Winchester construction manager and real estate investor Mick Fummerton is the fifth candidate to file for the Douglas County commissioner seat Joe Laurance will vacate at the end of the year.
Fummerton, 49, is a sixth-generation Douglas County resident, a descendant of Oregon Trail pioneers who settled in Dixonville in 1849.
He has a lot of competition for the seat. The other candidates are Republican state Rep. Tim Freeman, retired Oregon state Trooper Monte Smith, court bailiff Dale Rogers and retired restaurateur Mark Vincent. If no candidate receives the majority of the votes in the May primary election, the top two vote-getters will face each other in the November general election. The seat is nonpartisan.
Fummerton said if elected he would like to play a supporting role to Commissioner Doug Robertson. He praised the commissioner for his efforts to persuade federal lawmakers to increase timber harvests on Oregon & California Railroad trust lands.
Fummerton has no prior government experience, but said he is familiar with county government. He said he has worked with county officials while managing construction projects.
He also cited family connections. His wife, Jill Fummerton, is a nurse at the Douglas County Health Department and Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin is a distant cousin.
Fummerton said he would continue “to develop a personal connection” to families and businesses in the county.
Fummerton said his priorities would include increasing efficiency in county departments to help solve the county’s budget woes, rather than cutting or combining departments.
“I think they’ve done a lot of trimming. I think it’s more about efficiency than anything new. I don’t think they can cut much more, and they can’t raise property taxes more,” he said.
Fummerton said “public safety is paramount” when budget priorities are chosen.
He said his construction management experience and good instincts would be valuable assets.
“Most importantly what’s going to set me apart from the other people in the race is my intuition,” he said.
A singer and guitarist for the local band Momentary Lapse of Reason, Fummerton organized a Play it Forward six-band concert event in 2012 to help pay medical expenses for Roseburg resident Donna Chavez, whose toes and four fingers were amputated due to a rare form of bacterial meningitis. He also volunteers for Special Olympics.
• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.