Jackson County Commissioner candidate running a second time

A Jackson County bakery owner and 2012 Republican candidate for Jackson County Commissioner is hitting the campaign trail again.

Prospect resident Colleen Roberts, who ran unsuccessfully during the 2012 Republican primary against Commissioner Doug Breidenthal, will challenge second-time candidate and commercial real estate agent Joel Ockunzzi for the Republican candidate spot in the May 2014 primary election.

Both are running for position no. 3, replacing Commissioner John Rachor, whose term ends this year. Rachor said he won't run again.

Twenty-year owner of Sensational Sweets Bakery in Eagle Point, Roberts said she wants to bring a platform of restrained government spending, eased restrictions on business owners and area residents, and more management in area forests to create jobs.

"I want to be an advocate for Jackson County," Roberts said. "I bring, really, a common sense, private sector approach to government."

Roberts said she'd like to see eased restrictions and fewer permit requirements on area businesses. She'd also advocate ramped-up timber harvests, citing economic growth and forest health as benefits.

"If we just let our woods burn up and just smell smoke all summer, I don't think that's good use of our natural resources and forest management," she said. "We can open up the woods. Natural resources, I believe, are one of our greatest treasures of Jackson County."

Roberts is a frequent attendee of board meetings and work sessions. She often speaks during public comment periods at the meetings, voicing concerns over issues like board authority, commissioner pay and county spending. If she were on the other side of the podium, she said she would want to see that "listener" role expanded, allowing people to speak before commissioners vote on action items.

"When (attendees) come into a meeting and they have ideas, they have concerns, I want them to be heard," Roberts said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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