August 9, 2017 Newsletter

Rich Vial

August 9, 2017 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Here is an update on my work as your State Representative.

Your Voice Your Vote

July 30, 2017

On July 30th, I appeared for the third time alongside fellow freshman Representative Janelle Bynum on the KATU News program, Your Voice Your Vote.  This time, Representative Bynum and I were asked to provide a post-session review of important legislation that was passed during the 2017 Regular Session, including the transportation package, the K-12 education budget, and a troublesome new sales tax on healthcare services.  I have enjoyed participating in this program with Representative Bynum and, while she and I do not always agree on policy, I appreciate her willingness to come to the table and engage in civil discourse about the issues and challenges facing Oregonians.  You can watch this segment online by clicking here.  In case you missed them, you can also watch our pre-session and mid-session updates by clicking here and here, respectively.

In the Capitol

AV Workgroup OTC Testimony

On July 20th, Representative Susan McLain and I provided the Oregon Transportation Commission with an update regarding the Autonomous Vehicles Work Group that she and I co-chair and were tasked with leading this past session. Autonomous vehicle technology is becoming increasingly more prevalent around the country, and it is important that we act as soon as possible to develop a framework for how it will be tested and eventually deployed on Oregon roadways.

In the District


On July 12th and 13th, I attended meetings of the Westside Economic Alliance’s Committees on Transportation and Government Relations, where the topics of discussion included the Transportation Package, PERS, and ensuring that our state government uses its resources effectively and efficiently. I appreciate the WEA’s members for all they did this session to advocate on behalf of businesses in our region, and I look forward to working with them in the future to continue those efforts.

Washington County Fair

This past week, our family was able to spend some quality time together at the annual Washington County Fair. On July 27th, member of our local 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs who raised Market Steers this last year had an opportunity to show them, which our family has been doing for more than 30 years. This year, six of our grandchildren participated in the competition, in which Anders won Grand Champion, Ava won Reserve Champion, Sierra won Grand Champion Shorthorn, and Maddie, Kennedy, and Bree won their classes in showmanship. The event culminates every year with a public auction where the kids sell their steers to earn money for college. Makes a grandpa proud!

Events that bring our communities together like these are very rewarding for me. As a former Chair of the Washington County Fair Board, I also recognize the extraordinary amount of work that goes into organizing them. I would like to thank those who currently serve on the Fair Board and all the other volunteers that helped to make this year’s Washington County Fair a success.

8-1-2017 Town Hall

On August 1st, I held a town hall meeting at the Sherwood Center for the Arts. About 65 people attended the meeting, including Sherwood Mayor Krisanna Clark, Sherwood City Councilors Sally Robinson, Sean Garland, and Kim Young, and Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen. I provided attendees with a post-session update and answered their questions about important legislation that was passed during the 2017 Regular Session like the transportation package and issues such as healthcare and PERS. Thanks to those who came out for being engaged in the legislative process and thanks to the City of Sherwood for hosting us!

Police Chief Groth

August 1st was also National Night Out, which takes place around the country on the first Tuesday of every August.  The purpose of this event is to raise awareness for local law enforcement and promote safer communities.  This year, Sherwood’s Chief of Police, Jeff Groth, and the rest of the Sherwood Police Department organized a fun gathering at Cannery Square in Old Town Sherwood, which I was able to stop by before heading to our town hall meeting.  Last month, I was pleased to see Sherwood, as well as Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard, and Tualatin, on a list of Oregon cities with the least amount of crime, which you can view by clicking here.  Data like this reminds me of just how fortunate we are to live in communities with outstanding public safety officials.  Thank you to those who work so hard every day to keep us safe.

Personal Reflections

Spending more time on the farm with Paula and the rest of our family has been a welcome break since we adjourned the 2017 Regular Session last month.  I actually feel like I am beginning to catch up, although my August trip to Bolivia to spot some rare birds is pushing my time management skills to the max!

A couple of weeks ago, Paula talked me into attending my 45th High School Reunion in Grants Pass.  I am not naturally comfortable with these types of events, but I am really glad we went.  While it was sad to see how many of my classmates have passed away, many others are living fruitful and productive lives.  Sharing stories of success and failure over the past 45 years with them reinforced how lucky I am to have the life I do and reminded me just how common many of the experiences we all have in this human endeavor really are.

Water Pump Failure

On July 31st, back on the farm, we suffered a catastrophic failure of our water pump. When you live outside of a community water supply area, you come to rely on private wells for many of your daily needs. It is hard to overstate just how important these are for rural communities. Special thanks to Hillsboro Pump Service Pipe & Supply for their immediate attention to our problem and to those who labored into the night, extracting 200 plus feet of old pipeline to get to the pump and replace it. They went above and beyond!

As always, I welcome your input, value your perspective, and urge you to share your views in the coming months leading up to the 2018 Regular Session by contacting my office.  It is a privilege to serve as your State Representative.



Capitol Phone: 503-986-1426
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-484, Salem, Oregon 97301