You are on page 1of 7

Statesman Journal mini-questionnaire for Nov.

2, 2010,
General Election
County commissioner


County commissioner position: POLK COUNTY POSITION 2

Party affiliation: DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Age: 49

City/town of residence: Currently live south of

Independence and Monmouth city limits (approximately 2
miles south).

Number of years you have lived full-time in this county: I

have been a resident of Polk County for all my 49 years. I
have lived in it for over 30 years (I lived overseas while
serving in the military, but maintained my residency in
Polk County, Oregon, the entire time.)

Family (name of spouse/partner, number and ages of children

if at home, number of grown children): Wife: Renée;
Children: three grown children.

Current employer/job: Retired/Pilot

Employment, military and volunteer history:

United States Navy, 1986-1994 / 2000-2010, Primary

Occupation: Naval Aviator (Helicopter and Fixed Wing Pilot)
and Operations Officer. Served in Desert Shield and Desert
Storm; Operation Enduring Freedom Philippines; Indonesia
Earthquake Relief.

United States Air Force Reserve, 1995-2000, Rescue

Helicopter Pilot; Schedules Officer, Plans and Operations
Officer. Served in Operation Northern Watch (Air over-watch
of Iraq); Operation Noble Anvil, Kosovo.

Legislative Assistant, Oregon State Legislature, 1994.

Olsen Farms, Suver, 1978, 1980.

J’s Restaurant, Monmouth, 1975-1979.

Mid-Valley Air Service, Independence State Airport, 1977-

Civic/religious/other local involvement:

Kadena Air Base (Okinawa) Youth Sports: volunteer soccer
coach, 2002-2004

Ella Curran Food Bank, Independence, volunteer, 1994-2000.

Central Youth Sports, volunteer soccer coach, 1994-1999

MIKI Sports, volunteer softball coach, 1979-1980

Please list all public offices to which you’ve been

elected, and when: N/A

Please list any unsuccessful candidacies for public office,

and when: N/A

Other political and government experience: Legislative

Assistant, Oregon Sen. Cliff Trow (1994); Intern, Oregon
Senate Minority Leaders’ Office (1997); Polk County
Democratic Central Committee,
Secretary/Treasurer/Newsletter Editor, 1994-1998.

How the public can reach your campaign (remember that this
information will be public):

Mail address: 8639 Highland Road, Independence OR, 97351

E-mail address:

Web site URL:

Phone: 503-838-1273

How much will your general election campaign cost? (Please

be specific about your campaign budget, not “as much as we
can raise.”) $12,000.

Who are your top campaign contributors/lenders? (Please

list at least the current top five and their total dollar
amounts.): Mo & Pat Jaffer, $1400; Cliff Trow, $700; Joe
Penna, $750; AFSCME Local 173, $2500; AFSCME Oregon
Council, $1500.
Who are your key political advisers? (Please identify at
least your top three.)

Sen. Cliff Trow (Ret.); Jason Brown; Mo & Pat Jaffer

Key endorsements you’ve received: Mayor Jim Fairchild

(Dallas); Mayor John McArdle (Independence); Mayor John
Oberst (Monmouth); AFSCME Local 173; Sen. Cliff Trow.

For each of the following questions, please limit your

answer to about 75 words.

1. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been

disciplined by a professional licensing board/organization
or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please
give the details.


2. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on

your taxes or other major accounts, or been sued personally
or professionally? If so, please give the details.

3. Why should people vote for you? What separates you from
your opponent(s)?

Leadership, experience, integrity. Commitment to public

service. Education.

The work of the County Commission is to analyze, allocate

and plan the utilization of assets over a large range of
issues and long-term time frame, and be responsive to
constituents in the process. I have a great amount of
experience in long-range planning and mission
accomplishment, and dealing with differing personalities
and disparate organizations in order to make things happen.
Throughout my military career, in addition to working with
the short notice requirements of daily flight missions, I
have also spent a great deal of time planning large scale
operations, of short and long duration, dealing with large
numbers of personnel, equipment, and very importantly,
dollars. I feel that this operational and logistics
experience puts me in a very good position to monitor,
manage and effectively allocate the resources of the county.
4. What personal strengths or talents would you bring to
the office of county commissioner? I am a good listener. I
make decisions based on facts. I get along well with most
people. I enjoy working with a team of people in order to
get problems resolved. I dislike waste.

5. What is the largest budget you have handled, and in what

capacity? Approximately $2 million operational budgeting
for the Air Department of an amphibious assault ship. Much
of that is pre-programmed, with about $250,000 in
discretionary operational funding.

6. What is the largest number of employees you’ve

supervised, and in what capacity? Oversaw 200 Sailors as
Assistant Air Department Officer on the USS Essex. Involved
in all aspects of operation, safety and maintenance of the
Air Department, to include flight deck, hangar deck,
aircraft movement, launch and recovery, flight tower
operation and aviation fuels.

7. How would you describe your management style? Balanced

and fair. I trust those that work for me, and expect them
to do the job they are hired for, and want them to know
that they can trust me to support them. I like to keep an
open door, I praise when appropriate in public, and
reprimand in private. If an employee does well, I like to
see them promoted. If there is a problem, I like to see
what can be done to correct it.

8. What specific steps would you advocate to improve the

local economy and create jobs?

A. Talk to those already in business here and ask them what

they truly need from the county in order to prosper and
grow. The farms, businesses and other entities that have
persevered over time have much to offer, and we need to
help them, in a way that is compatible with our desire for

B. Do everything possible to reach out to all corners of

the county with the services that are already provided in
the county, both public and private. Making even the most
remote regions of the county connected via broad band
internet is just one way of bringing and maintaining jobs.
9. What specific steps would you advocate to balance next
year’s county budget? If we are in a deficit, I would
propose wage freezes, and even possible wage reductions,
including my own. We would also have to look very carefully
at personnel reductions in some of the biggest departments,
such as the Jail or Sheriff’s Department. I would also see
if there are some programs that might benefit from a
limited operating levy, but that would be a last resort.

10/14. What changes, if any, would you advocate in the

structure, scope or role of county government? In general,
I would like to make sure that people see that the county
government is their government, and that they need and are
free to participate in it. More participation from all
sectors of the county would be beneficial to the overall
climate of the county. I would especially like to see that
the residents of West Salem genuinely feel that they are
welcome and included in the discussion.

Operationally, I would like to investigate the economies of

scale that may be gained from closer cooperation between
the county and city governments, to include public works
and policing. Regardless of the ultimate decision, the
discussion would go a long way to increasing the knowledge
base of all involved, which could help in many areas,
including business attraction.

11. What specific steps would you take to make county

government more open and accessible to the public?

We do have an open and accessible Polk County Government. I

have found that the current Board of Commissioners have an
open door policy, and can easily be reached by phone.
Additionally, all meetings of the Board are open to the
public, and the schedules are printed in the paper, posted
at the courthouse and available on line. I would continue
this practice, especially the open-door policy so that
constituents can bring their concerns directly to my
office. I would, however, also utilize and encourage newer
contact capabilities such as e-mail on a more regular basis
from my office. Constituents have a great deal of power and
access, and I would like to make sure that they are
informed as to how to utilize it.

12. How many county Board of Commissioner meetings have you

attended in person during 2009-10? 10 to 12.
13. What are the lessons for county government from the
Courthouse Square situation? Make sure that your oversight
of any project, large or small, is as good as it can
possibly be. Ask questions, get answers, and clarify
anything that you don’t understand.

15. Are Oregon’s land-use laws working appropriately in the

county or should they be changed? While there may be gripes
on several fronts regarding this issue, I believe we are in
a pretty good and stable place. I have no plans to change
or advocate for change of Oregon’s current land-use laws.

16. What are the three most important issues you would
address if elected? How? (Up to 75 words for each issue.)

A. Making every possible effort to attract jobs to the

communities of the county. In particular, being proactive
in promoting the county and the resources within it, in
order to show how attractive Polk County is for business
and recreation.

B. Fair distribution and use of limited tax dollars, and

keeping the budget balanced. In the near term, revenue will
continue to be limited as compared to past years, even as
the economy gets better. It will be incumbent upon the
Board of Commissioners to ensure strategic allocation takes
place so as not to limit the ability to provide services
now or in the future.

C. Ensure that the infrastructure and assets of the county

are in place and maintained in the most efficient and
economically sound way possible, so that they are available
to support A and B above.

17. What do you see as other important issues? Adequate and

clean water into the future for all county residents, farms
and businesses is critical to ensuring a viable and
prosperous county. It makes us far more attractive for
business and others who want to know that if they invest
here, the life-blood that water provides will be here for
the long term. We do not want to reach a crisis and then
have to deal with it. I think that we can get innovative in
water storage and use in order to ensure that long term
County-wide access to broad band internet capability is
also an interest that I have, as it has become an
indispensable tool for business, farming, medical and
health concerns, and communication.

18. Any skeletons in your closet or other potentially

embarrassing information that you want to disclose before
it comes up in the campaign? I like to sing at karaoke.

As a potential elected official, your positions on

statewide ballot measures are relevant to voters. Please
indicate whether you support or oppose each of the measures:

I am still reviewing these ballot measures, however this is

how I am leaning:

Measure 70: Veterans’ loans Yes

Measure 71: Annual legislative sessions Yes

Measure 72: State bonding authority Yes

Measure 73: Sentencing No

Measure 74: Medical marijuana No

Measure 75: Multnomah County casino No

Measure 76: Lottery funding for parks, habitat Yes