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The Pioneer sent questions to all local candidates for city councils, mayor, commissioenrs and more.

Culver Mayor

Nancy Diaz (I)

Age: 64

Education: Central Oregon Community College – Addictions Studies

Occupation: Retired

Government experience: Elected to Culver City Council 2009; Mayor since 2014

How long have you lived in the city? I have lived in Culver for close to 30 years, first moving to Culver in 1987.

What are the top three issues facing the city?

Public Safety, Economy, Infrastructure

How would you address those issues?

Public Safety – we will continue to contract with Jefferson County Sheriffs Department

Economy – share with prospective businesses what Culver has to offer i.e. great school district, friendly small-town feel, access to seasonal activities, great water, affordable housing

Infrastructure – Continue to seek out grants and funding to improve our infrastructure.

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponent?

I have served in the community both as a city councilor, mayor, and as a volunteer with Jefferson County Fire and Jefferson County EMS.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you. I love Culver, I am invested in Culver and believe in this city and the residents who live here and will continue to serve everyone to the best of my ability.

Jake Schwab

Age: 31

Education: 2007 Graduate- Lakeshore High School Stevensville, Michigan; 2011 Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana, BA in Christian Ministry and Youth Ministry

Occupation: High School Success Coordinator at Culver High School

Government experience: None

How long have you lived in the city? Three Years

What are the top three issues facing the city?

1. The youth of our community are in need of extracurricular activities that benefit all interests. 2. Improving the Crawdad Festival to reach its full potential.

3. Creating community-based events that bring more unity to our town.

How would you address those issues?

1. Help with overseeing and building the future skatepark as well as creating more community events that are "family friendly" and geared towards promoting unity.

2. Bring in more vendors and create more opportunity/events for the greater community to promote Culver in a positive light.

3. Get the community involved with holiday and school function parades, along with establishing a permanent food bank to help families in need.

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponent?

What sets me apart from my opponent is I currently work in the schools and know what is plans for sports, dances, and what activities are provided to the youth in Culver. I believe my age helps me bring a fresh perspective on ways to improve the town, along with molding academic activity and community activities together to make it benefit the whole community.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I am a blue collar proud Culver resident who wants the voice of the people heard, so we can have pride in this amazing town we call home.

Culver City Council

Candidates for the Culver City Council are running unopposed.

Bart Carpenter (I)

Age: 71

Education: Waldport High, Northwest College, Western Oregon College

Occupation: Retired from DOC

Government experience: Culver City Council

How long have you lived in the city? Approximately 12 years

What are the top three issues facing the city?

Developing a long-range strategic plan for stability and growth

Maintaining and growing Culver's Crawdad Festival

Improving city park and public use

How would you address those issues? I have worked on a committee to develop the city strategic plan and as the council person over parks I have an interest in expanding use

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I love Culver and the small town feel of living here and want to be involved in maintaining that livability

Gretchen Schlie

Age: No answer

Education: Masters in Teaching City University 2000 and Masters in Educational Administration University of Phoenix 2007

Occupation: – Right now I am the Community Service Librarian at the JCLD. Prior to moving to Central Oregon, I was in education for almost 25 years. I taught elementary and ESL for most of those years. (Third grade was my favorite age group) and then for twelve years I worked as an Elementary principal.

How long have you lived in the city? 4 years

What are the top three issues facing the city? No answer.

How would you address those issues? No answer.

What distinguishes you as a candidate?

I am running because I want to give back to my community and be a part of what is happening in Culver. I think we as citizens need to be more involved with our local government and have input to it's growth and progress. I'm not running because of certain issues. I don't have an agenda. I just want to be a part of the community I live in and I see being on the Culver City Council as a way to do that.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I love community! As to my intentions: To be open and approachable in serving my community.

Efforts to reach candidate Steve McCall were unsuccessful.

Madras Mayor

Incumbent Mayor Richard Ladeby is running unopposed.

Richard Karl Ladeby (I)

Age: 68

Education: Clairemont Hight School (1970), Mesa Jr. College 2 years degree

Occupation: Retired. 32 years in the Oregon Department of Corrections. Positions held while in ODOC were Food Service Manager, Operational Manager, Security Manager, Tactical Member, Assistant Superintendent General Services. While at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, we took over the Meals on Wheels program for our Senior Citizens. That program is continuing today.

Prior to that, I worked at Marie Callenders Restaurants for 13 years and worked my way into management. Also worked at the Red Lion Hotel as Food, Beverage, and Banquet Manager.

Government experience: While working with the Department of Corrections for 32 years, I had the opportunity to serve on several committees at the state capital. Some of my assignments included State Capital Diversity Committee, Governor's Annual Food Drive Coordinator for DOC, and 20 years as DOC Recycle Coordinator.Since I moved to Madras in 2007, I became involved in several committees in our city. For 7 years I was on the "Let's Talk Diversity Coalition" as a board member. I have also been part of the Prevention Task Force for over 10 years. I served a short time on the City of Madras Planning Commission before joining the City Council for two terms. Now I am just finishing up my first term as Mayor and looking for the opportunity to run for a second term.

How long have you lived in the city? I started coming to Madras in 2005 as part of the prison advisory committee and was part of the construction team building the prison. I moved my family over in 2007.

What are the top three issues facing the city?

A. Housing and affordable housing. For our City to grow, we must have housing for those who wish to make Madras their home. If we wish to entice industry to move into Jefferson County, we must provide housing and affordable housing.

B. Maintaining our infrastructure. Currently the revenues generated for Street improvement projects are not keeping up with the demand. The City must look at other sources of revenue in order to keep up and improve our streets throughout our city. One of the options the City was looking at was a prepared food tax to help subsidize the City's road improvement revenues.

C. Revitalizing the downtown corridor. Great process has been made to improve the downtown areas and update the store fronts making them more appearing. We need to keep encouraging traffic to stop and shop in our city.

How would you address those issues?

A. We have already giving contractors incentives for a reduction in development fees. So far, the program is working very well and Madras now has several new developments throughout our city limits.

B. Maintaining our infrastructure is more of a challenge. Current funds are not even keeping up with being able to maintain the streets at current levels. Unless the City can come up with another source of revenues are streets will continue to deteriorate. Once the pandemic is over, we will continue to look for alternative methods to fund our streets.

C. Working with the downtown association and the City, we plan to keep moving forward on revitalizing the downtown corridor.

What distinguishes you as a candidate?

I am not doing this for the money, this is a volunteer position. If I did not love being part of this great community, I would not put in the hours or give up my time attending meetings throughout the month. I was told a long time ago, if you are going to complaint or want to see change, you need to get involved. Standing on the side lines does not get the job done.

I encourage more of our Community residence to get involved in our city to help make changes that benefits all of us.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

The one saying I have lived by for a lot of years is "integrity, doing the right thing even when nobody was looking."

Madras City Council

Voters will be asked to vote for three of four candidates.

Jennifer Holcomb (I)

Age: 45

Education: Madras High School, Eastern Oregon University

Occupation: Licensed Real Estate Agent in Oregon, Certified Level 1 Crossfit Trainer

Government Experience: Madras City Council since 2018

How long have you lived in the city/county? I have lived in Jefferson County most of my life.

What are the top three issues facing the city?

I believe the top three issues facing our city at this time are housing, the deteriorating road system, and keeping our local businesses open and thriving through this pandemic.

How would you address those issues?

Housing- I was part of the team that worked to reduce SDC fees to build energy in our housing development growth. I believe we should continue on this path as well as continuing to market the available land we have for development to builders that can work within our economy.

Deteriorating Road System- I was part of the task force that worked for the last 18 months to explore different options to generate revenue to improve our road system. I believe we need to find a solution that creates the least amount of financial impact on our citizens while spreading the cost to as many households as possible.

Businesses in our downtown area – Working with the Madras Redevelopment Committee I have learned about several opportunities to help our businesses and have been a part of grant opportunities. I believe our city can continue to help our business and work towards a continued thriving downtown area.

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponents?

I believe what sets me apart from others is that I live, work and am currently raising children in this community. I understand the balance and the struggles of being self-employed in these times as well as trying to help children at home with school, keep them active, and also work towards a career path that they can thrive in. Working with so many different types of people in Real Estate gives me an opportunity to meet more people and hear their concerns for our community.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I want to be a part of building a community we are proud to call home and one that our educated children can return to in order to raise their families.

Austin Throop

Age: 30

Education: Madras High School

Occupation: Indie Video Games and Freelance Web Developer

Government Experience: I was voted in as Precinct Committee Chairperson (PCP) for my precinct in Jefferson County, #13 East Madras. I have also volunteered on several campaigns during the 2020 Elections and have worked hard to learn all I can about our Government and how it operates.

How long have you lived in the city/county? I was born and raised in Madras and I have spent over 28 years of my life in Central Oregon.

What are the top three issues facing the city?

Affordable housing, high-speed internet and good paying jobs.

How would you address those issues?

Given that being on city council is a new experience, I will listen and I will work to make sure we address these issues by identifying the ways the community can provide affordable housing, high-speed internet and better jobs. I know that there is work being done on housing and there is a 5G tower that will soon be built. I will certainly work hard to maintain our communities access to high-speed internet and I believe that will also help bring in more work. Once I have achieved these goals for the community, I will identify the best way to move forward and elevate our city even higher!

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponents?

I believe that being born and raised in Madras and seeing my parents serve the community has helped me identify the best way to serve our City going into the future. I think that someone from Florida or Terrebonne is not going to be able to identify what works well for us. As for the incumbents, Gary Walker and Jennifer Holcolmb, they have both lived here for a long time and continue to serve our community wonderfully and I hope that the voters will vote for me, Austin Throop, alongside Mr. Walker and Mrs. Holcomb.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

As a millennial, my motto is 'Peace, love and happiness' and I will serve as a bridge between the past, present and future with my intention being to see Madras continue to work and thrive for future generations.

Gary C. Walker (I)

Age: 68

Education: Bend Senior High, COCC

Occupation: Business owner 36+ years

Government Experience: City Council 5+ Years

How long have you lived in the city/county? 49 Years

What are the top three issues facing the city/county? Road conditions in Madras, Traffic conditions, and Homeless population.

How would you address those issues? Roads- We have been working on the roads problem for a couple of years and had a solution but due to COVID we put it on the back burner and we will look at it in the future.

Traffic- Work with ODOT for some solutions to traffic.

Homeless Population- We need to work with the county and Warm Springs to come up with a solution to reduce the homeless population.

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponent? As a veteran, I know how to work with others to achieve a solution that best suites the community.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you. Honesty, integrity, love for this community, able to get along with others.

Efforts to reach candidate Mathew Birchard were unsuccessful.

County Treasurer

Incumbent county treaurer Brandie McNamee is running unopposed.

Brandie McNamee (I)

Age: 37

Education: (Masters Degree in Accounting from University of Oregon. Masters Certificate in Non-Profit Management from University of Oregon. Bachelors of Science in Accounting with minor in Economics from University of Oregon. Redmond High School.

Occupation: Finance Director and Treasurer for Jefferson County.

Government experience: Total of 12 years government accounting experience. Prior to that three years of public accounting. 15 years of overall accounting experience.

How long have you lived in the county? Born and raised in Central Oregon. Have resided in Jefferson County for 11 years.

What are the top three issues facing the county?

The investment market is very volatile right now and interest rates are falling. Safeguarding County investments and ensuring a strong portfolio is maintained is my top priority.

Ensuring sufficient cash flow exist to maintain County operations. Throughout the year depending on budget needs cash flow can fluctuate and consistently monitoring the fiscal situation as a whole for the County is critical.

Monitoring internal controls throughout the county in relation to fiscal management to ensure fraud or misuse of funds does not occur.

How would you address those issues?

Investments – I address by closely monitoring on a daily basis and presenting an investment report to the Board of County Commissioners monthly.

Cash flow – I address by monitoring daily deposits and fund balances throughout the County. In the event we are heading towards a shortage in a particular fund I bring it to the attention of management immediately and propose a solution.

Fraud – I address by providing training and assistance throughout the County departments and review internal policies to help ensure they are up to date and consistent with best practices.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I am committed to protecting county investments, being accountable, and transparent with public assets.

Jefferson County Board of Commissioners

Wayne Fording (I)

Age: 59

Education: Decatur High School; Central Oregon Community College, Small Business Development Program

Occupation: Madras paint and Glass, 1989 to present; Jefferson County Commissioner, 2009 to present

Government Experience: Jefferson County Commissioner, County Budget Committee, Madras Urban Renewal Task Force, Airport Industrial Site Committee, Central Oregon Area Commission on Transportation, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council

How long have you lived in the county? 31 years

What are the top three issues facing the county?

COVID-19, Water, and Highway Safety – Transportation System Plan

How would you address those issues? C

OVID-19 – Continue to support the work of Jefferson County Public Health, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Governor's Office to get us through the pandemic. We also need to continue to use our CARES Act funds wisely. Increased testing, public safety, schools, childcare, Kids Club, and COVID-impacted business grants are some of the ways the county has helped during these challenging times.

Water- Working with our state legislators and the Oregon Water Resources Department, we need to develop policy and programs that benefit all the stakeholders in the Deschutes Basin. Right now, we have a one size fits all state plan. We need a regional plan that address agriculture and environmental concerns for all of Central Oregon.

Highway Safety and Transportation - We all know how dangerous Highway 97 has become. The board of commissioners is meeting with ODOT on their short-term safety improvements and will be getting quarterly updates at our meetings. Although our Transportation System Plan has been slowed by COVID, soon it will be time for the public to get involved. From intersections to overpasses, now is the time. This highway dissects our high value farm ground, and we need to develop that is safe and addresses the needs of agriculture.

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponent

2020 has truly been a different year. My previous experience and relationships with our state officials and other county commissioners has helped me do the best possible job for our county. I have lived in Jefferson County for 31 years, raising my two boys and doing business at Madras Paint and Glass. I have gotten to know many of you through the years and would be honored to serve four more years as your commissioner.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I will continue to advocate at the Federal, State and local level for all Jefferson County communities.

Kim Schmith

Age: 54

Education: K-12 through the 509-J School District (Madras/Metolius); Madras High School; B.S., Oregon State University; Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, (M.Ac.O.M), Oregon College of Oriental Medicine

Occupation: Small Business Owner/Employer/Health Care Practitioner

Government experience: Board of Directors, J Bar J Youth Services, 2004-2011, annual budget of ~8 million dollars; numerous boards and committees throughout Central Oregon.

How long have you lived in the county? Since 1968, with breaks for education and to live abroad in Taiwan for 3 years.

What are the top three issues facing the county?

I will work diligently to create the additional economic resources our communities will need to emerge with strength from the impact of COVID-19.

Within the cities there is the lack of available and affordable housing while outside city limits there needs to be focus spent on keeping farmland protected for farms or ranches while supporting farmers and rancher struggling to find enough water to keep their farms and ranches viable.

Bringing countywide highspeed internet would dramatically support and strengthen local businesses, allow more people to work from home and therefore do their shopping here and participate in their children's after school activities, and most importantly allow our students to have equal opportunities throughout the educational process. This is vital for their future.

How would you address those issues?

There is currently supportive business and other economic money available for rural communities. These resources are found through collaborative efforts, one of my strengths.

I will listen to the community, help establish priorities, develop balanced economic solutions, and then make things happen. First step is to find out what the community wants, then go after it.

Housing- Within the city; Team up with Housing Works and become a stronger member so we can build resources towards additional housing. Work with, instead of against, Habitat for Humanity. Develop a working relationship with the Madras High School and their Trade School Program. Then we team up with them to get high school students doing remodels on the derelict, eye sore housing within the city. This could be done in partnership with local banks, contractors, and others, providing everyone with a win. COIC is also a strong support in developing housing and I would work diligently with them.

Farms/ranches and water. Reach out to North Unit Irrigation and find out where they need us to advocate for them, then using my relationship with our Senators we fight for our farmers and ranchers.

There is currently a strong push from our US Senators to provide rural communities with highspeed internet and I would again work with other elected officials to get us on their radar and in line to receive the support we need to bring highspeed internet to our communities. I would also work with the City of Madras, who has started this process but needs additional support from the County Commissioners.

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponent? –

The greatest difference between myself and my opponent is my community involvement. I volunteer with the MHS Future Center working with juniors and seniors to help them decide what their future looks like. I serve as Superintendent for the Open Class with the County Fair and during Relay for Life I support the Silent Auction. I am a Board Member of Kiwanis. I serve as the MHS Key Club Advisor and am proud of all the work these young leaders do throughout our communities. Currently I am starting to gear up for a substantial year as lead for Operation Rudolph.

My community involvement is important not only because it shows my deep support and love for my community, but it helps me to understand the hidden needs of the community, develop relationships with those who are doing the work behind the scenes within our communities to serve the people and it gives me a deeper understanding of how to bring different people to the table to work on local problems and find solutions that will work for our communities and their needs.

As County Commissioner I will continue to volunteer throughout my community.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I am an honest, hardworking person who loves this county and the people in it, and I bring a common-sense approach to problem solving, believe there should be more community members at the table helping to make decisions and I will work diligently to support all the people in Jefferson County, especially those being impacted from COVID-19.

Metolius Mayor

Current Council President Patty Wyler is running unopposed.

Patty Wyler

Age: 69

Education: High school, some college accounting courses

Occupation: Retired

Government Experience: On city council since 2011, budget committee, have attended several conferences and classes provided through LOC.

How long have you lived in the city/county? 13 Years in Metolius

What are the top three issues facing the city/county? We recently took a survey and learned that our citizens are most interested in beautification of our city. Beautification, community involvement, and finding grants to accomplish our goals re most important to me.

How would you address those issues? Although COVID has slowed our progress, we have been working with COIC. We are making some plans to dress up our Jefferson Street walking path.

We have some ideas to get our citizens more involved with city projects and community events. We especially want to make an effort to reach out to our Hispanic residents.

We are working with a grant writer with hopes of getting help to update and improve our city parks. I believe as we improve the looks of our city, we will become a more desirable place for new businesses and new homes.

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponent? No opponent

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you. I have always taken my position on council very seriously and will continue to do so as I serve my city.

Metolius City Council

All candidates for Metolius City Council are running unopposed.

Kelly T. Clowers

Age: 58

Education: Madras High School, 1980; Suzuki Schools - California

Occupation: Construction

Government Experience: None

How long have you lived in the city/county? City three years, County 58 Years

What are the top three issues facing the city/county? Beautification of properties in the city.

How would you address those issues?

Citations

What distinguishes you as a candidate from your opponent? Integrity and honesty.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

I've lived here my whole life and know a lot of good people want to help things move forward.

Efforts to reach candidates Foncie Elliott and Lloyd Trent were unsuccessful.

Jefferson County Soil & Water Conservation District

The two candidates for the Jefferson County Soil & Water Conservation District are running unopposed.

Scott Samsel (I)

Age: 73

Education: Graduated High School, College GED from USMC

Occupation: Farmer

Government Experience: United States Marine Corps 1967-1973

How long have you lived in the district? Since 1972

What are the top three issues facing the district?

The ongoing drought, the allocation of the limited number of water and farmable land with a growing influx of population. The piping of irrigation canals in the whole Deschutes Basin to stretch our water. The reduction of runoff and silt to our natural water ways.

How would you address those issues?

Because some of the issues that confront the district are large - finding funding and making partnership to help accomplish these goals will be priority.

What distinguishes you as a candidate?

My previous terms on the board that helps with the continuity and understanding of issues and partners all phases of the ongoing projects.

Describe in one sentence the most important thing about you and your intentions as a candidate that voters should know about you.

My commitment to the farming community and new ways to address the problems that confront the district.

Efforts to reach candidate Sean Vibbert were unsuccessful.


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