By Commissioner, Jim Raffenburg
October 22, 2008
Our country is in trouble.
On a national and growing world-wide scale, we are seeing the early stages of the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression. The bills from years of spending excesses, both public and private, are now coming due.
As our country slips into a recession, or worse, voters face some tremendously important decisions in the general election this November 4th. In both the national election and in our local Josephine County election, we have clear choices in who and what we vote for. The decisions we make when we mark our ballots will set the directional course for our country and for our county for many years to come.
In Josephine County, voters have some serious questions to ask themselves.
Do you want a bigger county government along with the tremendously higher taxes that come with it?
Or do you want a streamlined, smaller county government that finally lives within the means of taxpayers?
Depending on how you vote in the County Commissioner election, you will be answering those questions.
This election is a pivotal, “tipping point” event for our small county. This election is not about who has the best education or who has the best smile.
This election is about ideas.
There are two “candidate teams” running for the two commissioner positions. One team has new ideas for solving our problems and the other team has no ideas at all.
The “Harry Mackin and Dwight Ellis team” is using fear in an attempt to convince you to vote to create three, new permanent fire and sheriff taxing districts. If all three of these districts are created, your total tax bill could nearly double from what it is today. Mackin and Ellis believe big government is good. That is the sum of their plans. More taxes, bigger government.
I have worked with Dwight Ellis for the past four years. He is a nice man who has not offered one new idea since he took office. He has cost this county hundreds of thousands of dollars due to his bad decisions. He has not earned the right to a second term.
Harry Mackin has no interest in controlling the cost of government. In fact, he does not even like our current form of county government. He believes it should be even less representative of the will of the people, by having an appointed manager running the county. Dwight Ellis and Dave Toler are on the public record as agreeing with him.
I firmly believe that a Toler, Mackin and Ellis Board of Commissioners will irreparably harm Josephine County’s future, making it a special interest haven, all too expensive for anyone who cannot afford the new taxes they plan to continuously push to implement. They would also move quickly to change our County Charter to ensure that no future Board of Commissioners would ever have the ability to undo their schemes for remaking county government. The only thing each of you will be needed for, in their new, bigger governmental system, is to pay the higher taxes.
Please don’t let this happen to this wonderful county. I strongly encourage you to vote for both Jack A. Brown and Sandi Cassanelli for County Commissioner. They are the only candidates who truly represent “the People.”
The team of Sandi Cassanelli and Jack A. Brown know government can be operated more efficiently than it is today. Even with less money, we can still have adequate public safety, good roads and vital public health services. Brown and Cassanelli represent the old fashioned American spirit of self-reliance and can-do optimism.
Their opponents represent the same culture of excess and dependence that has caused the very financial meltdown we are all now living through.
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I leave you with this paraphrase of some timeless words of warning from Benjamin Franklin:
“Those who would trade liberty for security, will have neither and will lose both.”
May God guide you all in the days ahead.
Jim Raffenburg, Commissioner
� 2008 Jim Raffenburg - All Rights Reserve