Four file for county seats
Four people have already filed for four Jefferson County positions that will be on the ballot for the May 15 primary election.
Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins has refiled for his position, which he has held since he was appointed early in 2010 and elected later that year. So far, he is unopposed. The deadline to file for a county position is March 6, 2018.
Adkins was appointed in January 2010, and ran against two opponents in May 2010, winning about 51 percent of the vote. He was officially elected in November 2010, and re-elected to a second four-year term in 2014.
"I decided to run again, because I love my job. I love being the 'go to' guy, who can help people, being the liaison between the Sheriff's Office and the public," said Adkins. "Being a servant of the people is very satisfying and comes naturally for me. I strongly believe in serving our community as my mission statement says, 'Safeguard all people and their property, serving all equally, with empathy, dignity and respect.'"
"My goal during the next term is to maintain my mission statement and keep my office whole," he said. "During the coming four years, the county budget will be feeling the stresses of the state increases in PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) and medical contributions and the commissioners are going to have to make some tough choices when it comes down to allocating monies to the different county departments and offices."
"I have to keep the county safe by running an efficient organization and maintaining my current staffing levels, which are currently at their minimum numbers. Any reduction in money will be painful and adversely affect my day-to-day operations," he said.
Adkins pointed out that Crook County will finish its new jail in 2018, and the county is preparing to lose the contract for housing some of Crook County's inmates, in December 2018.
"Their departure will mean a loss of about $700,000 in my jail budget," he said. "2018 will also be the year I will have to ask the Jefferson County voters to renew the jail operations levy, currently set at $1.24 per $1,000. I'm currently working on estimating the jail budget for the next four to five, without having the Crook County contract money. I don't want to do it, but I may have to ask for an increase in the amount levied, to keep the jail staffed as it currently is."
Kathy Marston, Jefferson County clerk for the past 19 years, has decided that she won't refile for her position. "I think it's time to retire," said Marston, who will have been the county clerk for 20 years at the end of her term, which ends Dec. 31, 2018.
No one has filed for county clerk.
For position 1 on the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, incumbent Mae Huston, of Culver, has refiled for her position, along with Kim Schmith, of Madras.
Huston, who has served on the commission for three years, was first elected in a tight race in November 2014.
"Now in my third year of my first four-year term as a Jefferson County commissioner, I want to continue to serve in this position working with my two fellow commissioners to make good policy decisions that serve the citizens of our county," said Huston. "I want to work with our county administrative staff, department heads, our employees and the other county elected officials to provide efficient services and to continue the good work being done to plan for future needs and challenges. I like our community and I like people and I want to serve well."
"As I attend city council meetings and work sessions, school board meetings, Crooked River Ranch board work sessions, and meetings of community groups, I like to connect with everyone who is working and volunteering to better our community," she said. "I represent Jefferson County on three Central Oregon regional boards and on Association of Oregon County committees in Salem and want to continue to provide these benefits to Jefferson County."
Schmith, who is challenging Huston, owns Madras Acupuncture.
"I bring a unique set of life experiences and skillsets to the table," said Schmith. "I grew up in Jefferson County, attending K-12 in the 509-J School District and continued on to OSU."
"Living in Southeast Asia for three years drove home how blessed I was to grow up in such a great community and in 1999, I returned home to support my aging father and open a successful business," said Schmith. "I strive to bring people together to create solutions and find resources to solve problems. I will use my diverse personal, volunteering and business experiences to support and help move forward the community I love."
For position 2, incumbent Mike Ahern, of Madras, has announced that he will not run for re-election. Ahern has served on the commission since his election in 2006.
"I've been on the commission for 16 years, and I've enjoyed it," said Ahern, who was first elected in 1998, served four years, and was re-elected in 2006, "but it's time."
Courtney Snead, of Madras, is currently the only person running for that position.
Snead is a consultant and small business owner, Boring But Important, and part-time political science and human development instructor at Central Oregon Community College.
"I have decided to run for County Commission because serving in this role would give me the opportunity to use my education, background and experience to serve my community," said Snead. "As a youth, I was inspired by elected leaders, both past and present, who used their talents to create, serve, and sustain our Democracy and it would be my honor to do the same in Jefferson County."