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Editorial: Commissioner Race: Vote for John West

The Board of County Commissioners faces challenges on funding the Sheriff’s Office, preventing wildfires, expanding housing opportunities in the county and running county operations at a time of leaner resources. So, what do we need in our new commissioner?

An effective county commissioner requires a combination of leadership and management skills and experience. This is very different from school boards and city councils.

School board members set school policies and objectives yet rely on the superintendent to manage staff and achieve those objectives. Likewise, city councilors set goals and policies yet depend upon the city manager to supervise staff to get the job done.

Brian DeLaGrange has about two years of experience on the Grants Pass City Council. He voted for a construction excise tax and a warming center. He supports building an urban campground in Grants Pass. Yet buildable lots remain in short supply, permit fees remain high, while home builders get painted as a hinderance to more affordable housing in Grants Pass. In his nearly four years on the Grants Pass School Board, DeLaGrange is best-known for supporting LGBT rights and terminating two local educators for promoting separate bathrooms for girls and boys. This is leadership but in the wrong direction.

John West brings over 30 years of launching, leading and managing successful multi-million-dollar businesses with many employees. He has worked with county departments for his timber and land development businesses. John West knows firsthand the frustrations of dealing with unnecessary, time-wasting and costly red tape, which drives up the cost of housing. He has a track record of protecting property rights while practicing sustainable timber harvesting and responsible land development.

We don’t have time for on-the-job training. We need a county commissioner who brings strong leadership and managerial experience to the position on day 1.

While a strong leader, West understands a county commissioner is a public servant, not its master. West says: “We need a CEO who will go to work every day and go to work for you. The idea that the three commissioners know what’s best for you is wrong. When it comes to raising taxes and adding new regulations, you make the decision.”

Now it’s time for the voters to make a decision on what type of commissioner we need.

Vote John West for Josephine County Commissioner.

Richard Emmons