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Bend Chamber of Commerce Hosted Deschutes County Commissioners Debate


September 11th, 2018, 10 Barrel East

By: K.M. Collins

Video by Hand in Hand in Productions

Event photos by: Amanda Photographic // FULL ALBUM HERE

 

During the second 2019 county commissioner debate, held at 10 Barrel East, Tony DeBone (current Republican Deschutes County Commissioner Chair and third term running) and Amy Lowes (Democrat) competed for position one, while James Cook (Democrat) and Patti Adair (Republican) vied for position three. Currently, all three county commissioner seats are held by Republicans.

Moderator questions ranged from city expansion, city waste management, addressing the housing crisis and increasing homeless and transient populations needs…

Among the candidates, a rarely seen fifty fifty male female split was notable. If both Lowes and Adair were to win, a Deschutes County Commission female majority  would reside. For details on duties and responsibilities of Deschutes County Commissioners see: https://www.deschutes.org/bcc

 

Bend Chamber President, Katy Brooks co-moderated with Aaron Switzer, owner of The Source Weekly and Curtis Vogel, Zolo Media manager.

 

The evening began with an acknowledgment of the anniversary of the 2001 September 11th terrorist attacks and then launched into a modified presidential debate format. This included 60 second opening remarks from each candidate, a series of seven questions asked by Brooks, Switzer and Vogel to be addressed in 60 seconds, 30 second follow up responses, opponents also ask each other a question and finally, audience questions.

 

During opening comments Commissioner DeBone shared he wanted to, “Keep it right down the straight and narrow as we do business and we manage growth here in Central Oregon,” while Lowes pointed to her many years working in local homes as a healthcare provider as making her uniquely qualified to serve as commissioner. Cook pointed to inspiration from his grandchildren to run while Adair explained her fourth generation Oregonian status, academic credentials and that she wanted to see “sound fiscal judgment and restraint.”

 

Moderator questions ranged from city expansion, city waste management, addressing the housing crisis and increasing homeless and transient populations needs, public safety dispatch issues and transit and traffic management. In a comment to address mental health needs in Deschutes County, Cook summed it up saying, “we have to look at the cost of doing it as well as the cost of not doing it.”

During the ask your opponent a question segment, Cook inquired about Adair’s divisiveness as a Californian…

Mid questions, Brooks congratulated the candidates for obeying their time allotments.

 

During the ask your opponent a question segment, Cook inquired about Adair’s divisiveness as a Californian, republican pushing out an incumbent and bringing controversial local speakers to the region. He asked how she would be able to work with democrats in the future given demonstrated divisiveness. Adair responded by saying, “I have actually never been accused of being a divisive person. I am actually a very positive person, I always like to bring people together.” Cook rebutted by asking why Adair was missing traditional local republican support.

 

Adair questioned Cook about what person and circumstance inspired him to run for the commissioner seat. She noted he would have been running against Tammy Baney had she (Adair) not won the primary – to which he replied, “I know, and if I had been running against Tammy, I would have gotten my butt kicked!” Cook also pointed to concerns about the future of Deschutes County for his grandkids as motivation to run.

 

At no point did tension for position 1 seem high. Lowes questioned DeBone on his stance regarding wildfires and pointed out most of the smoke was migrating from California and could be linked to climate change. DeBone took the opportunity to clarify Lowes’ position on handling city waste- to which she repeated her hope that the county could be a leader in this field. DeBone rebutted by noting the need to use the free market to accomplish city waste goals.

 

 

 

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  1. Mayme Trumble says:

    Deschutes really, really needs 5 commissioners….2 people is a quorum and that scares me.

    I was impressed by James Cook……

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