558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Defeat should not stop local candidates from trying to serve
November 12, 2012
After another long election season, the voters have finally chosen who will lead Prineville and Crook County.
Now that the voters have spoken, the victors will soon take office and we urge them to serve with the best interests of Prineville and Crook County at heart. However, we don’t stop there. We ask those who tasted defeat this election to continue to commit to public service as well.
During our election coverage, we met and talked with all of the local candidates, and they showed a clear desire to serve their community. We commend them for that, but at the same time, recognize that they may have needed more experience and exposure to City or County government. In other words, they needed to get their feet wet.
One of the best ways to gain that experience and truly understand the powers and limitations of local government is to stay as involved as possible. We urge the candidates who lost this election to attend public meetings as often as possible, from the Crook County School Board, to the Prineville City Council and Crook County Court. Those meetings will help them keep abreast of what the community is doing. This will arm them with plenty of information with which to develop their ideas on how to best run the community. We feel it would make them an even better candidate if they still seek political office in the future.
We also feel that former candidates should seek out a spot on the multitude of boards throughout Crook County. City and County planning commissions, budget committees, and other boards will help them learn about a specific facet of local government and will give them a chance to participate in the process.
Vacancies on local boards tend to open on a fairly frequent basis and we encourage former candidates to check for them periodically.
One need not look too far into the past to see the value in getting involved. Before he was elected in 2008, Crook County Commissioner Ken Fahlgren said he attended about a year’s worth of Crook County Court meetings to prepare himself for his candidacy and potential job.
Recently re-elected City Councilor Jason Beebe lost his bid for Prineville Mayor in 2010, but continued searching for an avenue of service, and found a spot on the Council. In addition, Craig Brookhart, who ran in the 2012 primary for Crook County Judge, has remained involved since his defeat. He currently chairs the Crook County Patriots and continues to attend County Court meetings as well as some City Council sessions.
We believe that all of the candidates who lost truly want to serve their community. They still have that opportunity, and we feel they should make the most of it. It might be the missing piece that helps them win the next election.