Issues & InformationBorn to a second generation Oregonian, Jo Beaudreau spent her childhood in Nevada City, California, population approx. 3,000. It was there, in a quaint historic town with qualities much like Florence, she learned the small-town focus that would eventually bring her to this point of her political career. Jo earned a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude degree from San Jose State University in Photography with a minor in American Studies. She was recognized with the prestigious Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Women in Leadership award for young women pursuing leadership roles.
Once in Florence, Jo knew she was home. She has actively worked toward the betterment of the community. In her political and community service career in Florence, she has been a leader and collaborative team member on many Florence focused projects such as:
Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Board
Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Beautification and Revitalization Team, Banner Team Chair
Florence Area Chamber of Commerce Board Member & Active Chamber Member
City of Florence Transportation Systems Plan Update Ad-Hoc Committee
Shop Small AmEX Campaigns Champion
City of Florence Public Arts Committee, Founding Member and Vice-Chair
Siuslaw Vision, Past Co-Chair and Team Member
Kiwanis Club of Florence 321, Member
Rhododendron Coronation Committee Member
Florence Events Center Gallery Committee, Chair
She owns and operates a successful retail business, BeauxArts Fine Art Materials, and has always believed in giving back to this community she calls home.
Jo Beaudreau will keep what is great about Florence with a keen eye and commitment to the future.
Committed - Enthusiastic - Experienced - Problem Solver - Community Advocate
Siuslaw News Candidate Questions:
What is your vision of Florence as it is now, where it should go, and why are you best qualified to help lead the city into the future?
My Vision is our Vision - what the people of Florence want. While we may not always agree on things, we need to be able to express ideas, thoughts, desires, understandings, and respect. We are all at different life stages and have important values to share.
Communities and people evolve. The six umbrella areas of importance highlighted by residents in 2016 in the Siuslaw Vision – Working, Educated, Happy, Active, Creative, Connected People — remain relevant today. These ideals, which are also reflected in the City’s Vision and Mission, are vital in leading our City into the future.
I am best qualified to lead Florence because of my many volunteer activities and community connections made through the years. Combined with my prior governmental experience in policy making and operations, along with occupational experience as an Entrepreneur, University and Arts Administrator, this provides me with the necessary skill set, motivation, and knowledge to serve our community now and to establish a launch pad for our future.
As your next City Councilor, I offer positivity, collaboration, partnership, and a fresh way to look at our City’s future.
Florence has experienced housing shortages and a decreased workforce. One resident asked: “What are the impediments preventing change, how can those be resolved and how dedicated is the city to making genuine, collaborative change happen?”
The City’s ad-hoc Housing Implementation Plan Project committee has been working hard to address pieces of the housing puzzle that affect so many of us and members of our community. This committee was developed to research and provide recommendations to Council and the City over the next year to create and implement policy changes. You can help now by taking this survey by 10/17/22: bit.ly/HIPHousingSurvey. Survey results will be presented on November 10th at the Housing Implementation Open House at the Florence Events Center at 5:30pm. Learn more about this event HERE. Project information HERE
Having community members – like you – participate, voice concerns, and share ideas and experiences, provides meaningful data to develop policy solutions which can be implemented to alleviate housing shortages.
Policy upgrades could include: zoning and building code updates, such as mindful upzoning; clarifying regulatory procedures and removing barriers; building incentives through permits, tax abatements, and exemptions; using innovative materials and design/architecture; providing funding opportunity resources, public education, and involvement in policy creation; holding conversations; and creating short-term rental policies. These measures can be taken while being mindful of empowering our community by turning our focus to solutions.
Another resident commented about housing shortages and the social issues the arise from it. “This has happened because of the disconnect between seniors/retirees that tend to be much better off financially and the younger people of town that are predominantly the workforce here. City government and the ‘powers that be’ have long appeased one group yet ignored the growing needs of the other.”
Do you agree or disagree with the comment? If elected, how would you work to address this viewpoint and build consensus for all in the community?
I am one of many in the workforce in Florence, helping make our City the most incredible place to live and flourish. Daily, I strive to be a catalyst for fellow community members to get involved. I encourage agency and share information and resources with community members, no matter their age, life experience, or background.
I do believe there is a disconnect between generations simply due to personal perceptions and where we are in life. Acknowledging there is a disconnect and doing our best to provide equity will bring more balance for all community members.
By being curious, we develop deeper connections, trust and solutions - together. Asking questions, being open to educating oneself, and helping others along the way lets us avoid getting caught up in stereotypes. By being curious, we break down stereotypes and expose the kindness and caring that Florence is truly known for.
When discussing hot topics, we sometimes use the same terms in different ways; meanings can also evolve with time. By making sure we are on the same page with definitions, and seeking clarification and understanding, we can find common ground. Solutions can also be identified with the help of a mediator, if needed.
Work sessions, open houses, town halls, individual meetings, and forums are ways that the Council can build community consensus.
In a conversation with Siuslaw News, one business leader said: “Polarization is just killing us. It's what's killing our economy. If you elect somebody, who actually is willing to work with people across the aisle to get something done — they don't get reelected, because their constituents are pissed off that they crossed the aisle. So then they don't cross the aisle. It's like cutting off your nose to spite your face.”
If elected, will you openly discuss partisan issues with the goal of creating nonpartisan outcomes, ensuring all community members have a voice in the decision making process, and that differing viewpoints are reflected in city decisions?
Florence City Council members are non-partisan positions. The issues that most community members are focused on are housing, jobs, and the environment. These are nonpartisan issues and addressing them will help the entire City.
I believe there are pros and cons, causes and effects, and balance to every issue; including creating unintended consequences. The whole picture must be considered to make effective decisions. As a Councilor, I will instill a culture of exploring, understanding, and dialogue with diverse groups of people, while showing no preference for any specific ideology. When making decisions, I seek information, experiences, options, and opinions from others. I am an advocate for more transparency and documentation, beyond financial conflicts of interest, relevant to Council, committee, and City policies.
Encouraging community members to seek various points of view, provide input, and be involved in guiding policy and decision making is what makes a community, and local government, thrive. I have seen and experienced how local government works for the people when policy makers listen to their constituents. That is what I intend to do as your Councilor.
I believe in fiscal responsibility. We have a Limited amount of revenue and we must spend accordingly, State law mandates that we balance our City’s budget!
Internally the council, mayor & staff all meet to collaborate with all departments and receive recommendations then we decide on what items will be funded and added to the budget. In all cases we monitor the results and act accordingly as responsible stewards of all city finances. The City tracks the costs and performances of the recipients then reports back to all parties involved in the program. This is especially true with grants which become more complicated when the sources include partnerships with feds, state, county, city & nonprofits, which is a more common trend nowadays.
I currently run a success business. I've also helped administrate various fiscal accounts and grants from organizational, event/programing awards to multiple decade long NIH grants and their reporting.
What would you identify as the opportunities and limitations of the position you are seeking?
Being involved with local government is a foundational opportunity in providing community leadership and a voice. As City Councilor, I can help facilitate and successfully complete many City goals while working with fellow community members, Council and City Staff. Within the four year Council term, because governments traditionally operate at a different pace than the private sector, some short term goals may not be accomplished. However, the community can continue building and moving toward these results. Groundwork laid will serve as a launch pad for the future.
If elected, what do you see as your most important objectives for the upcoming term?
Under my leadership as a nonpartisan Council Member, I will strive for consensus among fellow Council Members and promote understanding within the City’s diverse population. I will continue to build trust through dialogue and thoughtful, involved action. I intend to focus on issues such as housing, catalyzing and supporting economic drivers for our area, ecological balance, policies and procedures. In doing so, I will help our community’s vitality and support common goals that will bring Florence to the next level of success.
What do you anticipate being the biggest challenges?
Going into a new position is never easy. I recognize there will be growing pains and adjustments to be made. These adjustments provide a unique opportunity to learn and expand horizons, not only for myself, but for fellow members of our community. Additionally, we face challenges together such as finding solutions for our housing disparities, workforce development and enrichment, building community trust, and promoting understanding with our dynamic population.
What do you see as your most important role as an elected official?
I believe the Councilor's role is not only to work on policy, but also to facilitate and be a conduit for the community to collaborate with people who make this city a wonderful place to live, work and play. I has the utmost respect for the legacy of past City leaders and am committed to work for a positive outcome for the whole community.