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Is there any real difference between Main and Messerle?

Is there any real difference between Main and Messerle?

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.

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About magix

When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.


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39 Responses to "Is there any real difference between Main and Messerle?"

  1. MarkM  May 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Well, it didn’t take long to get around to the two favorite punching bags. Everybody feel better now? Some fresh ideas about how to make things better would be nice, but apparently way too much to ask for around here. There are some interesting and important issues in this very thread. But no, all roads really do lead to Rome. Here’s a real question:

    What is the big idea that can turn Coos County around?

    Oops. You probably should have ignored that.

  2. magix  May 22, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Who the hell is Barton anyway? He has no significant traceable history to give him any credibility except what he tells people. Pettit is equally obscure and neither Barton nor Pettit have offered concrete evidence to support their administrator desires

  3. themguys  May 22, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    I’m sorry M, I didn’t see your post before I posted. He’s like a fly in your bedroom on Saturday Morning when you want to sleep in. I hope Barton is kind to him, he did try, even though he fails miserably, he be a good boy.

  4. themguys  May 22, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    “The only poster on here who has engaged in anything approaching thoughtful conversation is JonB. (Is that Jon Barton? I don’t know. And I really don’t care. I’m more interested in his ideas.) No other poster has offered me much BESIDES attacks or denigration (Hi coosbayb).”


    We come here to bitch because it’s the only voice many of us have in this damn county Mark. We don’t participate in weekly circle jerks like the rest of you, who are shocked when you have to deal with the people who are working to support those Messerlies and Bartons . Where the hell did the funds come from for their new vanity offices downtown Mark? Which they rode in on SCDC’s Magic carpet telling the poor fools (us) it was to bring visitors in. BS. Another project paid for by other people.

    These people are leeches on societies ass Mark, and you are twisting yourself into nothingness to please them. It’s making you look even more foolish Mark. Jon Barton uses you like a court jester, and that’s how you look. If you want to play with the big boys, why are you here? Complain? GDamned right we complain Mark, and if you had any moral compass, which you don’t, you would realize people in this county are hurting, hurting a lot. And you choose to do the bidding of those you perceive as somehow successful. It’s easy to be successful like Barton, Messerlie, Al Pettit, when you know you have a slush fund of other people’s money Mark. They are parasites.

    And you are here, exactly why?

  5. MarkM  May 21, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Yeah, sure. Why not? I don’t have anything bad to say about Dan Smith.

  6. magix  May 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Oh, it happened Mark but obviously I was too subtle.

    To everyone else, I know its hard but I strongly recommend ignoring MarkM

  7. MarkM  May 21, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    I must have been sick the day I was cautioned about bullying. Nevah happened.

    If you think I’m bullying you because I point out that your defenseless idea is, well, defenseless, then you either need to find a thicker skin or a better argument. I’d prefer the latter.

    The only poster on here who has engaged in anything approaching thoughtful conversation is JonB. (Is that Jon Barton? I don’t know. And I really don’t care. I’m more interested in his ideas.) No other poster has offered me much BESIDES attacks or denigration (Hi coosbayb). I don’t find it hurtful in the least, but it is very disappointing. I admit I took a swipe at Bob Main, but deservedly so, imo. Any Main defenders? Let’s hear it. Of course, Kay/themguys wouldn’t ever have anything to post if she followed the “Don’t say anything if you can’t say anything nice” rule — especially about me. It’s hard to be anything but dismissive towards her because there is really no there there. C’mon, Kay. Step up your game.

    It seems all anyone wants to do here is complain, then attack and denigrate whomever is on the menu — Cam Parry, Jon Barton, Al Petit, both Messerles, and so on ad nauseum. Today’s flavor of the week is Dan Smith. OK, knock yourselves out.

    But anytime anything worth talking about shows up here, posters run from it like the plague.

    So you want to run a write in campaign? Great. You better get started because you are already behind. You have to answer two questions first: Who? (Can’t be Randy, sorry.) And more importantly, Why? That’s a tough one.

    Or do you want to run some referendums? OK, interesting. Your two questions here are: What? And Why?

    After that, you have to tackle the How?

    You want citizen votes on everything? Let’s watch Reedsport for a while and see how that goes. Or we can deconstruct Lakeside politics for the last decade. I’d suggest you start small and grow. Pick a city council and elect some councilors. Bring some local initiatives. See how it works.

    But again, I’m not sure what the complainers here are really FOR. I’m genuinely interested. Sometimes some good ideas float across this blog, but they never seem to go anywhere. Posters are too busy being angry at this person or that person to activate positively towards any kind of helpful agenda.

    The only thing greater than the political passion on this blog is the political naivete.

    Or did I miss it? Maybe I was sick that day too. Please advise. Anyway, thanks for all the helpful tips about my campaign.

  8. magix  May 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Thanks, coosbayb, Mark has been cautioned about bullying before and I hope he listens to you.

  9. coosbayb  May 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Reading the exchange between MarkM and everyone else reminds me why I did not vote for you; you talk out of both sides of your mouth. My vote was not based solely on a county administrator. I considered all the issues and the character of the candidates – what a concept! You speak as if the people of this county don’t have the ability to make informed decisions but need to rely on the likes of you to be told what is in our best interests. Speaking of character, if you decide to run again, you may want to develop some. It speaks volume about yours that when confronted with different opinions you choose to attack and denigrate. This is a democracy; the citizens can have whatever divisive opinions they so choose. You or any other candidate are not our savior.

  10. MarkM  May 21, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Murkowski is a Republican. Never underestimate the power of a popular two-term incumbent whose daddy was governor, running against a TPer in a general election.

    I’d like to see election reform too, but how exactly did money corrupt this election?

  11. Accountability Please  May 20, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Aghast, how right you are…..

    I am a bit surprised MarkM, a democrat (?) …perhaps a republicrat (?), has forgotten the Alaska Senate race in 2010 where Democratic Senator Lisa Murkowski defied the odds and defeated her Republican opponent, Joe Miller, in a successful write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate seat. Joe Miller was the Tea Party favorite and was also backed by Sarah Palin.

    Never underestimate the power of a determined woman…

    I think it should be noted that Randy Sanne got more votes than any of the other runner-ups. More than Bishop, more than Gurney, and of course, more than McKelvey too. Obviously a lot of people who would have voted for Randy voted for Bob instead due to the worry that Randy might not be well-known enough or have the resources necessary to defeat Fred and all his big money corporate sponsors.

    This election should show how money has corrupted our elections. Why not put everyone on an equal playing field and see who wins the elections then? We could turn this county and this country around in a matter of days if that were the case. This is EXACTLY why we need election reform. The low voter turnout is even more proof of that. People from the tea party to the occupiers are sick of not having their vote or voice really count. Politicians on both sides have become bought and paid for by industry sponsors and as we know, corporate greed never puts the people’s interest above its own.

  12. aghast!  May 19, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    The people didn’t elect anyone

  13. MarkM  May 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    aghast — Duh. If you want to give grammar lessons, find Rickey.

    dragon — Interesting theory, except for the facts that get in the way of it. If you were correct the people of Coos County would have elected Sanne/Main, Gaston, and Loiselle.

    But they didn’t.

    Like Mary, you are free to believe whatever you wish, and ignore whatever data you like.

    Mary, I’m not certain but I think it would be illegal for Randy to win a write-in candidacy. Regardless, you may as well vote for Superman.

  14. dragon  May 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I’m looking with wonder and admiration at Mark’s pronouncement at 2:17 pm today (the 18th) to wit: “The people of Coos County favor a County Administrator.” This is marvelous news! It means we no longer have to be bothered with messy elections, lengthly political campaigns, and obscenely expensive advertising contests. We can just ask Mark what the people of Coos County want and he can tell us.

    On the other hand, if you are one of the many skeptics who don’t believe Mark when he says nonsensical crap like that, you may feel it would be more appropriate to ask the people themselves what they want. That’s called a referendum. For those of you who are unfamiliar with democratic procedures, a referendum is the submission of a proposed public measure to a direct popular vote. It’s an alternative to being bullied by authoritarians and defrauded by swindlers.

  15. magix  May 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Probably write in Randy. Knowing Bob the way I do I can bet that he would be the first to tell you he doesn’t need any help from me or my pesky blog.

  16. aghast!  May 18, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Its “too well”, Mark.

    Mary, if it came to down to you having the deciding vote between Fred and Bob what would you do?

  17. MarkM  May 18, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    I see loads of differences. You should too. I guess I didn’t explain it too good.

  18. magix  May 18, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    The fact that you don’t see any difference between yourself, Mark, and the CCAP candidates speaks volumes and probably explains why voters couldn’t distinguish you from your opponents

  19. MarkM  May 18, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Thanks. It would be mighty tough to hoe a road.

  20. Ron Black  May 18, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    It’s Row to Hoe.

  21. MarkM  May 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Kay, pay attention. This is called a conversation. Behave, or you’ll have to go to the kids’ table.

  22. MarkM  May 18, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Magic: “That’s only true, Mark, if your votes are included but you didn’t approve of part time unpaid commissioners which doesn’t fit the bill of the others.”

    You’re making the same conflating error the governance committee did, Mary. You said “pro-administrator candidates.” You didn’t say anything about PT Comms. 54% of the votes went to candidates who in one way or another favored a county administrator. Based on my interactions with the pubic over the last six months, I’d say that’s low. But you go ahead and believe what you want.

    “Main is going to have a problem and he is now trying reimagine himself as a moderate everyone’s man and we saw how that worked for you, Mark.”

    Well it’s one thing to re-imagine yourself as a moderate everyman. It’s another thing to be one. But point taken. Aghast said it well — the voters rejected me. Pile on. My point remains: Bob’s got a very tough road to hoe. His path to victory is very narrow no matter how he re-shapes himself. He’s better off just being himself, but I don’t think he has a clear idea of what that is. That’s been his problem for a while now.

    What we need is someone who will put Coos County first — oh, nevermind.

  23. themguys  May 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Well I’ll be damned.

    We got our own little Circle Jerk going on on your blog M.

    Are you enjoying it?


    Mark’s a good boy.

  24. MarkM  May 18, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Jon B, you raise the right question: How do we attract the best candidates? Paying nothing does not ensure us the best. It simply assures us we’ll have candidates who are independently wealthy — or who know somebody who is independently wealthy. I would ask: Where are all these candidates who answer to the calling of public service today? Where were they in the primary? Are the salary and benefits preventing them from running? For that matter, Sweet and Messerle both said they don’t need the money. Great. They should create a foundation or donate it to their favorite charity. There’s nothing stopping them. Sweet and Bishop said they would not accept PERS. It will be interesting to see if they keep that promise if elected.

    I don’t begrudge them the money. I think they will earn it, and then some. Thing is, not everyone can afford to work for free. If you make the position volunteer, you are effectively saying independent wealth is the first job qualification. That eliminates scores of good candidates right off the bat.

    Let those who can work for free donate the money to where its needed. But don’t deny Coos County the benefit of the services of highly dedicated, intelligent, qualified candidates who just happen to be middle class.

    Otherwise, our county becomes an oligarchy.

  25. themguys  May 18, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    OOHHHHH, I get it now. I hadn’t seen Marks’ set up for Jon. Good job boys, but Mark? They’re still not gonna let you be somebody, they’ll give you just enough to keep you spouting SCDC BS for them, and you learned well. You on their board? Why not?

    Congratulations Jon, on the dividends from your investment. What fool said you can’t buy happiness?

    While you are here Jon, why don’t you tell us why you sold a $50,000 Satellite Tracker machine to Waterfall Clinic? They don’t even have it on site, what was the need to sink that kind of money into a machine they can’t/don’t use?

    Thanks. You’ve refused to answer on the other site.

  26. themguys  May 18, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    OOHHHHH, I get it now. I hadn’t seen Marks’ set up for Jon. Good job boys, but Mark? They’re still not gonna let you be somebody, they’ll give you just enough to keep you spouting SCDC BS for them, and you learned well. You on their board? Why not?

    Congratulations Jon, on the dividends from your investment. What fool said you can’t buy happiness?

  27. magix  May 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    That’s only true, Mark, if your votes are included but you didn’t approve of part time unpaid commissioners which doesn’t fit the bill of the others.
    Main is going to have a problem and he is now trying reimagine himself as a moderate everyone’s man and we saw how that worked for you, Mark.

  28. themguys  May 18, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    So Barton comes on here, not to defend his BS committee actions, but to incorporate it into every conversation, as if it’s a done deal.

    Yer slick as snot Jon.

  29. Jon B  May 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I concur with Mark McKelvey’s comments on the Governance Committee’s work product on almost every point. I, too, am not entirely comfortable with unpaid commissioners but I am definitely uncomfortable with the qualification levels of past candidates. Mark’s concerns about dividing the county into wards as the committee suggests have merit.
    As evidenced by the candidates in the recent primary, many were looking for a job with good pay with benefits and community status. Most were devoid of specific policy offerings and few demonstrated any meaningful understanding of the county’s issues. Four of the fifteen people in the race made clear they were not in it for the money and were happy to consider a serious reduction in pay. Three of the four prevailed convincingly.
    Attracting good candidates is not a matter of pay. The pay is simply not good enough to attract successful people who own businesses or have careers. Public service is a calling. People who answer the calling for reasons other than personal gain are essential to making government work. To be sure, the job is complex and it will take a fair amount of time and dedication. Commissioners should receive a stipend much like those who serve on corporate boards and be reimbursed for their out of pocket expenses. They should not receive other fringe benefits like PERS or vacation pay.
    The board of commissioners should be expanded from three to five irrespective of public meeting laws. Having five commissioners improves the odds that the BOC does not get hijacked by special interests. It also provides a broader sounding board for policies and ideas for improvement. Diversity of views is essential to an effective governing board and it makes tough decisions more acceptable to the public.
    The concern that electing by wards may produce a more divisive board is valid. But there are other approaches that can be considered. Three could be elected by wards and two at large or perhaps four could be elected by ward and the chair at large. More thought and discussion is in order before finalizing a plan.
    Whatever the approach, the time for change is now. Let’s move forward collaboratively and with input from all quarters but let’s do it now and not do what government so often does: avoid making potentially unpopular decisions and kicking the can down the road one more time.

  30. MarkM  May 18, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    The next proxy-referendum will be in Pos 3. It will be interesting to watch that one unfold.

  31. MarkM  May 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    If this election is to viewed as a referendum on the County Administrator issue, the result is unequivocally YES. In each race, candidates who favored an administrator finished ahead of those who did not. The total votes cast for candidates who were either YES or MAYBE for the administrator was 54%. You can spin it another way if it makes you feel better, but that just puts off the inevitable. The people of Coos County favor a County Administrator. Talk about the low turnout all you want (it wasn’t all that low, actually) but Huey Long had it right: If you don’t vote, you don’t matter. Bob Main has a very, very, very steeeeeep uphill climb ahead of him.

  32. magix  May 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    No, and Messerle has already done a lot of damage but then so has Main. Here’s the thing though, despite the massive ad spending less than 50% of the 43% who voted supported a pro administrator candidate. Put another way the voters rejected candidates who plan to immediately abdicate their duties to a hiree. The gang spent down their election budget and failed to secure the political capital they need to pull off their coup without repercussion. So if Fred gets in he will make an even bigger mess of things and draw the fury of the public. If Bob gets in there is no guarantee he can do any more than he is already to stop this train wreck so of the two, I would rather see Fred derailing the county.

  33. aghast!  May 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    You can’t deny it will be bad if Fred gets in.

  34. magix  May 17, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    More like disgusted

  35. aghast!  May 17, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    You sound frustrated M.

  36. magix  May 17, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    And by the way, what has Main ever done for Sanne? Nothing! Why does Main assume Randy will work to get him reelected?

  37. magix  May 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Main thought he was being clever manipulating the appointment of Parry and Messerle and it backfired on him and the public. No, I will not “get over it”. If he wants public support then the voters better negotiate their terms in advance but I am not giving him a free pass just because Messerle might be marginally worse. If he wants to win he needs to play ball or please just step down and go fishing and let someone without all the baggage run instead.

  38. RUGullible  May 17, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Get over it. I interpret Main’s cockiness as concern. He needs you and we now need him. Bury the hatchet, and not in the other persons skull. Those who I voted for did not come in first place either. The wind mill side of MGX knows that to win in November Main and others need to spot a weakness in the dream team candidate; then prepare a story to address that weakness; then recruit advocates for their cause from across the county; and, last, defeat the other guy.

  39. aghast!  May 17, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Main thinks the public should be grateful to him for running instead of fishing, he will not change to earn a vote


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