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Commissioner Candidate Forum Part 1

Did you attend? Lots of good information. Here is part 1. Will be posting part 2 and 3 soon.

Josephine County Democrats held a forum for all eight commissioner candidates April 9.  Here is brief rundown on who they are and where they stand on the issues.

Who Are They?

Colene Martin – Real estate agent with John L. Scott. Very involved in economic development, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for seven years. She and her husband had the Photo Den Vision and Sound shop in Grants Pass for 20 years. She helped get the Sheriff’s District on the ballot and passed. She says she sees herself as a catalyst for positive change in the county. Transparency is one reason the charter change came about and she has a pragmatic approach to governing that puts people and property rights first.

Dan Mancuso – Illinois Valley News publisher, covered government, is on the budget committee and the Illinois Valley Airport Advisory Board and Economic Development for Illinois Valley. He says he’s been around 13 different commissioners here during his years covering the county courthouse and he’s ready on day one to start work because he knows the job.

Mark Jones – A fireman who grew up in Josephine County, ended up at the Scottsdale AZ Fire Department, retired and moved back to Josephine after 20 years of service there. Since 2018 he has been on the Rural Planning Commission and is Vice Chair of the Housing and Community Development Council. He says for the past 2 ½ years he has immersed himself in county government so day one, he will be ready to serve. He does not want to continue the promotion of division like the current commission has done and he’d like to see the political parties here work together more.

Chris Barnett – A 43-year resident. Owner/Principal Broker at Realty Executives Southern Oregon, KAJO radio personality, US Air Force retiree, sheriff’s department volunteer, served on various boards in the community. He believes in God, family, country and freedoms and thinks it’s important to put unity back in our government.

Pat Fahey – Grew up in his family’s business here, Southern Oregon Sanitation which his three sons are running now. Former member of the RCC Board, current Library Board member. Has served with many community organizations. He says running for commissioner has been a journey. People will tell you things and you end up really getting to know your neighbors and what is worth fighting for.

Russell McAlmond – Rabbi, has an MBA, MSFS, CFP. Financial advisor, Executive Director and Founder of the Center for Human Equality. Military service. NRA gun instructor. He says people shouldn’t vote for partisans. Voters should read each candidate’s application and see what their education and experience is. He says this is a job, not just a political office.

Nathan Gonzalez – Managing partner in The Grounds Guys, a landscaping business. He says this is his first time around, running for office and he loves this county.

Ron Smith – Says his family homesteaded in Josephine County 120 years ago. Has run for Commissioner unsuccessfully several times. Former small business owner, Christian ministry,