Voters will have choices to make

By Observer staff April 05, 2010 01:49 pm
Ah, spring. The sun has made its presence felt, at least a few times. Robins and bobolinks are bobbing about, buds are blossoming on the bushes and trees. And, in the world of humans, people of the political persuasion have declared candidacy for upcoming elections.

To be sure, the hopefuls are headed into a potentially contentious election season. These are difficult times. Coffers are low, public services are stretched thin and getting thinner.  Unemployment is high and there’s a crying need for economic development.

There’s a lot of disagreement about what to do about it all. And that isn’t all bad. The truth is, there’s no shortage of people willing to brave heaving political waters this season for the chance to serve in leadership positions.

Look at the county races. With the primary election filing deadlines past, we’ve got no fewer than five people running for two seats available on the board of commissioners.

In the Republican primary, John Lamoreau, a former Union County commissioner, is going against Bill Rosholt, the county’s director of golf promotion and economic development, for Position 2.

Not to be left out, the Democrats are running a candidate also. Chris Taylor from Cove filed for Position 2, and, since he faces no competition within the party, goes straight to the November election.

Steve McClure, the incumbent in Position 1, will be unopposed in the May primary, but faces competition just the same. Democrat Michael O’Connor filed to run for the seat, setting up a meeting with McClure in November.

And don’t forget Jim Mollerstrom, who is running for Position 2 as an independent and will be on the November ballot.

Beyond the county, Greg Smith, state representative for this district, faces a stiff challenge in May from fellow Republican Colleen MacLeod.

And the City of  La Grande, struggling with severe fiscal problems, will see interesting times when November rolls around. In the contested races, former Councilor Dan Pokorney is taking another run at the mayor’s slot, and this time is opposed by Doyle Slater, a former councilor and budget committee and planning commission member. Colleen Johnson is stepping down as mayor and running for a council seat. To get it, she’ll have to beat John Bozarth, also a man with considerable city council

The recession of the past couple of years has left our community battered and bruised and looking for ways to get back on its feet. Lucky for us, a full slate of candidates will bring divergent and vibrant ideas to the table in the coming months.

We the voters have a happy task. We get to sort through them, and decide which are best.