From a Watchdog in Curry County
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Highlights of recent candidate debates For Curry County Commissioner Position No. 1 there were five recent debates.
September 18 Curry County Relator Association
September 20 Brookings TEA Party
October 6, 7, 8 League of Women Voters (LOWV) Brookings; Gold Beach; Port Orford
Having been involved in hosting two debates in 2012 and participating in nine debates in 2014, there is a lot of
hard work and preparation for both the hosts and participants. Thank you hosts for sponsoring these debates.
doesn’t ALWAYS tell the truth, they need to keep really good track of what they said
the last time they answered the same or similar question.
Simply put, elected officials and candidates alike need to tell the whole truth EVERY time.
While various ‘Recommendations Going Forward’ have been prioritized and listed on my
campaign literature, some recommendations require additional information be provided
by county officials prior to implementation. Given my recent experiences requesting
such information, that is not going to happen anytime soon.
Below is a sampling of debate examples:
A: Primary Debate April 19, 2014 - Brookings: Complementary video of the debate was provided to all
candidates by the Brookings TEA Party. There were four commissioner candidates at this debate.
Question to all Curry County Commissioner candidates:
"How much money have you spent on your campaign and what is the source of the funds?"
Commissioner Itzen: "Honestly I can't ah I haven't looked at it recently. I know it's over a thousand
dollars. It may be close to two ($2,000). I'm just not sure what the expenditure level is presently."
Those interested can watch the video clip here.
September 19, 2014: Notice of proposed civil penalties of $676.82 by the Oregon Secretary of State Elections
Department to Commissioner Itzen for failing to file any required campaign finance transactions for the
months of February, March and April 2014.
Actual contributions received as of the April 19 debate totaled nearly $5,000.
Actual expenditures as of April 19 totaled around $4,000.
You can view or download the correspondence and proposed penalties below.
B: Debate September 20, 2014 - Brookings: Video of the debate was provided to both candidates.
Audience Question to Commissioner Itzen: Why did you approve giving all employees including
yourself a 2.8% COLA and 6.4 % raise?
Commissioner Itzen to the citizen on the COLA question: "For those of us that are on Social Security
we got a raise virtually every year (Loud moans from the audience saying NO.) Based on, maybe not
every year. OK you got two. So at least you got a couple."
Those interested can watch the video clip here.
C: Debate October 8, 2014 - Port Orford: This debate was not audio or video recorded. There were six
candidates for Port Orford City Council present; two candidates for county commissioner and one state
representative candidate present.
This audience question was directed primarily to current members of the Port Orford council some of whom
apparently attended a meeting together without proper notice required by the Oregon Public Meetings Laws.
The incident did not appear to be intentional.
Commissioner candidates were then asked to also provide their position on the subject of commissioners
meeting together without proper public notice.
Commissioner Itzen stated Curry County Commissioners made it a point NOT to meet together as two
commissioners meeting comprised a quorum.
April 19, 2014 during the videotaped debate:
Audience question to Commissioner Itzen: "At another forum you mentioned that you never meet with
other commissioners outside of a public commission meeting. How are you able to cofound a
Political Action Committee with Commissioner Smith without meeting with him?"
Commissioner Itzen's response begins with: "That isn't exactly what I said. Ah, and if it if I did say
that I didn't mean to say that. But I , I I'm sure ah I'm absolutely certain that isn't what I said. We can't
I think ah to folks who think we cannot meet together. I think it's a misunderstanding of the public
meeting laws. I know Tom (Huxley) has had that opinion for some time but he went to the Secretary
of State and they threw it (complaint) out. Ah, rightfully so.
We can meet. We regularly do."
Oh, it gets better. Those interested can watch the complete video clip here.
D: Debate September 20, 2014: Question to both candidates regarding commissioner appointed committees
Commissioner Itzen referred to recommendations of the Citizens' Advisory Committee that included a county
sales tax. In subsequent (LOWV) debates Commissioner Itzen stated Huxley voted to support the sales tax
recommendation of the Citizens' Advisory Committee.
Huxley responded he did not support any such tax. Furthermore, there was never a recorded vote on any
of the committee recommendations as required by the Oregon Public Meeting Laws.
Those interested can watch the video clip here including Commissioner Itzen's commitment to provide Huxley
county video of the Citizens' Advisory Committee meeting that met the requirements of Oregon state law.
Commissioner Itzen later declined via email to provide the video stating "I think you may have
misunderstood my comments earlier."
Remember the “Protect Your Right to Vote” ads in the May 2014 primary?
Those interested can watch the video clip (part 2) of the January 13, 2012 Citizens' Advisory Committee.
How would you like to have the folks at Portland State University count your votes?
Let me close with two final comments.
On at least two occasions during the LOWV debates Commissioner Itzen was asked the following question.
Huxley says he will do the commissioners job for $10,000 a year with no benefits. Will you?
Incumbent Commissioner Itzen snidely responded "No. You get what you pay for." He then continued with
cynical remarks that I simply dismiss as no purpose is served doing otherwise. What I do not dismiss is all
those who volunteer for so many great causes including search and rescue; hospice; local fire departments, etc.
There is a gold mine of talent out there being and waiting to be tapped because they want to help their local
communities and not because of the money.
Lastly and on a lighter note, attached is a recent piece published on page 5A of the October 8, 2014 Curry
Coastal Pilot titled "The Davids At The Bat." Enjoy.
Questions Remain on the Current State of Curry County's Finances
Rebuttal to #CurryCounty Workers Pay Increase Article in Coastal Pilot
Write-in Candidate for the City of #CoosBay Congratulations for Another Choice
Bandon Voters Get Your~Vote NO on Measure 6-150~Signs Available NOW
LTE~ A Package of Rancor for Coos County Commissioner John Sweet
LTE~ Response to "The World" Article on the "Home Rule" Charter in #CoosCounty
MGX~Lobbyist a Big Waste of #CoosCounty Money for Wagon Road Lands
Commissioner Sweet's Family Farm Mentioned in Emails on Bandon Biota Exchange
Commissioner Candidate Refuses to Disclose Answers to a Questionnaire
Letter to Editor~ #Coos Bay Citizens should understand the job of Mayor
#CoosCounty Commissioner Candidate Debate October 8, 2014 in Coquille
#CoosCounty Releases List of Local Candidates in November General Election