The responsibility for the weak performance of the Malheur County Economic Development Department rests with three people: Malheur County Judge Dan Joyce, Commissioner Don Hodge, and Commissioner Ron Jacobs.
As commissioners, they have the duty to oversee that agency and their contractor, Greg Smith. They are expected to determine that every public dollar spent benefits the people of Malheur County. They are failing.
Smith’s company, Gregory Smith & Company, has been contracted since 2013 to run the county agency. The commissioners say they expect the $100,000 or so they pay him each year will result in bringing new employers to Malheur County and creating new jobs.
But they aren’t sure what Smith is delivering. The commissioners couldn’t name any major employer that set roots in Malheur County because of Smith’s work. They had to . . .