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Who I am and why I want to serve on the City Council

Well, now that certain aspects of my life have been made public, I would like to elaborate on my positions and concerns, and offer a little insight as to who I am. So, I will briefly touch up on the issue that seems to be the most important to local media. Then I will move on to the more pressing issues that ail our community, and hopefully the public and the media will do the same.

I would first like to point out that I am the exact same candidate that you read about in the 2012 Jackson County Voters' Pamphlet when I sought your support for Medford City Council, Ward 2. Nothing has changed except that I am a little older, I have acquired more governmental experience by volunteering for two Medford commissions, and I have a better understanding of the various roles of the council, staff, and the myriad commissions they oversee.

The fact that I am an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program card-holder has not, does not, and will not dictate the way I run my business, care for my family or govern, should I be fortunate enough to represent the citizens of Ward 2. Period.

The only other times I wish to speak of dispensaries are when I am interviewed by the City Council, and citing the tax revenue that could be generated as a potential resource to help revitalize our economy, enhance funding for the non-administrative side of school district 549C, assist addictions recovery programs for people trying to reclaim their lives from the use of hard drugs, and fortify public safety.

Those are the issues that plague our community, and those are the issues that I would like to help resolve. The fact is that there is not one single issue that takes precedence over any other. They are all sensitive and require a great deal of research and deliberation before any resolutions can be implemented.

I made up my mind over two years ago that I wanted to get involved with local legislation and be a part of the body that steers Medford in a forward-moving direction. The current Medford City Council has taken big strides to maintain that forward momentum, and I commend them for it. I am glad to see some of these downtown projects come to fruition. I am also grateful that the council has put some of their faith in me by appointing me to the two commissions on which I serve. There are projects past, present and future that I have proudly been a part of.

Before I close, I would like to open myself up to the citizens of Medford about some of the personal aspects about me that, when put all together, will hopefully give you a sense of my true character. If I'm going to continue being involved in politics, then I might as well embrace the fact that certain aspects of my life will be an open book to the public, which is a sometimes burdensome role that I'm willing to assume.

I moved to Medford in 1985 and have lived here, and sometimes around here, since then. I went to school and grew up here. I believe that we live in the best part of the best state in the union. I will always call Medford my home. I am a firm believer in the Constitution and all of its amendments. It truly is a living, breathing document, and its interpretations continue to change with time.

I feel that the universe is far too perfect to deny the existence of God. I know that in other parts of the world they call the creator something else, because they were raised in a culture completely different than ours.

I understand that not everybody subscribes to organized religion or to whether God exists, and that's OK. We all have free will. I strongly believe that the sooner that we realize that we are all human beings, and will ultimately share the same destiny, the better a place the world will be.

In closing, I would like to personally thank you all for taking your time to learn a little more about me. The defining characteristics of a person can easily get lost in the noise of the media. If we, as a community, allow ourselves to get caught up in the media hype, then we hinder our chances of getting anything accomplished. Again, thank you.

Clay Bearnson is the owner of the Gypsy Blues Bar, chairman of the Medford Arts Commission, a member of the Medford Parking Commission and a candidate for the Medford City Council from Ward 2.