Dowler joins race for county commissioner seat

Written by Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer February 12, 2014 09:16 am

Randy Dubb Dowler, who vied for a position on the Curry County Board of Commissioners in May 2012, will run against incumbent David Itzen, whose Position 1 term ends next year.

He is also pitted against Port Commissioner Jim Relaford, who announced his candidacy Friday. Because there are more than two candidates, the May election will be a primary, with the top two vote-getters moving on to the November election — unless the leading candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

Last time, Dowler ran on the premise that the county needed to cut its spending to match incoming revenue, and could prevent the general fund from sinking into fiscal insolvency by charging the numerous special districts for the county’s work in collecting revenues on their behalf.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail,” Dowler said. “Curry County isn’t failing financially due to a lack of monetary and natural resources; it’s failing due to a lack of prudent planning.”

His platform hasn’t changed.

“We need to cut spending,” he said in 2012. “As a business owner, we’ve been doing that for the past 40 years.”

Dowler believes there is enough money available to reorganize and consolidate county duties, all the while meeting federal and state mandates,” he said.

“That includes adequate police protection for all residents, taxpayers and visitors,” Dowler said. “This will be accomplished through diligent problem solving, cooperating and implementing creative fiscal efficiency as ‘we the people’ strive together to comply to the spirit and the letter of the law.”

He maintains that the idea of allowing the county to charge each special taxing district for the work it does in collecting and distributing tax revenues could compensate for the work the county currently does for free.

The county collects about $22 million in taxes, most of which is designated to more than 40 taxing districts, such as schools, libraries, fire departments, cemeteries and other public services.

Dowler believes that, through “advances in technology and innovation,” the county could collectively save $5.1 million — and he totes around a Black’s Law Dictionary and The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs and Biologicals to prove that politics is a predictable and malleable science.

“A penny saved is a penny earned,” he said. “Savvy small business pros know this from having earned their degree from the school of hard knocks. As for duly elected politicians and government employees, it never even crosses their minds.

“If Curry County voters and taxpayers want the … commissioners to come in under budget with a yearly surplus, then they need to stop doing the same thing over and over with electing habitual ‘tax more, spend more, borrow more’ commissioners, expecting different results. It’s not rocket science, but close enough for government work.”

As a commissioner, he would like to sue the federal government to comply with its own laws regarding O&C lands, and either allowing the forests to be reopened to logging or pay the counties the tax revenue they would have had otherwise.

Dowler also maintains that House Bill 3453, approved by the state Legislature last summer, is unconstitutional in proposing an income tax surcharge to pay for county services.

This time around, he’s also touting a county-employee hiring plan based on internships — and the basic teachings of Art Robinson, who avidly touts home-schooling, minimal governance, “family values” and self-sufficiency.

Dowler said college graduates — or even others in the community — could be hired in various county departments and learn on the job. This way, he said, the county could pay far less — and in some cases, interns pay for college credit — to train its employees. The intern could later become a full-time employee with the county or add the experience to their resumes for work elsewhere.

Dowler believes a strict training routine would result in quality employees at a much lower cost to the county.

Dowler holds a chemistry degree from the University of California San Diego and worked for Scripps Institution of Oceanography after college. He built surfboards for 10 years, then started a surfboard wax company. He currently operates Blinds and Draperies Express, building window coverings.

Dowler garnered 594 votes, or 9.47 percent, in the May 2012 election against four other candidates. Lucy La Bonté won the primary, but lost in the November races that year to David Brock Smith.