‘Jackson County For All’ Town Hall update

MEDFORD, Ore. — Jackson County For All currently has three measures on the upcoming May ballot. They hope to expand the board of commissioners from three to five, make their positions non-partisan, and reduce commissioners’ salaries.

During Tuesday night’s JCFA town hall meeting, Denise Krause addressed the public saying, “This truly is about a Jackson County for every one of us.”

Jackson County For All recently sent a cease and desist letter to county commissioners about their opposition to the measures JCFA is campaigning for. Jackson County For All believes two of the three county commissioners tried to organize opposition against JCFA, but JCFA didn’t stop there.

“We did file a request for an investigation to the Secretary of State so we can stop this inappropriate behavior,” Krause said.

County Administrator Danny Jordan responded to Krause’s allegations of election law violations. His statement reads in part,

Ms. Kraus is presenting allegations of election law violations. As for the allegations cited, I believe my presentation to have been ‘no-sided’. It was clarifying as to many issues, including prior incorrect statements of there being ‘no cost’ to go from three to five commissioners.

In a recent meeting, Jordan said the effort to add two additional county commissioners will cost the county $200,000 to $500,000 in overhead expenses.

JCFA’s Denise Krause disagrees and calls those numbers inflated. She believes JCFA’s measures might even save taxpayers money.

Now our measures don’t go into effect for two years. It would go into effect January 1 of 2027. So by that time, remember the cost of living adjustments and the step increases? They’re gonna be making a lot more money than that by then. We could actually have a cost savings of $60,000.

Jordan pointed to praise he got from one of Jackson County For All’s chief petitioners Dave Gilmore. The former county commissioner called Jordan’s evaluation of the cost, “excellent and detailed.”

Krause says many of the expenses listed are unnecessary.

There’s a lot of things in this budget that produce a high number and so by the county administrator’s own admission, these are rough numbers.

Bill Thorndike, member of the Jackson County Economic Development Advisory Committee says adding more commissioners is the right path, and it will assure the people are heard more.

We’re increasing the odds, I think, of being more representative of policy decisions than when only two of us can make that decision or all three of us.

While many seem to be on board with the idea of reducing the commissioners’ salaries, not as many were convinced adding two more is a good idea.

One town hall attendee said, “I’m totally for reducing their salary, but I’m not for adding more people because the people that are running things now have no idea what they’re doing.”

Former Jackson County Commissioner Sue Kupillas says having more commissioners will benefit Jackson County in the long run because there will be more accountability and competition.

I think with five people there’s going to be more pressure to be out of their offices and out in the community because there’s a little more competition out there.

Krause says three commissioners is not enough with the amount Jackson County’s population has grown. She says it’s time to reduce these inflated salaries and give the citizens of Jackson County better representation.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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