County commissioner candidate Jim Olney will leave his post as executive director of the county library foundation to dedicate time to his campaign, he said.

County commissioner candidate Jim Olney will leave his post as executive director of the county library foundation to dedicate time to his campaign, he said.

The Ashland Democrat served at the foundation for three years, leading fundraising efforts to keep the libraries open after the loss of federal timber funds. His last day is today.

Olney faces Republican incumbent C.W. Smith in the November election.

He said he wants to lead the county out of the budget crisis caused by the funding losses. If he is elected, he will not accept the recent 26 percent pay increases approved by the current commissioners, he said.

"I'm willing to sacrifice income for four months in order to win this race because I think it's important for the future of Jackson County," he said.

Olney earned approximately $50,000 annually at the foundation, he said. He will continue his part-time work teaching online classes through Florida-based Saint Leo University.

— Ashland Daily Tidings