Opinion: Commissioner’s view on county candidates

Who are you voting for?

Tillamook County Commissioner Mark Labhart

By Mark Labhart
Tillamook County Commission Chairperson

I’ve been giving some thought to this question for some time. Hopefully you, like me, are looking, reading and listening to the candidates as you make your decisions.

I’d like to share with you my perspective on the two candidates running for Tillamook County Commissioner Position 2. This is the position I have held for the last 12 years. I have considered it a distinct privilege and honor to serve you, the citizens, of this great county. I will miss this job and you greatly!  On Dec. 31, my term is complete and you will have elected another Commissioner to fill this position on Jan. 1.

I know both candidates, Jennifer Purcell and David Yamamoto, well. I have worked with both of them over the years in their various capacities.  I consider them both friends. They are both dedicated hardworking individuals and you can’t go wrong with either one, from my perspective.

I do favor one, though. I encourage you to support Jennifer Purcell for Position 2 County Commissioner.  Jennifer has the right mix of private, county and state experience to hit the ground running. Jennifer was previously a small business owner. She has also worked for Tillamook County as our Solid Waste Coordinator.

She currently works for the State of Oregon as one of the Regional Solutions Coordinators. Her job is to work with other state agencies and the private sector to help individuals, businesses and cities weave their way through myriad governmental regulations and get to “yes” for their proposed project, or to try and help them solve a problem with a state or federal agency. She does a good job at this. I have seen her in action.

Jennifer Purcell keeps cool under pressure, which you need to be in this position. She sees the big picture.  I’ve seen her make tough but sound decisions. She has excellent interpersonal skills. I’ve seen her gain people’s trust and build teams. I’ve seen her deal directly with bad news and start right in to work to find a solution to their problem.

Jennifer has a high ethical tone. I believe Jennifer knows her weaknesses as well as her strengths. I’m amazed at how optimistic she is and she believes there is nothing but better times for Tillamook County. I’ve heard others say she is a good listener and is sensitive to their concerns even when they may not be sensitive to her.

I’ve seen her resolve conflicts. Jennifer is loyal to the County. She’s ambitious. She’s a problem solver. She’s emotionally mature. I’ve seen her in action when she focuses directly on the situation, issue, behavior and tries to resolve their concern.

No, she is not perfect but she’s a good fit for the current board of Tim Josi and Bill Baertlein. She will be her own person just as Bill and Tim are. I believe she will be as dedicated as I have been. She will be a Commissioner for all of Tillamook County.

So, now you know where my vote is going for Tillamook County Commissioners Position 2. I hope you will join me. I believe you will not go wrong in selecting Jennifer Purcell. As the commercial says, “Thanks for listening.”

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