County commission doesn’t reflect population

Letter to Editor, Trisha Vigil, Rogue Valley Times, October 7th 2023

Jackson County was established in 1852, when it included what are currently Josephine and Curry counties. When the first officials were appointed in 1853, including three commissioners, the population was fewer than 4,000. We still have the same number today though the county has grown to well over 200,000 residents, more than a 50-fold increase. The current population is not only far greater, but far more diverse, a feature not reflected in the composition of the commission.

Given the current partisan nature of the election of commissioners, nonaligned voters often incorrectly identified in Oregon as independent have no input into who the candidates will be since these are determined during the May election when registered Democrats and Republicans select their party nominees. In contrast, nonpartisan races are elected in that May election when all registered voters may participate.

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