GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Josephine County is turning to its youth for answers on how to solve the county’s financial problems. High school debate teams argued several issues on Saturday morning, while county officials listened in.
Four debate teams from around the Rogue Valley took turns voicing different solutions to the counties problems. The debate teams spoke on several issues ranging from the possibility of multi-tiered tax districts to the value of natural resources including timber and minerals.
County officials and citizens alike are saying any input from the community will come in handy in the long run. They are now turning to high school debate teams for answers to the county’s financial crisis.
This is the first time area high schools have debated actual issues affecting the county. The idea was created back in the spring, but some teams only had two weeks to research their assigned topic. Debate leaders encouraged their students to create compelling arguments backed with evidence.
The Josephine County Sheriff along with the Grants Pass mayor were in attendance. Mayor Darin Fowler says the debate brought up new ideas and different approaches to existing issues including the multi-tier tax districts.
The debate was hosted by a citizen action group in Grants Pass called Securing Our Safety. The Josephine County Commissioners were not in attendance the debate, but Securing Our Safety did videotape the debate and took notes; they plan on giving that information to the commissioners.