Editor’s note: The Pilot previously ran stories on Curry County incumbents Sue Gold and Court Boice. Those stories can be found by searching their name online at www.currypilot.com.
Dennis Triglia is a write-in candidate for Curry County Commissioner, Position 3, trying to unseat incumbent Court Boice on May 19.
Triglia retired from his position as General Manager in 2014 from AgonOx, Inc. in Portland which he and three other scientific colleagues formed back in 2010. AgonOx is a small cancer immunotherapy drug development company that was spun off from Providence Cancer Center in Portland.
He relocated to Brookings in 2014 where he served on the Brookings City Council from 2016 through 2019. While a City Councilor, Triglia served as Brookings’ representative on the Oregon Sudden Oak Death Task Force (Core Science Group) formed jointly by State Rep. David Brock Smith and US Senator Jeff Merkley.
Triglia was also responsible for Brookings becoming the first city in the state to be recognized as a “Monarch City USA” since he has been involved in the conservation of the Western Monarch butterfly.
Triglia has a strong biological science research background, including several infectious diseases like HIV on which he worked with many well-known professionals in the field during the early days of the HIV crisis. He received his undergraduate bachelor’s in biology from Fordham University and his master’s, also in biology, from Hunter College (C.U.N.Y.) in Manhattan while working in immunology research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center during the day. He has held several positions in the biotechnology and biopharma industries as well as in academia. He has written over 50 articles and abstracts for scientific meetings and publications both in the USA and abroad.
Triglia has traveled to all 50 states and enjoys meeting and listening to people and their concerns. He donates regularly to several local nonprofit organizations. He is an avid Oregon Master Gardener who advocates for pollinator-friendly planting. He may be contacted via email at email@example.com.
Q: Why are you seeking office?
A: I have decided to run as a write-in candidate for Curry County Commissioner, Position 3 so that voters will have an alternative choice to incumbent Commissioner Court Boice who is running unopposed to keep his seat. I believe elected officials should serve all constituents; make independent, deliberated decisions; be responsible leaders by dealing with people respectfully, and set an example in leadership. Having served for 3 years on the Brookings City Council from 2016 until 2019, I discovered that I really enjoy public service. Several county residents have asked me to run for office at the county level for a number of different reasons. I have been amazed, thankful for, and humbled by the groundswell of support I have been receiving from all corners of the county. I am concerned about the future of Curry County and hope that I get the chance to use my team-building and informed decision-making skills as your next commissioner.
Q: What are the top three challenges you see facing Curry County, and what are your proposed solutions to those challenges?
A: Financial: We need to ensure that Curry County receives all available funding in order to rebuild and recover from the effects of COVID-19. As County Commissioners, we must fully scrutinize county expenditures and budgets before seeking additional tax money from the citizens of Curry County. It should go without saying that we must seek our constituents’ input in expanding our economy while preserving our environment.
Healthcare: We need to perform comprehensive assessments of our current health care services, including emergency transportation, in order to identify what is currently available and how to increase needed, quality, cost-effective services. This would enable us to be better prepared for future health care needs and/or viral outbreaks.
Climate change: Climate change will have a profound influence on Curry County and we need to plan now. This impending crisis is not a partisan issue. Several longtime local fishermen have told me that their situation now is worse than they have experienced in the past; oyster hatcheries are noticing developmental issues like soft shells due to ocean acidification and — right offshore in Brookings — there is a hypoxic/anoxic “dead zone.” Climate change also increases the odds of worsening drought and more severe fire danger for Curry County in the decades ahead.
Q: What would you do differently than the incumbent commissioner(s)?
A: First, I have zero intention of running for another office, as the incumbent did two years ago. Second, I believe public officials should lead by example. This means that I would abide by regulations and ordinances and not use county time, money, or cars for personal use. Third, I would continue to deal respectfully with my fellow commissioners, other elected or appointed officials, staff, and my fellow citizens, as I always have. Believe it or not, diversity of opinion is actually a good thing in government, so long as we all remember to keep our eyes on common goals to move our county forward. We are truly all in this together.
Q: What do you believe is the most important role of a county commissioner?
A: In my opinion, the most important role of any County Commissioner is staying in touch with his/her constituents, especially before voting on critical or controversial issues facing the county. This seems intuitive, but — in order to govern responsibly — one must first gather the facts and opinions from people with differing viewpoints and different life experiences to understand their perspective. Then, together, we would search for common ground and use that commonality to address the concerns of as many citizens as possible. No elitist “Us vs. Them,” we must strive for unity and civil discourse as much as possible. This is, after all, a nonpartisan office.
Of course, County Commissioners are also responsible for establishing and enacting policies, developing and implementing both short- and long-term strategic plans and ensuring that the duties and functions of public officials are public and never tainted by nepotism or cronyism.
Q: How will you conduct your campaign to reach voters and how much money do you plan to spend in this race?
A: My campaign has been utilizing social media, e-mails, local newspapers and grassroots supporters across the county to spread the word. I am not soliciting campaign contributions so I am beholden to no one. I personally oppose local candidates accepting funds from out-of-state interests and/or expenditures to their friends and family. I am spending far less than any of the current County Commissioner candidates listed on the Secretary of State’s campaign finance reports.