Editor’s note: The Pilot recently submitted a series of written questions to the two run-off candidates seeking election Nov. 6 to the Curry County Board of Commissioners. The following was submitted by the candidates.

Name: Christopher Paasch

Age: 62

Spouse name: Bonnie (Scooter) Paasch 20 years

How long have you lived in Curry County: 12 years

Education: High school and one year North Carolina State. Dean Witter School of Finance, real estate broker, insurance and annuities license, instrument rated pilot.

Employment status (if retired, from what): Retired from 25 years in the horse training, racing and breeding industry and now a founding director of Dreams, Hope and Faith Foundation.

What inspired you to run?

Watching the dysfunction in our county government and the lack of willingness from commissioners to attempt to get along and sit in the office to do the job the people elected them to do is painful. There are a lot of serious things we need to address. Unless we find people with the time and willingness to work to find resolutions for our county, they will not be addressed.

Another big thing for me is never seeing two of our commissioners out at public meetings getting information and feedback on the county.

What are your ideas to bring new, sustainable revenue to the county; be specific?

There are too many to list but here are a few. Our ports are money makers and I would like to work to expand our fishing and tourism as well as using the ports to diversify with land leases for new business.

Wildfire is now the norm, so I would like to try to create a plan that will allow limited timber harvest and reduction of fuel loads keeping our logging industry strong while protecting us from future wildfires.

Working on the tremendous housing shortage will not only help to put families in affordable living space but create a new sector of jobs and training we are sorely lacking in the building sector.

To reach out for business investment that will keep sustainable jobs here so our kids will want to stay here and raise their families. Many do not know the tax advantages of owning a business in Oregon.

Where do you see Curry County in five years?

I see busy thriving ports that have expanded fishing and water activities as well as new business.

I see our county and local police stronger, willing and able to protect us from growing crime.

I see a strong jail, better funded to hold those it houses not having to turn them out because of funding shortfalls.

I see carefully planned housing to deal with the shortages that will allow some growth here and help to sustain it for generations to come.

I see our fairgrounds turning into an “Event Center” that the whole county will enjoy while using it through tourism and economic development to look for small business conventions and working week vacations many companies are now doing.

I see a thriving community rising to the challenge set before it. Most of all, I see a group of county commissioners working together not only as a whole, but with the city leaders and constituents in their county to find answers to the problems we face and be forward looking for the ones to come.

Name your top three priorities.

Making sure we are protected. I am a strong advocate of law enforcement as well as fire and rescue. Making sure they have all the necessary tools to protect us when asked and the manpower to do it is paramount.

Finding solutions to the severe housing shortage stifling this county from any kind of growth not to mention seniors trying to live on fixed incomes being able to meet the high rent, needs to be addressed immediately.

Bring income sources to the county without just putting a tax burden on everyone to pay the bills. Whether it be through job growth, new construction, grants and government-sponsored bills or mitigation due to business losses from fires and fishing/tourism we need to get busy.

What can you bring to the council that’s different from other candidates in the running?

I was raised in a military family and as a Marine my core values are set. I love this country and I am a worker. I am not one to waste time and I don’t make empty promises. I like to get out into the community to find out what’s out there and deal with it.

I have a reputation of working hard, listening to others, and making strong, sound decisions for the good of everyone. I will face issues head on not continually put them off for future meetings by sticking them in committee after committee. And no, I am not afraid to pull over and ask for directions …


Name: Jeri Lynn Thompson

Age: 66

Spouse/partner name: T. W. Thompson

How long have you lived in Curry County: 56 years

Education: Brookings-Harbor High School, Legal Assistant Degree

Employment status (if retired, from what): Tolowa Dee ni’ Nation Tribal Council

What inspired you to run?

I believe I would be the best candidate, based on my knowledge of our unique history of Curry County. Although this is a new day, having lived here for most of my life, has given me a perspective of our needs. Being a survivor of the Chetco Bar Fire, along with my neighbors, gives a unique understanding of the importance of protecting needs of our forests and rivers. My volunteer work through the Curry County Fair Board, Curry Wildfire Prevention, and Chetco Valley Museum Board has shown many

County challenges. As a consensus builder, I believe in working together for the benefit of all Curry County.

What are your ideas to bring new, sustainable revenue to the county; be specific?

Specifically, I would like to gather stakeholders and the USFS together to create a reforestation plan for Curry County. A plan that would protect and restore our forests and rivers that have been compromised by the mega

fires, and hopefully, prevent future mega fires. I would urge that a portion of any monetary gain from the removal of resources be returned to Curry County, and help fund the restoration projects.

I would look at a Transient Lodging Tax as a source of income. Many organizations are promoting our local tourism, and lodging tax has become an acceptable tax throughout our country.

I would look at the many Federal, State, foundation grant opportunities that are available.

Where do you see Curry County in five years?

Working together with citizens throughout the county, on a plan that supports each and everyone of us in having a healthy and prosperous life. Helping people create businesses and bringing businesses to Curry County.

97415 needs a hospital with an Emergency Room. Let’s do the math, currently 53 percent of the revenue of Curry Health Network is provided by 97415. Twenty-six percent of Sutter Coast’s in-patients are from 97415. I believe the

figures show that a hospital combined with an emergency room would not only pay for itself it would provide necessary revenue to benefit Curry Health Network. Finding a way with partnerships or collaboration to provide

college loan forgiveness programs for medical professionals, would be an incentive to attract professionals. This would aid in providing jobs for our

county. The revenue from the combined hospital and ER in 97415 could allow the tax burden to be addressed or removed from north county.

Our forests of the Chetco River Watershed will be well on the way to becoming a pilot project, which could be an example of rebuilding healthy forests for many generations. This reforestation will help with the prevention of future mega fires.

Name your top three priorities.

Working with citizens on a strategic plan to serve the needs of the of all of Curry County that would include:

Finding a way to create a low income and workforce housing for individuals in our county. Utilizing the Low Income Housing Tax Credits could help finance a project that would help with the housing shortage.

Addressing health care/mental health care issues we have in the county.

Working with the schools to provide, relevant classes, life skills and prevention programs is important.

A Forest Reforestation plan for Curry County, is important.

What can you bring to the council that’s different from other candidates in the running?

I have experience working within federal, state, and local governments, knowing what’s available and how to access opportunities. Curry County has 22,000 citizens who deserve to be heard. Curry County is the home of

many wonderful citizens and my goal is leave the county in better condition for generations to come.