Two finalists for interim Douglas County commissioner were interviewed Monday at the Douglas County Courthouse in Roseburg. The winner will temporarily fill the Douglas County commissioner seat Gary Leif vacated when he became interim representative for state House District 2.
Chris Goodwin and Tim Allen are the finalists out of seven who originally applied for the interim position. Neither is running as a candidate in November. Either Goodwin or Allen will serve as interim until the end of the year, when an elected replacement will take over and hold the seat for four years.
On Monday, Commissioners Chris Boice and Tim Freeman asked Goodwin and Allen what they’d like to accomplish in the short time, about 3.5 months, they’d serve and how they’d deal with criticism from the public, among other things.
Both indicated their business interests wouldn’t get in the way of helping administer the county. Allen said he has a team in place so that he won’t have to spend a lot of time at his business, Tim Allen Equipment, and Goodwin said she has sold her SOCO Coffee business in Myrtle Creek.
Whoever gets the job will be expected to serve as liaison for about 10 of 30 county departments.
Goodwin, who sits on the Douglas County Parks Advisory Board said she’d be interested in working with the parks department and senior services, but that she didn’t have a strong preference. Allen said he’d be interested in working on employee management, conflict resolution and with facilities or vehicles.
Freeman said a huge question he had for the candidates was how they would deal with nastiness from members of the public attacking them for decisions they would make.
Allen said he makes decisions from the heart and follows an 80-20 rule.
“Regardless of what I’m doing, I can kind of guarantee that my goal is to get 80 percent of the people to agree with me, and 20 percent are not going to agree with me, and there’s nothing I can do about that,” he said.
Boice said he thought it would be more like 27 percent who would disagree.
“If you can get to 20, you’re doing pretty good,” he said.
Goodwin said the most controversial decision she’s had to make was when she was serving on the South Umpqua School Board when a school was being closed. She said some of her husband’s patients even called his office to say they wouldn’t see him anymore because of her decisions.
“When you’re doing what you believe to be the right thing, the principled thing, not everybody’s going to like what you’re doing. You just have to stand up against that. You have to be strong with that and courageous. I’m a mature woman now. It takes a lot to really push me over. I know how to conduct myself publicly,” she said.
Boice asked the candidates if they had a pet project or specific area they’d like to focus on.
Goodwin said her heart is really in helping small business owners solve their problems and interact with county government.
Allen said if he could do one thing, it would be to convince people to change their narrative about the county from a negative to a positive. He said positive talk brings positive results.
Freeman and Boice both said they were happy with the quality of the applicants. The commissioners are expected to make their selection Sept. 19.