No More Sweet Deals
In the past two years, I have monitored and observed the current situation in the County Commissioners Office and have grown increasingly concerned about the decisions and direction the commission has taken under the leadership of John Sweet. I supported the election of John in the last cycle and was impressed with his positions at that time. He presents himself as busisness savvy local who wants to represent the “working citizens,” but his actions are not in line with his rhetoric. The paragraphs below will show clearly the hypocrisy of his stated positions in relationship to his actions. Look at what he does not what he says.
“I have stopped the rancor at public meetings” Rancor, as the Commissioner puts it, is just the citizens of our county exercising their free speech rights under the first amendment of the constitution. It is arrogance for an elected official to believe they can stop rancor. In fact, Commissioner Sweet just moved the public opinion section at county meetings to the first item and then does not allow further debate on issues as they arise on the agenda. Commissioner Sweet did not allow verbal public comment at the public meeting he co-chaired with officials from the USF&W, and again at the first meeting of the vector control committee, he did not allow public comment. His blatant lack of respect for the law, citizens, and public interest is appalling in a public servant.
“I saved the county seven million dollars by stopping the natural gas pipeline going to Bandon and south” To stop the building of a much needed infrastructure project is shortsightedness considering the massive expansion in the energy market at this time. The United States is the largest natural gas producer in the world and will be for the next fifty to sixty years. The current cost of natural gas is about .85 cents a unit compared to a rate of $4.50 a unit for the delivery of propane. Homes and businesses benefit greatly from reduced fuel costs and its availability promotes market driven economic development. Commissioner Sweet promotes exporting this amazing windfall of natural gas to foreign countries, yet cruelly denies his fellow citizens from reaping the same benefits of this energy source.
“Commissioner Sweet solved the mosquito problem in Bandon.” What an outright piece of propaganda parroted by the mayor of Bandon, Mary Schamehorn. John Sweet and the mayor are longtime friends. Motivated by their allegiance to the USFWS, both Sweet and the Mayor have manipulated the process to obscure the real solution beyond any ability to fix the disaster that is the Bandon Marsh. Only John Sweet could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He failed to appoint a vector committee in a timely manner and waited until after The Service had completed their Environmental Assessment, leaving no time or room for citizen involvement. Sweet opposed the mosquito-monitoring plan designed by Ms. Nikki Zogg, former Director of the Coos County Health Department. He refused to appoint the citizens selected by the health director, as they were not his choices. Ms. Zogg felt forced to resign when she realized Commissioner Sweet was not supporting her decisions. As a veteran, and well-educated professional, Ms. Zogg was a valued asset that deserved better from the commissioner, which left the county with the loss of a great manager and leader.
“This is simply preliminary to getting Bureau of Indian Affair’s funding to help maintain county roads used by the Coquille Tribe along with general public” The people of Coos County have stated repeatedly that they want no deals or contracts with the Tribe. Their leaders did not keep their word with the city of North Bend over the motel tax, or with the state in regards to building and operating one casino and the best indicator of future performance is always past performance. John is too cozy with tribal leaders. He serves on a tribal Board that receives funding from The Bureau of Indian Affairs, which is a sister agency of the USF&W. The BIA’s budget comes directly from the American taxpayer, so in reality, we pay for the roads and at a much higher cost, ultimately our economic security.
In the above paragraphs, I have shown four very bad decisions by Commissioner Sweet and there are others, which demonstrate a pattern of enriching his cronies, while pacifying constituents. Ignoring the needs of citizens, refusing to address problems, and disallowing open dialogue are not the redeeming qualities of character for a county leader. I strongly believe that we have elected a man who is not up to the job and does not act in the best interest of the citizens, but resides in the pockets of special interest.
Donald W. Chance
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