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Opinion » Editorial

Vote James Cook for Deschutes County Commission Position 3

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Democrat James Cook is a small business owner and chair of the Redmond planning commission who has also served on Redmond's budget and parks committees. Republican Patti Adair has been licensed as a Certified Public Accountant and is the county chair of the Deschutes County Republican Party. Cook's actual experience and background is stronger.
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Both claim their experience would be vital to managing a complex budget such as the one in Deschutes County—but it's here that our concern about Adair's ability to match rhetoric with real-world execution begins to fall apart. When we discussed managing the budget—a budget Adair claims she will look to cut in her quest for "fiscal responsibility"—Adair would not directly answer the question of "where would you actually cut the budget," besides making vague statements about the salaries of current county employees, and sharing confusing leaps of logic about winter road conditions and how they relate to high rates of absenteeism at local schools. A lack of informed, researched, brass-tacks number-crunching is surprising from someone with a CPA background.

James Cook, meanwhile, offered a clear response to our question of how to best manage county budgets, demonstrating knowledge of how to utilize available funds while also continuing to adhere to constitutional property tax options and build up reserves to avoid calamity in years of lower economic prosperity.

Cook also offers a stance on county marijuana regulations that seems more palatable to a larger number of people in Deschutes County, arguing that the current regulations be allowed to stand, lest the County find itself in lengthy administrative and court battles related to regulations that are too strict. Adair, on the other hand, seems in favor of even-stricter regulations for an industry already choked by more regulation than any other crop. She also made a statement at a recent debate that a local landowner's land has "no value" due to its location next to a marijuana grow—a statement we later verified with the county assessor to be unfounded. These sweeping statements that have no basis in fact, which Adair tosses out on any number of issues, are what concern us most about hiring Adair to the county commission. While Cook would do well to keep a more measured demeanor in the face of such erroneous and egregious statements by Adair, he is clearly the more experienced, prepared candidate in this race. Vote James Cook for Deschutes County Commission position 3. 

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