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Chamber focuses on community

Curt Johnson stepped in as president of the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County this month telling people he had no wish list.

He discovered the wish list comes with the territory, and this year's version pivots on growth and community development.

Two new committees will help deal with those issues.

A Growth Management Committee is headed by Mike Montero of Kogap Inc.

We're looking for orderly growth and the promotion of infrastructure to handle it, Johnson said. We have an excellent water supply and good schools. Transportation is obviously one of the areas we need to consider.

The Chamber's Infrastructure Development Council will look for ways governments can work together or consolidate services as more of a metropolitan service district.

This would work a lot like the ESD (Education Service District) works for schools, he said. We don't all need a road grader all the time. There are ways governments can work together in coordinating parks or law enforcement. I'd certainly like to see the Chamber be a catalyst for this.

The Chamber's recently adopted five-year goals also include: Facilitating the exchange of business information for its members and the community. — — Creating school-business partnerships to grow and educate a quality workforce. — — Drafting a long-range resources management plan for the identification, accumulation and — use of resources to achieve its goals. —

Johnson, 41, graduated from Crater High School in 1974. He earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and political science at Oregon State University. He has been in real estate for 18 years.

Other new officers include president-elect Scott Morris of WP Natural Gas; treasurer Jamie Rayburn of Rayburn & Rayburn, Certified Public Accountants; and past president April Sevcik of General Credit Service.

Four vice presidents head working councils: Bill Anderberg of Answer Page, communications; architect David Straus, infrastructure development; Todd Thoreson of DoubleTree, regional networking; and Valerie Root of Sabroso Co., workforce development.