Challenging Ahern for Position 2

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Floyd PayeFloyd Paye thinks it's time for a change on the Jefferson County Commission. Paye, 50, of Madras, will challenge incumbent Commissioner Mike Ahern for Position 2 on the commission in the May 20 election.

"I think there needs to be a change," said Paye. "We have a diverse community: Camp Sherman, the Grasslands, Ashwood, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. I feel like I could represent all of them."

Born and raised in Metolius, he graduated from Madras High School in 1982, and attended Portland State University, where he played football for a year.

After a year of college, Paye returned to Metolius and went to work for Jefferson County Public Works, where he has been employed since Oct. 10, 1983, as the "weed lead." He plans to retire June 1 to devote more time to an herbicide application business he and a partner started about seven years ago.

Payes 2 Spray Custom Applicators keeps him busy on his days off from spring to fall. "We've sprayed anywhere from Seaside to Pendleton, Vale, Lakeview, Klamath, Coos Bay," he said, noting that they employ three part-time workers, seasonally.

In the summertime, Paye serves as the pumpmaster for Bierly Acres Water District, located northeast of Madras, which has 49 water users. He orders the water for the district through North Unit Irrigation District and serves on the district's board.

Paye also has some experience in local government, having served on the Metolius City Council from January 1999 until June 2001, when he and his wife, Chele, who works for the 509-J School District, moved to Madras.

For the past 28 years, Paye has been a referee for wrestling — from local events to state tournaments, which he feels has given him experience working with the public.

"You deal with a lot of hostile coaches and fans," he said. "You just have to learn to deal with people. You listen to what they have to say and rationalize, and try to make the best decision for everyone involved."

He has also coached Little League and been active in men's softball.

A member of Local 121 Laborers Union, Paye serves as the recording secretary on the executive board.

As a lifetime resident of the county with considerable knowledge of the county's history, he believes he would make a good commissioner.

"The county has good administration," said Paye, who has no plans for major changes if he is elected. "I just think it's time for a change in upper management and I feel like I could be a help."

"We need to promote and keep our industries and try to get more in here," he said.

Additionally, Paye would like to see more work on the county's infrastructure — particularly roads. "When I first started at the county, we had 20-some employees. Now, we're down to 15. We have to find a way to get them funded, so we can improve (roads)."

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