Position two candidate, Tim Bishop, told the AFT forum audience last week that none of the candidates were qualified to administer the county and that he wants to be a part time commissioner and continue running his business. One of his main goals is to hire an administrator or manager because “that’s how the school boards and cities do it”. The fact that many municipalities are on the verge of insolvency despite having a manager, or that the Coos Bay schools are operating on four day weeks despite a central superintendent or that the CEO managed Port of Coos Bay has blown through hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars with nothing to show for it does not deter Bishop’s opinion. The county is better off, in his view, with volunteers and amateurs sitting on the commission but who are nonetheless somehow qualified to select and hire a professional administrator.
Bishop is effectively running for a commissioner position that does not exist in Coos County.
Bishop also believes that a suggestion floated by former port CEO Jeff Bishop for an educational foundation funded by Jordan Cove is apparently a done deal. Perhaps he will produce the signed paperwork confirming this corporate charity and largesse. Bishop also notes that the Jordan Cove LNG project will “fund our urban renewal districts”. Unfortunately there is no empirical evidence to support that urban renewal districts accomplish their stated goals or provide a positive return on the taxpayer investment but that wouldn’t bother Bishop because he is still proud of his role in the $51 million 12″ pipeline that promised 2,900 jobs and instead encumbered the property owners and the county with millions of dollars in liability.
Candidate Kermit Gaston takes issue with Bishop’s claim that no one is qualified for the job and he makes a good point that everyone has something to offer. However, in Bishop’s case I would have to agree the man isn’t qualified to be a commissioner.