Iris Chinook IVN Contributing Writer
James Schireman has stepped into the shoes of Ryan Nolan as the planner and geographic information systems specialist for the Rogue Valley Council of Governments. RVCOG is a voluntary association of 24 local jurisdictions, special districts, and education institutions in southwestern Oregon’s Jackson and Josephine counties. Its primary focus is to support local and regional problem solving and has helped the city of Cave Junction steer its building course for years.
Schireman, a native of Rogue Valley who grew up on 7 Oaks Farm in Central Point, brings a degree, an intimate knowledge of the area he will be serving and a passion for that work to his new position.
“My family has deep pioneer roots, with some members coming over at the start of the Oregon Trail, while others arrived later to settle areas such as Rice Hill,” said Schireman, adding, “If you count those who traveled over on the Trail as Oregonians, my family estimates that I would be the seventh-generation Oregonian in our family.”
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Schireman did leave the area for four years to get a degree in city and regional planning at Cal- Poly San Luis Obispo and is “excited to be back home and helping local communities plan for their future and make this area such a great place to live. My favorite part of working with RVCOG is getting to work with a wide array of towns and people. I particularly enjoy hearing everyone’s story, whether they’ve lived in Southern Oregon for decades or recently moved here, and hearing what aspects of the community they appreciate most. I always have had fond memories of stopping in town on the way to Jedediah Smith State Park for lunch at Taylor’s or a quick stop at Ray’s.”
Nolan, well-known to those in city council and planning meetings here in the Illinois Valley and other communities in Josephine and Jackson counties, will be taking over as a city administrator for Rogue River.
When asked about working with Mr. Nolan, Schireman said, “In my two months working with Ryan Nolan, his expertise, friendly demeanor, and professional reputation throughout local towns has helped highlight the importance of planners as civil servants. While I wish I had more time under his mentorship, I know that he’ll do an excellent job as a city administrator for Rogue River, and I look forward to working with him in that role in the future.”