No matter who wins the local contests for Douglas County commissioner and Roseburg city councilor, area residents can say one thing with certainty: We have plenty of candidates to choose from, and that’s a great thing.

Sixteen people are running for seven seats on the Douglas County Transportation District Board. That takes serious dedication. It’s hardly a glamorous job, but somebody’s got to do it.

In the commissioner race, we’re fortunate to have a whopping eight contenders for a single opening. Each of these people has contributed to the community already. The list includes people with business experience, government experience and veteran service. One is a Roseburg city councilor. There’s a young hero who stopped a would-be terrorist attack, and the former executive director of the Downtown Roseburg Association, who lost her job after questioning the relationship between the DRA and the city.

We’ll be asking questions of all these candidates in the coming months. We’ll do the same for the candidates for Roseburg City Council. Current Councilor Tom Ryan faces former Councilor Marty Katz in Ward 2. And voters in Ward 4 will get to choose between three women, each entering the race with solid credentials. From initial interviews, it seems each of the candidates for council would bring something valuable to the seat. Whoever wins Ward 4 will become the fifth woman on the council, giving women a majority of the council seats for what may be the first time.

The only bad news here is that by choosing a single candidate for each of these posts, we have to turn away some great people. We hope each finds another way to pitch in to help make our city and county governments the best they can be.

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