Bellamy refiles for county position


   Longtime Jefferson County Commissioner Bill Bellamy is once again tossing his hat in the ring for re-election to his seat on the three-person board of commissioners.
   The Culver Republican, who is currently serving as commission chairman, was elected to the commission in 1996, and took office in 1997.
   "I'm enjoying it," said Bellamy, adding that the position "wasn't very enjoyable," for a while, as the former commission dealt with publicized personality and policy conflicts, as well as fallout from Measure 37.
   Since 2007, there have been fewer controversies for the current commission, which also includes Mike Ahern and John Hatfield. "We debate the issues and get on with it," he said.
   "The most frustrating issue I've dealt with is Measure 37 and 49," he said, referring to the statewide land-use measure passed in 2004, and modified in 2007.
   "Measure 49 answered some questions, but for every question it answered, it probably created another one," Bellamy said. "We're still trying to find some light at the end of the tunnel."
   On the horizon, he expects the county to begin assessing its building needs and setting aside funds for construction.
   "Money is going to be tight," he said. "We've had a real slow down in building permits, so we've had some major restructuring to do as far as community development."
   "Fiscally," Bellamy continued, "we've been OK, and we still are. It's a real challenge to continue to be competitive in our wages and benefits for our county employees."
   Bellamy, 58, moved to Jefferson County 36 years ago to do student teaching with the agriculture teacher at Culver High School. When the teacher resigned the following year, he was the natural replacement.
   A real estate agent for the past 27 years, Bellamy is currently a broker at Coldwell Banker Dick Dodson Realty. He also has a cow/calf operation on 100 acres of irrigated land in Culver.
   This year, Bellamy is president of the Association of Oregon Counties and chairman of the Central Oregon Advisory Committee on Transportation.