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Bakery owner to vie for county commission seat

Colleen Roberts of Prospect has owned her shop in Central Point for 20 years
 Posted: 2:00 AM February 26, 2014

A bakery owner from Prospect is running for Jackson County commissioner a second time.

Colleen Roberts hopes to secure the Republican nomination for Position 3, now held by John Rachor, in the May primary. So far, she'll be running against commercial real estate agent Joel Ockunzzi, though other candidates have until March 11 to throw their hats into the ring.

Both Roberts and Ockunzzi ran unsuccessfully against Commissioner Doug Breidenthal in 2012.

Rachor, whose term ends this year, has said he won't run again.

A 20-year owner of Sensational Sweets Bakery in Eagle Point, Roberts said she's running on a platform of restrained government spending, eased restrictions on business owners and area residents, and more management in area forests to create jobs.

"I want to be an advocate for Jackson County," Roberts said. "I bring, really, a common-sense, private-sector approach to government."

Roberts said she'd like to see eased restrictions and fewer permit requirements on area businesses. She'd also advocate for ramped-up timber harvests, citing economic growth and forest health as benefits.

"If we just let our woods burn up and just smell smoke all summer, I don't think that's good use of our natural resources and forest management," she said. "We can open up the woods. Natural resources, I believe, are one of our greatest treasures of Jackson County."

Roberts is a frequent attendee of board meetings and work sessions. She often speaks during the public comment periods, voicing concerns over issues such as board authority, commissioner pay and county spending. If she were on the other side of the podium, she said she would want to see that "listener" role expanded, allowing people to speak before commissioners vote on action items.

"When (attendees) come into a meeting and they have ideas, they have concerns, I want them to be heard," Roberts said.

Ockunzzi said he welcomes Roberts as a candidate.

"I am looking forward to a serious and spirited campaign in the days and weeks ahead and for a successful outcome to help forge an abundant future on behalf of the citizens of Jackson County," he said in a news release.

Medford resident Rick Dyer, also a Republican, is running for the seat now held by Commissioner Don Skundrick, who has previously said he won't run again.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.


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