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Roberts seeks accountability in government

Colleen Roberts said her top priority if elected Jackson County commissioner is increasing accountability and transparency in government.

She said she also would strive to represent the people of the county.

"I will make every effort to make government transparent," said Roberts, a frequent critic of county government. "If people have questions or problems, I want them to know they can have an open door. From talking to people, I know they have a lot of issues with county government. I will be there for them."

A Republican, Roberts won the May primary to become her party's nominee. She also secured write-in votes from Democrats, whose party didn't field a candidate.

Roberts is listed on the ballot and in the voters' pamphlet as both a Republican and Democrat.

Democrat Kevin Talbert has since entered the race to take on Roberts and is running as an Independent.

Roberts described herself as a conservative Republican who prioritizes fiscal responsibility. She is also anti-abortion and won the endorsement of Oregon Right to Life. She said she will base all decisions on the United States and Oregon constitutions.

Roberts said economic development is a big concern for her along with representing the people.

"I see so much unemployment, so many foreclosures and so many businesses closing," she said. "We're not working for the private sector. Government needs to get out of the way and be less restrictive. I feel the key to economic development is to get government out of the way."

The owner of Sensational Sweets bakery, Roberts said government restrictions and fees are impeding business growth.

She said she would support natural resources industries and work to gain local control over federal lands in the county.

She said builders need to hire lawyers just to get through the planning process and construct homes and businesses. Roberts said she would work to cut back restrictions and lower county fees.

On the Nov. 4 ballot, Oregon voters will decide whether to approve a measure to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana.

"In my view, I'm not for it. The ballot measure is filled with government control, restrictions and taxes. There will be a whole new layer of bureaucracy if it passes," Roberts said. "But the decision will be made by a vote of the people. I will support the voice of the people."

Reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or by email at valdous@mailtribune.com.

Colleen Roberts