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Home arrow Opinion arrow Editorials arrow Cook offers best skills


Cook offers best skills

Without a Democrat running for Position 2, the winner of the five-way GOP primary will become one of our three Baker County Commissioners.

That means the commissioner taking a seat next to Tim Kerns and a commission chair to be named later could carry as little as 21 percent of the vote and still claim a victory.

Baker County needs a candidate then who can not only represent the Democrats and independents who can't vote in this election, but the Republicans who cast their vote one of four other ways.

Truly, any of the five could do the job. Two stand out, however.

If you haven't met Dana Martin — much less heard of him — take the time. The retired Air Force NCO exudes an attitude that you don't wait for work to find you — you go out and find it. He is up-to-date on county issues, and demonstrates an astute sense of where the county has gone astray in the past and how to keep it on track.

Among his proposals we like are a more involved planning and goal setting process on a time frame as large as five and 10 years.

We aren't certain we could agree with him that there is enough work for three full-time county commissioners, but we like that he would want to gather the evidence and sell the case to Baker County citizens before moving ahead with that sort of initiative.

In the final analysis, however, we would invite you to vote for Michael Cook. It's not just his roots and connections in the Keating Valley and Baker County that make him an appealing candidate for the commission, but his instincts and judgment.

He and his wife, Cathy, zigged when they could have zagged in the late 1980s, transitioning from his family's traditional sheep business into a new agricultural sector — nursery stock. Cook presents himself as someone with a real respect for the way things have been done, but not so much allegiance that he would letter a better idea go by without giving it a fair shake.

With two kids in school and a thriving business, he has a sense of where the county's been and a real stake in where it is going. And while his voter's pamphlet statement lists no prior government experience, his service on the Keating Rural Fire District and the Local Advisory Committee for the Powder River Basin demonstrate that when a community job is in need of doing, Cook has stepped forward without fanfare.

Certainly, with Kerns and Cook on the commission, the board would be arguably "lopsided" toward people with agricultural backgrounds. Both men farm different crops, in different parts of the county, however, and in Cook's case, his business extends from his Keating greenhouses to retail delivery as far away as Idaho and the Island City strip. Just as farmers and ranchers will be able to connect with him, non-agricultural business folk will probably find they have a lot in common with Cook, too.


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