As someone who stays active on issues within our county, I am disappointed when an elected official I have supported and voted for takes credit for other people’s hard work and accomplishments. Throughout his campaign, Commissioner Hover has claimed that the success of the heavy-haul industrial corridor designation on State Route 97 in Oroville and the resulting jobs were due to his leadership. In truth, Commissioner Hover was recently forced to admit that he in fact had very little to do with the heavy-haul industrial corridor and the resulting jobs. His role was merely in the form of ‘support.’ He did not even bother to contact our legislators. Sen. Bob Morton deserves the credit for the heavy-haul designation and the resulting jobs at Oroville Re-Man and Re-Load.
Commissioner Hover is also taking credit for ‘working hard’ to revise the original 5,000 page County Comprehensive Plan down to the current 43 page document. I have been involved in that process for four years now at the expense of my family and can attest to the fact that Commissioner Hover fought against the citizens of Okanogan County every step of the way. The current Comprehensive Plan is the result of countless citizens’ volunteer efforts and time from both sides of the political aisle; not our salaried commissioner’s. Commissioner Hover was ready to sign the original 5,000 page GMA document that would govern our land without even having thoroughly read it.
Ray Campbell has my vote for Okanogan County Commissioner, District 2.
Editor’s Note: As noted in last week’s edition, this was the final week to write Letters to the Editor endorsing or opposing candidates and/or ballot issues. This allows the candidates themselves, or their appointed representatives, one last chance to respond to any new claim that has been voiced against them on this opinion page in prior issues (see our Green Editions at www.gazette-tribune.com to read past issues). For example, one letter writer this week writes that Candidate Don “Bud” Hover has taken credit for helping to get approval of the heavy haul route from the Canadian border to the railhead at Oroville that is not due him. Hover, or one of his selected representatives, may chose to respond to that charge next week or about his involvement in the county’s attempt to draft a new Comp. Plan to replace the four-decades-old one.
I’d like to point out that many people were involved in supporting the heavy haul corridor and there is lots of credit to go around. This includes Sen. Morton, but shouldn’t neglect Mark Bordwell, who was General Manager for Canadian-owned Gorman Brother’s Oroville Reload and Reman at the time. He really got the ball rolling, and Chris Branch, Oroville’s Director of Community and Economic Development, picked up the ball under the direction of the City of Oroville and ran with it, working and testifying on Oroville’s behalf. The commissioners actively supported it, especially then Position 3 Commissioner, Mary Lou Peterson, from this district, This newspaper also wrote several articles about the value of a heavy haul corridor and strongly endorsed it editorially.
We’ve had a pretty good mix of endorsements of various candidates for local office, especially in the races for county commissioner and Okanogan County PUD board. All the letters, including the one above have been thought-provoking and a valuable means for people to participate in the election process and I’m grateful for their inclusion in the G-T. G.D.