The candidate forum held at the chamber luncheon last week is available at Coos Media Center. Incumbent Bob Main appears to believe that the county’s greatest salvation lies in cajoling Congress to continue subsidizing the timber counties and to turn over a million acres for clear cutting, create jobs he says and obviously glut the market with timber. The bill has no real chance of passing but Main implores the audience, at least three separate times, to contact your federal representatives so we can hire more deputies, fill the jails and have free dumping at the county waste site.
Fred Messerle, on the other hand has a list of what the county needs including less regulation and more resource extraction but offers no explanation of how to achieve any of these wishes, what the cumulative impacts might be or how they actually improve services. Messerle, fills in all these gaps though with his folksy “kick the can down the road”, “elephants in the living room” and “every ship needs a captain” metaphors and his famous “jaws of death” reference complete with arm gestures and by ending 90% of his sentences with the phrase “moving forward”. Messerle, once again appears to be confused about the county budget, pass through funds and the $20 million general fund.
Only Randy Sanne, obviously my pick in this race, has an actual budget plan put to paper that can be analyzed by the public and implemented without an act of Congress or legislative changes in Salem. According to Sanne, who managed a $70 million Dept of Defense budget, the county budget can be balanced with the resources at hand, in part by reorganizing how the budget is tracked.