Letters to the Editor: Itzen or Huxley?
Vote for Curry County Commissioner!
Who supports whom? This post consists of Letters to the Editor of the Curry Coastal Pilot on Wednesday, October 15 and Saturday October 18, 2014. They focus only on the contest between Commissioner Dave Itzen and challenger Tom Huxley. Consider counting the number of letters in support of each candidate.
|Time for Tom HuxleyI read the letter from Lauren D. Spector about the candidate forum at the Brookings library on Oct. 6.I was there, too. And, I heard Mr. Huxley offer the one solution his opponent did not.
The commissioners need to stop spending. You cannot bemoan the lack of funds and then turn around and give yourself and the county employees raises. You cannot stand in front of your constituents and justify a salary and benefit package which exceeds the wages of those of us on fixed incomes when your opponent is committed to only accepting a small stipend to do the same job. You cannot harp on a single incident of a botched 911 call in Josephine County in order to instill fear in the voting public to further business as usual.
The elephant in the room is the legal power of Curry County officials to borrow from the $35 million Road Fund to augment any budget shortfall. The money is there to keep things running. But, when you have public officials who, in spite of this fact, continue to spend taxpayer dollars for ballot measures to raise our property taxes, the voting public will react and continue to react accordingly.
It would appear Mr. Itzen never met a tax he didn’t like. This incumbent politician has been weighed and found wanting.
It is time to put an educated, experienced businessman in office who will not cater to any entrenched power structure or cabal of string-pullers behind the scenes. It is time to vote for Tom Huxley.
John M. Johnson
Works to benefit us
November elections are around the corner and Tom Huxley is the first-ever Curry County candidate to run for office and reject the commissioner’s salary which is $91,595 today.
Old news from the Pilot needs to be resurrected, summarized and remembered when voting. Memorable Commissioner Itzen quotes:
“The seriousness of our financial instability.” Not serious enough to stop Itzen and Smith helping themselves to salary increases.
“The only remedy allowed by law is through a property tax.” Enough already, voters have said no.
“Everybody gets treated the same.” Except the taxpayer who pays for everything.
“They’re mad today about that, they’ll be mad tomorrow about something else.” Citizens who criticize Itzen are dismissed as irrelevant, arrogantly portrayed as feckless and memory-deficient.
In the real, down-to-earth world voters expect honesty, integrity and prudent common-sense restraint from elected commissioners. It is high time for Itzen to climb down from his elevated perch in Gold Beach and face the public at eye-level. What happened to the promised Town Hall Meetings?
Tom Huxley cannot be bought and is beholden to no one. He will serve the people of Curry County unencumbered by backroom deals and special interests. He will not be sold a bill of goods like the Pyrolysis Facility deal, “too grandiose for this area.” A successful businessman and relentless pursuer of facts and figures, he will consolidate and outsource some of the departments if financially prudent.
Government should be run as a business and Tom Huxley will work to benefit county citizens.
Swim with Huxley
If Tom Huxley has been doing some finger pointing in Curry County, it is long overdue.
True, Tom has not previously worked in government, but if elected county commissioner, he would bring to the table his business acumen in the private sector to the aid of our struggling Curry.
I think he would put an end to unproductive, wasteful practices that have been going on here for several county administrations.
The practice of opaqueness would definitely come to an end. No more alleged back room deals or under the table card shuffling.
Remember, in the real business world, it’s swim or sink.
Time for solutions
We reach an age when we can all play a part in determining how certain aspects of our lives evolve. But evolution doesn’t happen overnight, so many choose not to participate. I refer to our ability to VOTE.
Young and old, regardless of the balance in anyone’s bank account, we’re all given a stake in the direction of our future. We are lucky enough to call this beautiful area “home,” but yet a 49-percent voter turnout is considered good!
Like much of the country, we suffer from a quickly growing epidemic called Voter Apathy. It’s caused in large part by those who want to remain in office. Apathy is exactly what the establishment wants to maintain, because a lack of participation from citizens allows them to determine our future. Young eligible voters don’t participate because they aren’t taught to think for themselves or worry about tomorrow. The elderly often feel that by not participating, maybe the margins they exist on won’t be affected.
It’s time we all open our eyes to the reality we’re living in. It requires no leadership or creativity to solve problems by simply requesting more money from those who elected you. Our area has a number of retired folks who successfully ran businesses with budgets much larger than our local communities. We should take advantage of this resource, because their efforts wouldn’t be driven by a need for enrichment or control, but rather by a willingness to share their experience and expertise.
There are solutions out there, but we need to do away with the old business-as-usual approach to fiscal shortfalls. It’s time we all participate and vote.
Why I support Tom
As one commissioner likes to remind folks, I’m a Democrat from Massachusetts. So why, you may ask, am I supporting Tom Huxley.
There are several reasons. Tom and I disagree on many federal and state-wide programs and policies, but Tom is not running for Congress or state legislature. There are other candidates on the ballot seeking those positions and I am confident that the incumbents in those offices, regardless of party, are amply representing the citizens of Curry County.
Tom is running for county commissioner to perform the executive and administrative functions of our county government. And Tom and I agree on three basic premises.
First, Tom and I agree that the services the county provides for must be provided in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. We cannot afford to waste even a drop in the bucket.
Second, Tom and I agree that county government must be transparent. Holding meetings without public access to the orders, resolutions and studies being discussed is not transparent government. Not many years ago there were public “team meetings” of department heads and elected officials. Today, those meetings are held behind closed doors, the public is excluded.
Third, Tom and I agree that the voters ought to determine how revenue is generated for services the voters want. Public discussion of a county business license shouldn’t be blocked by a commissioner worried about re-election. Whether the county should impose a transient lodging tax should decided by the voters.
That’s why I support Tom.
A new direction
Curry County residents: Please take the time and make the effort to vote for Thomas Huxley for Curry County commissioner on Nov. 4 to replace David Itzen.
Curry County is in dire financial straits, possibly having to close the jail by next July.
Mr. Itzen obviously did not consider the county’s fiscal problems when he voted himself a raise. He will be making approximately $90,000. After public outcry he joined Ms. Brown in saying he will donate his additional income; nonetheless it remains on the backs of the taxpayers who may wish to donate to other entities or merely put food on their table.
Mr. Huxley was a businessman who had to be financially responsible. He has stated he will take the job of commissioner for $10,000 per year, which is an immediate savings to the county of $80,000 per year.
What we have has proven to not work. Hopefully, Mr. Huxley can be instrumental in taking Curry County in a new and more financially efficient direction.
Please take the time to vote.
Vote for honest man
I have been in the area since 2002 and have seen firsthand the way the “Good Old Boys” do business. Some years, special elections are called at the cost of around $25,000 each and every time for things like “emergency jail funds” or some other equally needed “emergency.”
It is my understanding that if these increases to property taxes had gone through, many would not have been able to pay the extra taxes. You “leaders” think that the 22,000 folks who live in Curry County are all making the same money as you. The mean annual income is around $35,000 for those 22,000 folks. That means that you “Good Old Boys” are making way more than the average income of Curry residents.
I see that we have a new horse in the running for County Commissioner, that being Tom Huxley. He is a breath of fresh air that this county badly needs. My vote will be for him. He is going to forego the salary and only accept the $10,000 stipend that will be needed for him to go about his county duties. That alone will save the county nearly a hundred thousand dollars of salary, bonuses, medical contributions, etc., the list goes on with some “hidden” entitlements that these folks have voted for themselves over the years.
It will be a Godsend when the good folks of Curry County wake up and vote for an honest man for county commissioner.
And finally, one was published that sounded like sour grapes from someone who lost in the April primary election and continues to act as a politician who, for whatever reason, feels a need to protect his reputation.
A difficult choice
This is a very difficult election.
In my opinion both candidates for county commissioner, Mr. Itzen and Mr. Huxley, have positive attributes and both are seriously flawed.
I have known David Itzen for many years and supported his run for commissioner four years ago. He is a gentleman that I respect in many ways, but unfortunately in his four years in office the state of the county is substantially worse than it was four years ago and Mr. Itzen’s only response is “more revenue.” The voters have lost confidence in his four years in office and will not approve a “more revenue” solution. Recognizing this I would think he would be looking for another solution. I haven’t seen it. We need a different approach.
Mr. Huxley is also flawed in that he, also, does not have a plan for solving the county’s problems and more importantly he does not have a vision for the future. He spends way too much time with “Gotcha” politics. Continuing to reveal flaws in the current organization and using inflammatory accusations may satisfy the extremists but does nothing to improve the situation. One has to ask the question, “What would Mr. Huxley do in office if there were no financial problems?” I suspect he would be lost.
So what is one to do? Reluctantly, I will vote for Tom Huxley. He is at least working on the right problem, which is structure and expense that must change. Unfortunately I think he will be a one-term commissioner as this county is crying out for leadership and a vision for the future. Neither of these candidates provide that.
Unfortunately I think we are in for four more years of controversy.