Meet the candidates: Marion County Commissioners Position 1
The following candidates are running for party nominations for the Marion County Board of Commissioners. The primary election is May 20.
Relevant experience: Salem City Councilor since 2009
Why are you running? I made the decision to run for county commissioner because I believe our citizens deserve a commissioner who listens and understands their concerns and is ready to go to work on their behalf.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the county? 1. We need more living-wage jobs. 2. We need to increase education and skills training to prepare our students for the work force and provide opportunities for the unemployed, underemployed and veterans. 3. We need to ensure our transportation infrastructure is adequate to support the needs of commerce, commuters and tourism and the general needs of the community, as well as transportation options that can ensure access to jobs, health care and other resources.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing Northern Marion County (specifically Woodburn)? 1. There is a need for more living-wage jobs. 2. We need to find a way to balance the needs of agricultural land use with opportunities for commercial and industrial growth. 3. We need to support educational opportunities that help our students achieve success and prepare them to be successful productive members of the work force.
What three things would you like to see accomplished if elected? I would like to see quality economic development and job growth combined with work force skills training, careful use of financial resources and actively engage with our many diverse communities to ensure everyone has a voice in county government.
Name three reasons why you are the best candidate for the job: I have lived and worked in nearly every community in the county for nearly 26 years, including currently working in Woodburn, and understand the uniqueness and character of our different communities and different needs they each have. On Salem City Council, I have been a collaborator and team builder and will bring that kind of leadership to county government. Drawing from my experience living and working in the county and hands-on community-based leadership on the city council, I will bring a fresh perspective to the county government.
Hobbies/Interests: Spending time with my family, football, travel, reading, playing keyboards and guitar, visiting different parks.
Relevant experience: Founder/CEO Cafe Today Restaurants; state representative. Occupational background: Hospitality management; small business development; ranch hand; five terms as state representative. House committees: Business and Labor vice chair, Land Use vice chair, Rural Communities vice chair, Judiciary. House Republican Leader 2011-2012; Over the last nine years, I have served the citizens of South Salem, Turner and Aumsville in the Legislature as their state representative. I am currently serving out my fifth term. For 19 years, I have owned and operated small businesses, primarily in the restaurant industry. It was this experience running a business, battling government regulations and inefficient use of our tax dollars that motivated me to run for the Legislature in the first place.
Why are you running? To help lead our communities in creating environments that will encourage economic development. We have many rural areas suffering in poverty and we must find ways to encourage business development and growth. Jobs will lift all of us up.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing the county? 1. Poverty, lack of upward economic mobility. 2. Preserving our agriculture-based economy while fostering other forms of economic growth in todays slow economy. 3. Maintaining public safety infrastructure.
What do you think are the three biggest issues facing Northern Marion County (specifically Woodburn)? 1. The land use issue to allow further industrial development out in the I-5 corridor. It continues to be tied up in the courts. 2. Completing the I-5 interchange safely, on time and on budget. 3. North Marion County faces challenges with sheriff patrols in communities outside the Woodburn area.
What three things would you like to see accomplished if elected? 1. Using existing resources, develop a strong economic development obstacles/solutions team. 2. Be an ambassador for a continued strong public safety system, patrol, courts, re-entry, etc. so people feel safe and secure. 3. Help match job opportunities to a skilled, educated work force.
Name three reasons why you are the best candidate for the job: 1. Lifetime of business leadership, ownership and leading others to be successful. 2. Experience of collaboration, problem solving, compromise to get things done. 3. Good listener, relationship builder, with a strong understanding of financial realities.
Hobbies/Interests: Family time, lake time, church family, small personal remodeling projects and gardening.