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Since the candidates are glad to talk about why they should be re-elected, I offer this for a different point of view.
Reasons not to re-elect the two incumbent commissioner candidates.
Both commissioners who want to be re-elected for their $80,000 a year jobs and $40,000 in benefits and expenses have been in office for more than 10 years in one case, 6 in the other. As far as I know they are good at business, sociable, well-intentioned, and honorable in their personal lives, but as politicians they have failed the county in too many ways.
They will tell you that housing has been an issue for the entire time they have been in office. They will tell you how often they discuss the issue. But talking has solve nothing; the problem only gets worse.
I asked one of the incumbents who boasted of how a public works project brought over 100 jobs if the commissioners had a way to determine if spending some $70,000 per job created was worthwhile; what level were the jobs? How much would the new workers cost in services, housing demand, schools, etc. He said they didn’t do such calculations. (That this candidate says, “I’m the numbers person” seems delusional.) In other words, what taxpayers get or lose in such projects isn’t important and doesn’t matter.
On the proposed “Commons” (Fairgrounds renovations) they have simply been dishonest. They said they had explored other possible sites. Not true, they and their attorney finally admitted. They said it would pay for itself. But as early as 2014, their expensive consultants said it would lose money and still say so. (The cost of these consultants will likely run to over $1 million if the project continues.) The consultants and commissioners said there had been many interviews with county residents. The actual number? According to the consultants, they interviewed 35 people out of some 45,000 residents of this county. The commissioners have never had the property appraised. They have no idea how valuable this taxpayer-owned property is.
When the Community Rights organization proposed and passed a referendum to ban aerial spraying, the commissioners urged voters to vote no, but they never tried to meet with the group and reach a mutually satisfactory conclusion. Nor have they since offered any alternative policy to protect citizens.
In short, we’ve had ineffective commissioners who are economically naïve, spendthrift, sometimes politically dishonest. They’re not bad men – just run of the mill politicians. Four qualified and interesting candidates oppose the worn out incumbents. We’re going to pay each commissioner over $100,000 a year to spend our money wisely and protect our health and safety. Is choosing more of the same an option?