Opinions on county commissioner race

The residents of Jackson County are very fortunate this election to have four well qualified men interested in serving as a county commissioner. Some years the decision on who to support comes easy. That has not been the case this year.

Jeff Golden and Don Skunrick seek Position1, currently held by Dr. Gilmour .

Jeff Golden has previous experience as a county commissioner.  Golden is a strong advocate for sustainability by growing food locally.  An admirable goal, but to use part of that word, not really sustainable. Golden faced a recall when he was commissioner. It was not successful and he says he has changed from that time but there are still many who remember he was not  exactly a friend to the forest industry.

Don Skundrick has a vast amount of experience from his career and community participation including as chair of SOREDI giving him experience in economic development. He says it is not up to the county to create jobs but to create a good business environment that encourages job growth. He has an excellent grasp of the complexities of government. As a leader, Skundrick knows there are tough choices to make and he seems capable of making them.

He is the opposite of Golden,  preferring to keep Jackson County in the global economy, through trade, which will keep fresh dollars circulating. Skundrick comes across as businesslike and sensible.  He has been to a Eagle Point/Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce meeting, not as a speaker but as interested spectator, and to the D9 Foundation dinner and auction. Early on Skundrick said he would be accessible and interested in interaction with the communities.

Our vote:  Don Skundrick is the best choice for county commissioner. His well-rounded background in business as well as a broad background in community organization offers the experience, knowledge and realistic approach to the many issues facing Jackson County in a tough economy. Leadership is a word that fits him.

John Rachor and Mark Wisnovsky seek the position currently held by Jack Walker who was defeated in the primary as he sought another term.

Rachor  has a relaxed demeanor but under that easy going exterior, Rachor knows what needs to be done and how to get there. His ability to manage and understand budgets, staffing and business is evident as he took an initial $15,000 investment and turned it into what at its peak was 14 restaurants and 500 employees. He also experienced planning departments in five Oregon counties. He sold his Burger King Restaurants this year. His volunteer work on Search & Rescue gives him an understanding of the sheriff’s department and public safety which is a huge county expense.  He offers concrete ideas  streamlining this department and others.  Rachor  has a sincere commitment to the people, not just  to the county. We feel he would be inclusive, not exclusive. He knows the Upper Rogue, and like Skundrick, is a former Eagle Point area resident.

Mark Wisnovsky is an eloquent speaker making many good points and showing an outstanding  knowledge of land issues and agriculture. Although a farmer, Wisnovsky has a realistic approach to a sustainable county realizing for example how difficult it would be to grow most food locally. He has shown a commitment to the people over the years through the Hearts and Vine Auction, co-chairing the Medford school bond issue and serving on many boards. Wisnovsky has thoughtful observations in regards to Health and Human Services.

Our vote.  As previously stated, this election is a hard call, but we will support  John Rachor. While he doesn’t have the years of community service with numerous named organizations, his community service is unique and actually unmatched as he donates countless hours piloting his helicopter in rescues.  He shows us he is a people-caring person.  His many years of business experience from the ground up and his genuine accessibility to the people are most noteworthy. He listens. Wisnovsky’s focus seems to be largely on land issues and although important are only a part of the economic woes this county faces in the future.
By Nancy Leonard and Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent

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