Presently MGx is under some fair amount of pressure to switch horses and support Bob Main in the fall if only to avert undo influence upon the county by puppet masters like SCDC, the Coquille Tribe and the CCAP, et al… Even though I believe seating Messerle for another four years will be a complete disaster and hasten the demise of Coos County I am having a real struggle with the concept of voting for the lesser of two evils. In other words I want Main to regain my trust and earn my vote and so far these last two years he hasn’t done either.
Before I get into their similarities there is speculation that Messerle’s 6,700 primary votes represent 90% or more of the total support he can expect in Coos County. In other words, all his supporters voted in the primary. Despite a cumulative record campaign spending approaching $60,000 just 12,000 of 33,500 people bothered to vote which at $5 per vote is an unmitigated failure. This was one of the lowest turnouts in years but the November presidential general election will bring out more voters, perhaps twice as many. Most of these voters are not expected to vote for Messerle because of perceived character issues that include ignoring state rules and regulations within his business and running against Main after Main appointed him, (twice), to the commission.
Main has perceived character problems as well that go way back but were highlighted when he didn’t support appointing Larry Van Elsberg to replace the late Andy Jackson. Van Elsberg received 14,000 votes and only lost to Nikki Whitty by 6 points yet Main ignored the people and formed a selection committee to “involve the public” to instead insert his then friend and now Messerle collaborator, Cam Parry. Main erred again when he ignored Randy Sanne who applied for Whitty’s position after her death because Sanne had already demonstrated publicly his extensive knowledge of the county budget system. Instead, Main actively maneuvered another sham of a selection committee toward Messerle when his first choice, Don Peabody, had a conflict and Main was fined for violating public meetings law in the process.
Both Main and Messerle demonstrate disdain for public participation and although they do it differently it is clear they both believe they already know what is best and their minds are made up in advance. Both candidates have horrible records on environmental issues with Messerle terming his approach to long term issues as “resource management” when his approach is more akin to resource exploitation than management. Main is no better, he espouses the Oregon Forest Practices Act without regard to its proven effects on fish bearing streams and the entire forest water filtration system and didn’t even read the evidence presented during the recent oyster remand. In fact Main relied entirely upon the hearings officer’s findings and then proudly demonstrated that he hadn’t reviewed the evidence at campaign forums infuriating people who actually know what’s in the record.
Both men have presided over and contributed to enormous turmoil fueled by both of their egos starting with Adam Colby and running all the way through the structure and governance advisory committees. Neither have administered the county calmly or with a steady hand.
Main hasn’t lifted a finger to save the Beaver Hill Disposal Site while Messerle along with his cohort Parry have worked actively to destroy it. Both candidates have sat passively while Parry has either spewed onto the public record provably false statements about the BLM, timber management costs, wetlands mitigation and other blather or abused members of the public trying to contribute to their own governance. Probably the only thing I can say that Main has done is hold out against ORC using mineral leases on county land as security for foreign bank loans. Beyond that I am having a difficult time seeing much difference between the two men.
All MGx can do is share what both men are doing and to the best of my ability show how their actions affect the citizens and let the voters decide but if Main wants my vote he will have to earn my respect and give me more than a six-to-one-half-dozen-of-the-other choice in November. In a nutshell the voters deserve some quid pro quo that goes beyond just derailing Messerle’s climb to the board.