasing the safety of our facilities. Test scores are up. Graduation rates are up. Pride is up. Now is the time to upgrade to 21st century facilities for students and staff of OSD.

• Nicole Albisu, superintendent, Ontario School District:

To improve the learning and educational opportunities for all students by continuing to build staff capacity to perform at a high level by investing in professional growth opportunities, providing new teacher mentoring and support, promoting communication and collaboration among staff, and fostering a positive culture with our community. Maintain/improve the school district’s attendance and graduation rates in comparison to the prior school years. We want to improve learning for kids by having the very best teachers and school leaders.

• Alisha McBride, superintendent, Vale School District:

One of my main goals is to facilitate timely completion of the new middle school and a smooth transition from the old building to the new facility. This is extremely important, as it is critical that the new building is prepared for students and staff in the fall of 2019.

• Jana Iverson, superintendent, Nyssa School District:

A concern coming just around the corner is staff contract negotiations. I’m hoping that Nyssa School District will be able to offer agreeable contract settlements for both the certified union and the classified union. Both groups will be negotiating with the district this spring. Effective instruction is not easy and doesn’t occur in all classrooms, so we need to reward our teachers for their difficult work. In addition, our classified staff is vital to helping create an effective instructional environment. We need to have the best we can get and must offer wages to attract and keep them. My hope is that the union contracts can be developed and agreed to before June 30.

• Adam Brown, Ontario city manager:

My No. 1 priority for 2019 will be to bring our new council together on what its vision is for making Ontario a more desirable place to live. Our city council is the policy and vision-setting body for this community. We have some great new voices and we have some of the same voices that still have passion and energy for this community. Working with this council to figure out what that looks like and then implementing strategies and getting things done will be the goal, that includes removing barriers holding us back and working with partners to leverage the resources we have.

• Gayle Trotter. Malheur county clerk:

My top goal is to get more our old documents indexed in the computer and continue moving forward with digitizing old documents. Currently name searches in the computer can only be done back to 1985. The more old documents that we get indexed in the computer the easier the searches will be.

• State Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale:

My top goal for 2019 is to bring further economic development to House District 60. I represent some of the poorest areas in the state and it is vital that this fact is not only communicated to the rest of the members in the legislature, but that it’s communicated so they understand that my constituents aren’t just another statistic.

• John Breidenbach, executive director, Ontario Chamber of Commerce:

Our biggest goal for 2019 is to work on economic development with our partners. The Ontario area seems primed for good things to come in the future.