Sweet for Commissioner
John Sweet for Commissioner
I am pleased to announce my candidacy for Coos County Commissioner, Position 2. I am a lifelong resident of Coos County. I believe my experience and knowledge will serve the county well. I have college degrees in business administration and forestry. My 38 years serving on Sause Bros. management team has given me a wide exposure to shipping and port issues. I have experience in finance from my year of serving on bank boards, first at Western Bank and then at Security Bank. I served as a trustee for the IBU pensions and retirement trust. I was a director at The Ford Family Foundation. As a young man I served in the US Army. I oversee our family's livestock and cranberry farm.
It is important to me that voters know where I stand on issues pertaining to the county. There are many, but two override all others in my view. The county's organizational structure is broken and we are on the verge of financial collapse.
Organizationally our commissioners are so tired to day to day operating minutia that they cannot do what should be their real job of charting the county’s long term course, setting policy, and providing financial oversight. County departments, the oversight of which is divided among the three commissioners and occasionally shuffled, are subjected to different management styles and often operate completely independently, one from the other. It sets a scenario in which departments are competing with one another rather than working toward common goals. In essence, we have a 40-50 million dollars a year ship being run by three commissioners with each often setting its own course for the departments under his or her oversight. The recommendation of the Structure Committee that the commissioners free their time to do long range planning, establish policy, and provided financial oversight by hiring a county administrator to carry out policy and oversee all departments will resolve many of the problems inherent to the current system.
Financially, we have to get our county back to work. We are blesses with an array of fantastic resources: timber, minerals, ports, agricultural lands, commercial and recreational fisheries, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities. We cannot afford to abuse these resources nor can we afford to lock them up. They can and must be responsibly used.
We have to start viewing businesses, established or prospective, as friends of the county, not adversaries. This and expanded and wise use of our resources is key to expanding our tax base. The alternative, raising taxes is not an attractive option for people and businesses that are just hanging on by a thread, and could prove to be counterproductive.
We can do this. We need capable leadership, decisions that are based on financial reality, an efficient and effective county government. In an environment in which so many of our resources and regulations are controlled by outside and political forces, we must also have a clear vision of where the county needs to go, and be able to speak with a unified, rational voice. There is no room for maverick politics.