My campaign for Benton County Commissioners, Position 1 is going well. My staff has been working hard gathering information to keep you informed. Some of this information will only be available by paying the county for the time it takes to provide the data. Oregon Statute does allow this and we will pay the funds if necessary. It is vital to the campaign and for you the taxpayers to know where funds are being spent. We need your campaign donations to insure you do receive this data.

It is apparent Benton County and the City of Corvallis are combining funds to operate both agencies. Is this in the best interest of the taxpayers? The county has made purchases based on long-term plans for both to build a building together. I have suggested Benton County take advantage of space available at the HP Campus. Commissioner Jay Dixon was the only one to respond from the board. His answers were weak and lacked factual information. Basically, the message was they do not want to interfere with the integrity of the plans to build the civic center building. Our campaign efforts will show the facts and full accounting of both choices. Timing is everything as the leases are due for the current space in 2010.

Benton County has taken an effort to improve the process of maintaining the roads by receiving a permit from the US Fish & Wildlife Department and wasted nearly a million dollars of Federal, State and local funds to turn the permit into a full scale effort to manage the endangered Species act. The answer to the cost of just the development of this plan was to say the money would have been spent somewhere else anyway. This shows a lack of concern with accountability to the taxpayers. I will make sure you know where the money came from and where it is being spent.

Questions we need answered now by the Benton County Commissioners:

Why is the Benton County Prairie Species Habitat Conservation Plan being submitted to USF&W without showing the funding which is one of the criteria to have it approved?
How many people do you plan on hiring (including contracts) to enforce the plan?
How are you going to pay for a Biologist?
What companies are being hired to maintain the plan?
How much private land do you plan to purchase and with what money?

These are just a few issues on the hot plate for early 2010.


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