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April 27, 2014
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Editorial: Experience, accessibility give Freeman an edge for commissioner

Douglas County residents need to elect a commissioner who will take a strong leadership role in planning the county’s future.

During the next four years, the county could see federal forest legislation bring about more jobs and revenue. Or it could continue to see a dwindling timber safety net, forcing the county to gut its long-held savings to maintain services and balance its budget.

If that occurs, county leaders will have to make tough decisions about what services get funded, and whether they will look to residents for support of a tax levy to support such basic services as the sheriff’s office, district attorney’s office and the county landfill. Commissioners will also have to decide if they can continue to pave and repair roads, fund libraries, parks, the museum and veterans services.

The commissioner’s job is not for a beginner. It requires a person with a thorough understanding of the county’s makeup and its obligations now and into the future.

Voters are fortunate that seven people entered the race, offering to put their time and energy into improving the lives of Douglas County residents. Each candidate would bring a fresh perspective to the board of commissioners.

All agree the county needs to offer an environment that’s conducive to attracting new businesses while also helping existing businesses thrive, so we can all enjoy a more prosperous place to live.

It’s good to have people willing to serve and it’s good for people to have choices.

One candidate, however, has the background that will allow him to be a contributing member of the board of commissioners as soon as he is sworn into office. Current Oregon House District No. 2 Rep. Tim Freeman has prepared himself well for the position.

From his entry into government service on the Roseburg Budget Committee in 2001 to his re-election as a state legislator, Freeman has matured into a thoughtful, hard-working politician. Nearly everyone comments on how accessible he is, regularly appearing at events across the county and handing out business cards printed with his personal cellphone number.

As a legislator, he’s gained an understanding of the major issues facing Oregon and they involve Douglas County. If he’s unfamiliar with an issue, he’s shown he will seek more information to make decisions that are in the best interests of his constituents.

As a longtime Douglas County resident and small businessman, he’s aware of the importance of the timber industry to our region. We have confidence he will learn alongside Commissioners Doug Robertson and Susan Morgan and continue to lobby for better management of the federal forests that make up such a large part of our county.

Freeman has earned our endorsement in the primary election for Position No. 2 on the board of commissioners based on his understanding of the issues and the job to be done.

Along with our endorsement, we expect him at all times to display integrity, honesty and strong moral character, and to ensure that transparency is a hallmark of our county government.

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The News-Review Updated Apr 27, 2014 12:04AM Published Apr 27, 2014 12:04AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.