Eder Praises Washington County Foresight

CFM Partner Norm Eder inherited another "day" job filling in for the former executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance.CFM Partner Norm Eder has his hands full these days, including as the hands-on president of the Westside Economic Alliance.

WEA Executive Director Jonathan Schlueter left to become government relations manager for Washington County, leaving Eder, who was elected president last year, in charge. In addition to leading the search for Schlueter's full-time replacement, Eder is pitching in to keep WEA's activities on track.

The Oregonian quoted Eder in a piece over the weekend that focused on Washington County's economic success as a result of innovative, yet pragmatic decision-making.

"Washington County was much more successful than Clackamas County," Eder told The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes, "in the mundane work of consolidating water and sewer services. That put Washington County in a better position to capture high-tech investment."

Eder also praised Washington County's bipartisanship and emphasis on consensus over conflict. WEA contributes to that attitude by putting business leaders and local elected officials around the same table to discuss key economic issues facing the county.

"There isn't anything magic about Washington County's success," he says. "The secret to that success is looking ahead, settling on a common vision and taking action to make that vision a reality."

A major part of Eder's public affairs practice at CFM is devoted to consulting on sewer and water issues. "The issues can be technical and complex," he observes, "but usually the right answer emerges by good, old-fashioned listening."

In addition to his two "day" jobs, Eder is a long-time faculty member at Pacific Northwest College of Art. His Ph.D. is in art history. For relaxation, Eder gardens, builds sailboats and ukuleles and shoots photographs.