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May 15 primary election guide: Part 1

A look at the five candidates vying to take Position 1 on the Columbia County Board of Commissioners
by: Stover E. Harger III, Election: County race draws crowd.

Earl Fisher - Incumbent

JOB: Columbia County Commissioner. Elected in 2008.

BACKGROUND: Fisher, a retired Clatskanie educator, has served on a number of county governmental bodies, including the Port of St. Helens commission, the Columbia County Commission on Children and Families and the Clatskanie Fire Department.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: He is very proud of his efforts to bring local artwork to the county courthouse walls. He said he assisted in helping bring broadband Internet access to outlying areas in the county.

PROMISES: The county needs to 'face the reality' that things must change in the current economic climate, Fisher said. There are few dollars to go around, but Fisher said he would lead discussions on how to secure the county's financial future. He believes the rail line is a lifeline for the county and he would help make sure the county is open for businesses, by working with outside companies to provide incentives for opening up shop here.

Colleen Marie DeShazer

JOB: CEO of a construction and excavation company

BACKGROUND: A current Port of St. Helens commissioner, DeShazer has also served on various land use committees. She has worked as a tax consulting coordinator as well as for a property management company.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: At the Port of St. Helens, DeShazer said she has helped bring numerous jobs to Columbia County. Her experience crafting the Port's budget will aid her as a county commissioner, she said.

PROMISES: While she agrees that bringing jobs to Columbia County is very important, it's not the only significant matter here. As a commissioner she said she would work to improve human services in the county, including education and mental health. She does not believe the county should solely focus on cuts to secure the budget, but a deeper restructuring of job duties and departments.

Wayne Mayo

JOB: Contractor business owner

BACKGROUND: Mayo has been a property manager for 24 years and an account executive for Hasselblad Lumber. He served four years on the Scappoose Planning Commission, as well as three years on the St. Helens Park and Recreation Commission.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Mayo is proud to be an active resident of Columbia County, including spearheading three local measures and working to stop a pornography shop from opening in St. Helens.

PROMISES: Communicating with both federal and state government would be a priority for Mayo to make sure Columbia County is at the table in the national dialogue. The county is teetering on the edge right now, he said, and he would ensure the resources are shored up and money that we don't have won't be spent. He believes the county needs Sheriff rural patrols and better-quality roads.

Brady Norman Preheim

JOB: Owner of BradySoft/Preheim Computers

BACKGROUND: Preheim has been a software developer and has held other positions in the computer industry. He has been the chair of both CASA of Columbia County and the South Columbia Chamber of Commerce, which he settled a lawsuit with last year after he said he was unfairly disallowed from using a chamber meeting room.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Preheim said he learned leadership skills through his work with the FORD Leadership Program. He is also proud of his efforts to stop the permanent hospital tax with Measure 5-209.

PROMISES: He said he would be a voice of the taxpayers, making sure their money is well spent. Preheim said it is a commissioner's duty to 'police' special districts to safeguard public dollars, but he doesn't believe micromanaging is the key. He also believes the commission should be more available to the public and can accomplish this by changing meeting times to the evening and making public records availability a priority.

Terry Luttrell

JOB: Minster

BACKGROUND: Luttrell is a current Port of St. Helens commissioner. He previously worked for Boise Cascade and was in the Oregon National Guard from 1967 to 1974. He was also appointed to the Columbia County Planning Commission.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Through his work on the Port of St. Helens commission, Luttrell said he has a proven record of supporting business growth and job creation. He said he is also proud of his experience working on his family farm, which he believes provided him with the values of hard work and perseverance.

PROMISES: Luttrell said he would 'hit the ground running' as a commissioner, considering his time on the Port commission. He said he would help the county's financial situation through his knowledge of the budgeting process. To help bolster the county tax base by bringing in industry, Luttrell said he would 'do whatever it takes' to get companies to open up here, including providing incentives. He also said he would prioritize fixing county roadways.