As a proud member of the McKenzie River community, Heather Buch has been there for us more than any other elected leaders. Showing both compassion and leadership when we needed it the most. When the fires hit our community in Sept of 2020, Buch showed up on Day One. She observed the damage and started conversations of how to build back our homes and community. At the same time she was very responsive when resources were asked for she would follow through.
Buch helped us navigate bureaucracy and get through the red tape to rebuild our homes in the fires, with a reduced tax rate, and giving us the room to breathe after a horrible disaster. Overall, I felt everything would be okay, because of her leadership. She helped coordinate multiple state and federal agencies, including the Oregon Department of Transportation, FEMA and the Environmental Protection Agency. The clean up effort had to be completed before property owners were able to assess their land and plan for rebuilding.
Buch showed empathy, and we need more of that from local leaders these days. Besides the destruction of homes, properties, and belongings, fires leave behind hazardous wastes that need to be treated and disposed of properly, including asbestos from buildings, piles of ash and debris, and damaged trees that pose safety risks. With these complications she was a steadfast leader.