BEND, OR -- After eight years as a Deschutes County Commissioner, Alan Unger is leaving. Republican Phil Henderson defeated Unger in the November election and will be sworn in as Commissioner, January third.
Unger admits election night was tough, but he's looking forward. "People wanted change. So, I just need to respect that and move on. I'll tell you, I've enjoyed working for Deschutes County and serving the people here. I think I've done a lot of good things to help us manage the growth we have, both in Redmond and Deschutes County. And, try to help protect those things that we enjoy, which is our natural resources and just mange how we get from one community to the next."
Prior to being elected to the Board of County Commissioners, Unger was the Mayor of Redmond for eight years. Before that, he was a Redmond City Councilor. He tells KBND News he got a lot accomplished during his time in government. "I think a collaborative approach is the way we get things done. I've always tried to lead from the middle, that way you bring people in from both sides, find out what is in common and then you've got a place build from to get to where you want to go. You don't necessarily get there in one jump, but you can get closer by taking several jumps to get to where you want to be." He adds, "I still want to be engaged in that. There's a program called 'Better Together,' that brings school districts in, the teaching they do in community colleges with business. We need to create a strong, robust system that gives our children a path. They need to be successful."
Unger is still considering his next move, and has not ruled out a future run for office. "I need to be looking at things like being a consultant and looking for those things I can add value to. I'm not ready to retire, so the challenge is 'how do you put yourself out there in a way where people want to support you with that effort.'"