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ELECTION LETTERS

With all the candidates running for Position 3 of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, people are getting confused and somewhat overwhelmed.

I recently took the time to learn about each of the candidates and their positions on important issues. I was truly impressed by the boldness and honesty of Doug Breidenthal. He had really fresh ideas on how to boost the economy, create new jobs and even how to fund the historical society and libraries without taxing residents.

What stands out the most, however, is that Doug Breidenthal has been a deputy fire chief and fire captain for two decades. This means he already works within the government system to make things happen. Therefore, Doug gets my vote! — Michelle Brown, Central Point

I have known John Ranchor for years. He and his wife, with minimal capital, spent endless hours building a very successful business. He has been responsible for the employment of many productive citizens. He knows how a business should function in an efficient and productive manner.

John is an individual who has contributed his own time and money in a variety of community enterprises, including successful search-and-rescue operations. When anyone, regardless of their circumstances, needs help, he is ready to assist. He is honest and forthright in his dealing and would certainly be an asset in discussing opportunities for businesses desirous of moving to the Rogue Valley.

I believe John to be a viable candidate for Jackson County commissioner; he deserves to prove his mettle in assisting the conduct and development of our county. — Gerald S. Insley, Ashland

Buck Eichler has nearly a decade of successful experience serving Jackson County, including helping obtain the funds to reopen our libraries by representing us in Washington, D.C. He has considerably more knowledge of county budget, administration, departments and employee needs than his opponents.

Buck has dedicated his volunteer efforts and time to improving service delivery from county government. His abilities as a negotiator, mediator and advocate have already been proven. Buck Eichler deserves to be elected Jackson County commissioner. Vote for Buck Eichler. — David McNeil, Phoenix

No one can argue the need for jobs in Jackson County; however, there is disagreement among the candidates for county commissioner on how best to solve the problem of high unemployment.

For me, the candidate that makes the most sense is Doug Breidenthal. He not only talks about creating a business-friendly community, but he has some innovative ideas on how the county can help existing businesses expand and new businesses relocate to the area.

Doug isn't afraid to work hard, and he's making plans to personally promote Jackson County to potential businesses. I'm also impressed with the educational element he has added to his plans for improving the region's economic situation. — Craig Frausto, Medford

Don Skundrick will bring the open-minded style of leadership Jackson County needs to guide us through these unsettled times. I have worked with Don in business and volunteer positions for more than 35 years. His ability to listen objectively, think rationally and move decisively has resulted in leadership positions in virtually every organization lucky enough to have his involvement.

It is not often that someone with Don Skundrick's background, integrity and experience seeks political office. He understands what Jackson County must do to support the economic development we so desperately require to improve the employment climate of our valley.

Don Skundrick is the complete package. I urge you to vote for Don! — Jim Wright, Medford

There are a number of fine candidates vying for the two positions of county commissioner in the primary election. I would like to endorse two of these candidates who I think would bring pragmatic problem-solving skills to the job. They would also bring longtime involvement in community affairs coupled with lives of personal integrity and professional achievement.

Alas, as an independent, I will not be permitted to vote for people in the primary, but Don Skundrick and Mark Wisnovsky are the kind of talents that independents look for when deciding who to support. I hope we see their names on the ballot come November. — Burke Raymond, Medford

Oregonians need to disengage from "government-is-the-answer" to every issue facing our great state. After watching a couple of Chris Dudley videos, I liked his fresh, common-sense approach.

Digging for more information, I found more to like; playing basketball for 16 years in the NBA with type 1 diabetes is no easy feat; experience in union negotiations (from the player's union side!) gives him valuable perspective to work effectively with or take on the entrenched public employee unions.

He owns a business requiring him to be responsible for meeting payroll and signing paychecks; that's huge to me. He is acutely aware of the need for more taxpayers in Oregon, not more taxes! He understands it is the states that have the greatest opportunity to impact their citizens, for good and bad. He hasn't held major public office before so has no political IOUs clouding his decision-making. Dudley will get my vote! — Arthur Roshon, Eagle Point

Regardless of your political party, I don't think Jackson County could hope for a better qualified commissioner than Richard "Rick" Nagel. I've known Rick for many years and I know him to have the abilities and temperament that this important position calls for.

Rick's experience as a certified public accountant would serve our county well, as would his insights from his many years of running his own small CPA practice.

Rick and his lovely wife, Yolanda, are actively involved in our community. He has taught at SOU and the Oregon College of Business; sits on the board of directors of the Phoenix-Talent School District as well as On-Track; is a longtime Rotary Club member and has served twice as president of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce.

I urge your vote for Rick Nagel for county commissioner, position 1. — Mike Mooney, Ashland

I support Buck Eichler.

Buck shares many of my values. He will work hard to create family wage jobs while maintaining the quality of air that we breathe. He understands the need to "thread the needle" when balancing the rights of landowners with the rights of neighbors. He understands both the need to thin overgrown stands of forest and the need to preserve an essential core of wild lands for our children and grandchildren.

I have seen Buck in the trenches. He partnered with me in Washington when we lobbied for renewal of O&C money to keep our county going. Had that failed, we would not have the reserves that now make our county the fiscal model for our state.

As a former county worker, he fully understands the intricacies of the county, and would be ready to go from day 1. Please vote Buck as our next county commissioner. — Dave Gilmour, M.D., Central Point