Election 2014: Meet the candidates for Marion County Comissioner Position 2
The following candidates are running for party nominations for the Marion County Board of Commissioners. The primary election is May 20.
Relevant experience: Marion County Commissioner (2003-present); president of Association of Oregon Counties; chair, Mid-Valley Behavioral Care Network; vice chair, Jobs Council; chair, Local Government Advisory Committee to DHS and OHA; Northwest Senior and Disability Services Budget Committee; Oregon State Fair Council; state representative (2001-02)
Why are you running? Im running for re-election because I want to continue the good work that is making a difference for Marion County residents, like strengthening public safety, re-energizing the Marion County Fair and assuring accountability for tax dollars. I also want to sustain the strong, steady leadership that has exemplified Marion County for the past decade.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the county? 1. County budget Marion County has sustained core services through this economic recession, but we continue to face challenges. 2. Solid waste system After 30 years of managing our nationally-recognized solid waste system, the countys contract with Covanta for the Waste-to-Energy facility in Brooks expired. Marion County recently negotiated a short-term contract, which buys us some time to work on what the long-term future looks like. 3. Health and mental health care For many years, Marion County has delivered excellent services for people with mental illness. The challenge is how these services will continue to be delivered as people are added to the Oregon Health Plan, Medicaid dollars become tighter and state and federal expectations increase.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing Northern Marion County (specifically Woodburn)? All of the above plus one more (I know thats four!): Resolving state and county roles in delivering juvenile justice services. These services are of particular interest to Woodburn because of the proximity of the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility to this community.
What three things would you like to see accomplished if elected? 1. Gain efficiencies in county services For example, I initiated a Lean pilot program at Marion County last year which resulted in reduced wait time for citizens applying for concealed weapons permits. 2. Strengthen public safety Sustain the Marion County Re-entry Initiative. As a result, recidivism has dropped from 33 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2013. 3. Promote a skilled work force.
Name three reasons why you are the best candidate for the job: 1. I am a high energy leader, not afraid to fight the good fight to represent my constituents interests. 2. I have more than 11 years experience as a commissioner and two years experience as a state representative. 3. I have a proven track record of results.
Hobbies/Interests: Family, church, music.
Relevant experience: Transportation officer, U.S. Army; production supervisor, Pillsbury and Smuckers; human resources manager, Smuckers; claims adjuster, SAIF
Why are you running? I am running because I am very concerned that the county commissioners are out of touch with the average citizen of Marion County. Examples of this are the approval of the Coordinated Care Organization contract for Marion County (bringing Obamacare and Cover Oregon to our county), closure of the Woodburn and Stayton justice courts to consolidate services with the Salem court and failure to keep promises made to the taxpayers that rates would be reduced when the bond for the Brooks trash burning plant was paid off. Each of these has shown a lack of regard for what the citizens want and were passed against the wishes of their constituents.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the county? 1. Health care With the continued growth, it will at some point become unsustainable and they will have to cut services drastically or raise taxes significantly. The current contract needs to be looked at and the commissioners need to fight for what is best for the citizens of Marion County. 2. There is a lack of transparency in the way that decisions are made. 3. The closure of the two justice courts in Woodburn and Stayton and move to consolidate them with the Salem court, is a move to centralize services. It reduces access for citizens to their government.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing Northern Marion County (specifically Woodburn)? Increased sheriff presence, justice court closure and health care.
What three things would you like to see accomplished if elected? 1. Encourage greater citizen participation in the decisions made in Marion County. 2. Work for smaller government to preserve individual liberty. 3. Make better financial decisions to protect the taxpayers. If the Courthouse Square building issues had been addressed in a timely manner, then the responsible parties could have been required to make the needed repairs. Instead, it cost the taxpayers millions of dollars to repair.
Name three reasons why you are the best candidate for the job: 1. I have a diverse background with proven leadership. 2. We need to look for ways to bring nonprofit and private companies in to provide services rather than growing government. I have worked in all of these areas and will work to build relationships. 3. I will listen to all citizens and value their input.
Hobbies/Interests: Watching my daughter play volleyball, photography, scrapbooking and volunteering in the band program at Salem Academy, where my daughter plays the flute.
Relevant experience: Board of directors of the Aurora Colony Museum; Chancellor Commander of the Hermes Lodge of the Knights of Pythias and occasional presider/preacher at Christ Lutheran Church in Aurora; Woodburn Democrats chair; representative for Precinct 815; president of a leading quality assurance company; Masters of Divinity in May 2013; chaplain at Aurora truck stop and a volunteer at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility.
Why are you running? To live out my gospel values: to help the poor and the sick, to uphold the moral hopes of the people and to lead by example.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the county? 1. Trying to find satisfactory paid work making things and services of value. 2. An aging population making a lot less money. 3. Educating and retaining a future work force of excellence to make a more prosperous future.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing Northern Marion County (specifically Woodburn)? 1. Lack of living-wage jobs (specifically manufacturing and technical jobs). 2. Provision for comprehensive senior support systems, including the possibility of bringing good hospital facilities into Woodburn. 3. Need for train to stop in Woodburn and strong public transportation in the county.
What three things would you like to see accomplished if elected? 1. Support initiatives in Marion County which will bring living-wage jobs to the people. 2. Improving care for senior citizens and disabled, providing levels of care that match peoples declining care and capabilities. The lack of these levels, and their affordability, concerns me.
3. I will initiate a review of child welfare in Marion County and also look at the well-being and care of workers in our fields and factories to ensure that lawful norms of behavior are observed. As a county commissioner, I will uphold the law.
Hobbies/Interests: In order to keep my balance, I practice stand-up and improv comedy in Salem and Portland.