In endorsing Don Skundrick for county commissioner, the Mail Tribune included plenty of reasons to vote for Jeff Golden and here are a few more.

Voting for Jeff Golden is a vote for all small business entrepreneurs who, like Jeff, had the courage to take a risk and start their own successful businesses. It is a vote for the creative arts and artists who, like Jeff, had the discipline, drive and talent to author books and receive critical acclaim for their writing.

As a champion of the nonprofit sector, Jeff is also a founder of Mediation Works in Medford, a nationally recognized restorative justice organization that has improved the lives of thousands of children and families in Jackson County.

Jeff Golden joining C.W. Smith and Mark Wisnovsky as county commissioners will build a dynamic, forward-thinking team and a passport to a thriving Jackson County. — Anne Golden (no relation), Ashland

At a recent candidate forum for Jackson County commissioner hopefuls, I found Jeff Golden to be the most articulate of the candidates on every single issue.

When a questioner asked for an opinion, Jeff stated his informed opinion, not campaign rhetoric. When a questioner sought out the candidates' knowledge of an issue, Jeff demonstrated not just a command of the facts but also an understanding of the big picture — how the issue related to county governance and the realistic challenges for those charged with that governance.

Long-term business involvement, like that of Jeff's opponent, is great, but not a very broad focus. Jeff has spent a 40-year career examining our county agenda from many perspectives. His ability to listen and work with others to craft solutions that respect the interests of all make Jeff Golden the most qualified candidate for the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. — Patt Colwell, Ashland

I support Rick Levine for District 4 state representative. Along with the decline in timber-related jobs and revenue, Oregon's K-12 schools and colleges have had their funding slashed by the Legislature. College is beyond the reach of many. And yet, Oregon's economy and future jobs depend on education.

After eight years in Salem and within days of the election, incumbent Dennis Richardson announced the formation of a group to solicit citizen input. You would think if he felt our opinions mattered he would have sought them years ago.

Education and jobs have been Rick's focus his entire professional life. As president of Rogue Community College, he led the way educating and retraining Oregonians for new jobs. We need a representative focused full-time on Oregon's needs, not just on the eve of election.

Send Rick Levine to Salem to represent us, our children and Oregon's future. — Mike Hines, Applegate

As a host on public radio, Jeff Golden spent years listening to Southern Oregon citizens. That unique experience shows in Jeff's local jobs agenda.

This forward-looking plan outlines how Jackson County can prosper in tough times by focusing on local economic sectors with high growth potential, including agriculture, construction (especially green building and energy efficiency), sustainable forestry and information technology. No other candidate has offered such detailed, practical solutions.

Jeff's website also shows how 60 percent of Jackson County government's spending on private suppliers and public agencies leaves Jackson County. If you want a county commissioner who will work to keep those dollars local, vote for Jeff.

If you want a leader equally dedicated to protecting our quality of life and building a truly sustainable economy, vote for Jeff. If you believe that the answers to our future cannot be found in the past, vote for Jeff Golden for county commissioner. — Pepper Trail, Ashland

Think about it. Do we want to vote for a career military officer? We read about how the military does its budgeting. No-bid contracts, overruns, and the taxpayers are anonymous.

He espouses the typical Republican rhetoric tax breaks for the rich — lower the capital gains. They haven't had a new idea in 50 years.

Let's keep our responsible Sen. Dr. Alan Bates, who has to face reality every day and who does so openly and with willingness to work with all. — Keith Van Horn, Medford

The Rogue Valley needs Jeff Golden's leadership. We must get beyond the labels and those controversial but non-substantive issues of the hour and move our county forward on a sustainable path.

Do you feel that we deserve to have someone with true vision, understanding and compassion to lead Jackson County to a stable and strong future? If so, then Jeff Golden is the choice for county commissioner.

Jeff has always been open to discuss issues that affect all of us, and is blessed with that rare ability to listen to all viewpoints and to make the best decision for the greatest good, without playing politics.

Let's help Jeff by realizing his vision of supporting locally owned businesses, building a strong economy that utilizes our natural resources in ways that both support our lives and our children's future and cultivating a county government that believes in its people. We deserve that. — Audrey Eldridge, Jacksonville

Want a county commissioner who has been involved with all of Jackson County, not just one end of the valley? Want a county commissioner who has real life experience with job growth? Want a county commissioner who has worked hard his entire life and will continue working hard for his customers "… Jackson County taxpayers?

Then the clear choice is Don Skundrick for Jackson County commissioner. — Tom Hall, Medford

We can't solve today's issues with the same mindset that created them; obviously it's not working and not going to change in this economic climate. We must change, become more efficient and localized.

Jeff Golden is the only candidate who has the nonpartisan vision to accomplish this. Jeff Golden understands the extent of the county commissioner's responsibility because Jeff's been in the position and he's not afraid of hard work, saying it like it is, knowing what we need and not opposed to doing a job that may not have been on the commissioners' agenda before. He understands that new leadership requires new perspectives to get us through these difficult and arduous times and that approaching today's challenges with yesterday's ideas is not going resolve the serious matters we are facing.

Jeff Golden has the experience and insight we need to grow food, create jobs and revitalize our beautiful community. — Paula Bandy, Ashland

I appreciate your effort toward balance and fairness in your opinion piece choosing Skundrick over Golden. I especially appreciate your comment that "Golden, a former commissioner, makes an impressive case ... with the most detailed analysis and proposals of any of the candidates running for a commissioner's seat."

And this is precisely what, for me, tips the balance in my choosing to support Golden over Skundrick. Golden's is a balanced perspective, one supporting local business, inspiring a search to match programs to vision and bringing heart to the task of community building. Golden is a man of, by and for the community. He brings facts and heart together in service to that, our community. — Dr. Herb Long, Ashland

Conservatives are sometimes defined as those who wish to preserve the worst of the past, and this election certainly proves that point.

They want to:

  • Continue Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that caused more than half the present deficit.
  • Privatize Social Security with the risk of another stock market collapse.
  • Repeal the health care bill, which will allow health care costs to rise uncontrollably.
  • Reduce regulation of financial markets, increasing chances of another financial crisis.
  • Obstruct progressive legislation and maintain the status quo, guaranteeing more control of government by big corporations, with no benefits for small, independent businesses.

That is what conservatives say they want. Is that what you want for you and your children? Vote for Democratic candidates! They will actually represent and defend your interests! — Leslie A. Stone, Ashland

A portion of lottery funds is designated for conservation. Passage of Measure 76 will continue allocation from these funds to the beautiful valley that we call home. If Measure 76 does not pass, this money could go to other regions (waterparkswildlife.org). Please vote yes on Measure 76. The woods, parks, wildlife and waters thank you. — Kellie Christensen, Medford

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