REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Planning Commission Chair James Cook is running for Deschutes County Commissioner, in November, against the local Republican Party Chair, Patti Adair. Cook, a web designer and Commute Options board member, has lived in Central Oregon for eight years. He tells KBND News he first got involved in local government when Redmond was updating its Master Plan for the Dry Canyon.
Cook is running on a platform of what he calls good, strong, moderate leadership and is critical of his opponent, "I think Patti has been a lot more divisive and ideological in her politics. Her goals, at least from what I've seen, are not necessarily to do what's best for Deschutes County, but I think it's to do what fits her ideology."
He's concerned about the region's rapid growth and lack of affordable housing. Cook says decisions made now will affect residents for years to come, "We are going to continue to grow, and the growth we're looking at down the road 10, 20, 30 years, is going to be shocking compared to the growth we've had for the last 10 or 20 years, and that's really what we need to be concentrating on." He adds, "I've got two grandchildren, and in 18 to 20 years, my hope is that they would be able to afford to live in this area and Deschutes County would remain the special place it is and be a place they would want to live."
Cook also would like to see future County Commissioner elections be non-partisan; he hopes an initiative will be on this year's ballot. He believes a small minority of voters are currently choosing nominees.