Patti Adair, a Sisters-area resident, and Jim Cook of Redmond are vying to replace Tammy Baney on the Deschutes County Commission after Adair, 67, beat Baney in the Republican Party primary election. Cook, a 64-year-old Democrat, is a better choice for the job.
Adair is a former certified public accountant who grew up in Eastern Oregon and attended college in Eugene. She was active in California politics before moving to Central Oregon and chairs the Deschutes County Republican Party. She believes county property taxes contribute too much to a too-high property tax bill each fall, though Deschutes County counts for less than 10 percent of what taxpayers pay.
Cook, a website developer, is currently chair of the Redmond Planning Commission and has served on that city’s budget committee. He understands that good governance comes from compromise and working for improvement irrespective of one’s political views. To that end, he’d like to see a nonpartisan commission replace the current party-driven one. Adair, on the other hand, is much more partisan and unwilling to compromise, handicaps in what is already an essentially nonpartisan job.
Growth and planning, Cook says, are the county’s biggest issues. And while the county doesn’t have a huge role to play in resolving the current lack of workforce housing, he notes it does have land that could be used to help ease the problem. Overly strict state land use laws can make it difficult to balance Deschutes County values against the reality of the law, he says.
Cook argues that Deschutes County has the strictest marijuana regulations in the state, and before it makes dramatic changes it should give beefed-up enforcement time to resolve current problems. That said, knowing where medical marijuana is being grown would make enforcement easier.
Cook’s concerns that everyone be heard, his desire to engage young people in local decision making and his reasonable views on land use and marijuana combine to make him an excellent candidate for County Commission. Add to that a clear willingness to do the kind of homework that might have forestalled the current 911 radio mess, and he promises to be an excellent county commissioner. He deserves your vote in the general election.