Election 2018: Meet your candidates for Okanogan County Commissioner

We asked the three candidates for Okanogan County Commissioner Position 3 to answer a few questions for our readers: Tell us a little about yourself, why do you want to be elected and the three most important issues facing the office.

Jim Detro (R)

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Web-Jim-Detro-31I was born May 25, 1948. My father drove my mother through 2ft. Of water during the 1948 flood to get her to the hospital so that I could be born. So I can say that I have been in all three floods ‘48, ‘72,and ‘18.

I have two children, son Doug and daughter Diana; four grandchildren, one boy with Doug, two boys and one girl with Diana and her husband Brad. My 94-year-old mother is in a rest home in Spokane, my father died May, 18, 2010 during my first campaign. My wife and biggest supporter and I have been married for 22 years.

At the age of 16 I went to work for the DNR as a truck driver, from there on to NCSB as a Smokejumper from 1967 to 1973. Then to the private sector in the trucking industry for 46 years at the same time bought and sold heavy equipment and still do. I also have held a pilot’s license for that time and still today. I have seven plus years as Commissioner. I sit on numerous committees at county, state and national levels.

Why do you want to be elected?

I have unfinished business.

What are the three most important issues facing the office?

Saving the Smokejumper base is and always on the top of my list. The $22 million dollar current expense budget is always at the top. And I will always fight for the Custom, Culture and Economic Stability of Okanogan County!

Robert Fuchs (I)

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Robert Fuchs

Robert Fuchs

My name is Robert Fuchs (53) and I’m married to my wife Steffi since 23 years and we live in Oroville since 2000.Our daughter Lena (19) is going to Western Washington University to study psychology and our son Paul (14) is going to be in high school after summer. I’m an elected member of the Oroville City Council since last year and a member of the Oroville May Day Board. I was a volunteer for the Oroville Fire Department for 10 years

Originally from Germany my wife and I became proud U.S. citizens five years ago. I worked for Prince’s/Hughes Department Store for 13 years, the last few years as a manager. Since 2016 I’m working night security at Veranda Beach and drive a school bus in Oroville.

Why do you want to be elected?

Even with being the candidate with the least experience I will take a look at old problems with a new set of eyes. I have an open mind to find new solutions for ongoing and longtime unresolved county issues.

What are the three most important issues facing the office?

-The county budget is tight as everybody knows, to generate more revenue and jobs we should find investors to create tourist attractions to get more Canadians across the border.

-There are not a lot of things to do for our youth in Tonasket and Oroville. If some of these teenagers have nothing good to do they do something bad (drugs,crimes etc.). If we have Youth centers with professional social workers, would give these teenagers a save place to meet friends and learn new things. This way they can stay on the right path.

-The unemployment is of course a big issue. I will work towards creating more jobs threw apprenticeship programs. These job opportunities give young adults,who are not going to college, the change to learn a trade without moving away.

Salley Bull (I)

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Salley Bulll

Salley Bulll

I am a nearly lifelong resident of the north Okanogan County, having lived in Oroville, Tonasket, Loomis and North Pine Creek. I have four adult children with five grandkids; the oldest starting THS. I married Gary Bull, 2010, and he is a great partner and really enjoys being a gran’pa. One daughter and one grandson live out of state, and the rest live here. With my grandchildren, we now have six generations that have lived in the north end of Okanogan County.

I am a member of the Okanogan County Planning Commission and the Board of Equalizations. With the Planning Commission we are in the process of updating and improving the former versions of the plan; the original plan was written in 1964. On the BOE we yearly review real and personal property assessments for fair value, and I can see how changing economic climates can change the value of property.

I am president of the Oroville Library and Community Board, which finished a city-bid remodel on the building in 2017. I led the board in organizing plans, contractors, and money; then worked with the winning contractor to ensure project completion to city’s and board’s satisfaction. I worked to combine funds from the board and Friends of the Oroville Library with the city’s building fund to accomplish the long awaited remodel on the 100 yr. old building. The library and the park are now a major hub of Oroville, a busy place enjoyed by all ages.

I am on the Oroville Scholarship Foundation, since 2013, and have consistently worked on improving our endowment investments and fund raising efforts. Changes in interest rates, up and down, means a constant attentive eye on the funds to achieve the best returns – to give as much as possible to graduating OHS seniors and to former OHS graduates returning to college or technical school. Our payouts now are twice as much – for both types of scholarships. I have worked at the TSD as a custodian and was in charge of the move from the old school into the new – 28 classrooms and 4 offices moved with the help of the Kiwanis, and we did it in 2 weeks. I was also self-employed for 10 years, as a felter, raising, shearing my sheep and attending major arts and crafts shows in four states, including Alaska.

Why do you want to be elected?

I think my experience on the various boards prove that I am one grandmother who is concerned about our kids and shows how I am a dedicated and pro-active citizen who wants to create a more viable economic environment for the future of Okanogan County. Living in a county labeled as High Poverty is a shame that is hard for me to bear. Depending on which area you live in, those living below the poverty level can run from 20-30%, with most school age kids receiving free and reduced meals. Unemployment is still twice the state level.

Although our county has been plagued with low income and high poverty levels for decades, we don’t have to sit idly by and allow it to continue. Training, scholarships, and apprenticeship programs already exist but are little known. Small business help and loans are available. Getting the word out is one part of the improvement; another is encouraging more businesses to move to our great rural county and employ a ready workforce. My experience promoting myself in my craft will be a necessary component to promote our assets to out-of-area growing businesses. As a commissioner making personal contact, following up, and going the extra mile, I know can bring in jobs for our youth.

My experience dealing with investment firms – for OSF and privately held funds – gives me a basic understanding of the complexity of funds and funding methods. Always a poor county, the budget is a tight plan that needs to be crafted carefully to fund the necessities, and plan for unknowns. Also my experience with public buildings’ requirements and standards, and working closely with contractors that have to meet those standards, equips me with skills to work with the plans, make adjustments when problems arise, and work in a positive manner with the contractors doing the work.

What are the three most important issues facing the office?

I have energy, organization, and the motivation to be District #3’s next commissioner. I am ready to begin, to make strong economic improvements in our county. Communication, educational outreach, cooperation, and promotion – are all needed to improve Okanogan County.