Jackson County Commissioners Accused of Election Law Violations

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. — Jackson County for All says two of the county’s three commissioners have violated the law by publicly appealing to residents not to support the organization’s campaign for change.

UPDATE 1: More Board Commissioners Will Give Jackson County Residents A Voice

UPDATE 2: Jackson County Leadership: No Investigation By Oregon Secretary Of State

The organization has approached the office of the Secretary of State to investigate the county commissioners who potentially violated state election laws by asking residents not to support Jackson County for All at a recent political party meeting.


County Administrator Says Ballot Measures Will Cost Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

These violations are said to have occurred on 15 February at a Board of Commissioners work session when Jackson County Administrator Danny Jordan said two additional commissioners could cost between $200,000 and $700,000 annually.

In an email, Jordan denies that his estimates of what it will cost the county if two more commissioners are added to the board are inflated and that his comments as “factually accurate.” He points out that he has a combined record of 30 years preparing budgets and has prepared Jackson County’s budget for nearly 20 years.

Also included was an email to Jordan sent to him after the meeting by Dave Gilmour, a former Jackson County Commissioner and one of the chief petitioners for JCFA. In the email, Gilmour congratulates Jordan on his “excellent and detailed evaluation” of costs that could be incurred if JCFA’s proposed ballot measures are approved. Gilmour says the public need to be well informed before the ballot in May.


The Organization Has Collected More Than 11,000 Signatures Supporting Change

JCFA has collected more than 11,000 signatures on a petition to place three measures for change on the May ballot:

  1. The organization calls for the county commissioners to be non-partisan, allowing thousands of non-politically affiliated residents the right to vote in the primary election.
  2. They want the number of commissioners to be increased from three to five, a ruling first introduced in 1853 when Jackson County had a population of less than 4,000. The country’s current population is 223,259.
  3. They want the commissioner salaries to be decreased, stating that Jackson County’s commissioners earn about $45,000 more than the Governor of Oregon.

JCFA campaign manager Denise Krause says two commissioners publicly asked people not to support the organization’s campaign for change efforts at a local political party meeting. Krause says not only was the comment by the commissioners inappropriate but was also an “outright violation” of elections laws.

Krause has also dismissed County Administrator Danny Jordan’s claim that increasing the number of commissioners could cost Jackson County an extra $200,000 to $700,000.


Public Meeting Tonight

JCFA has organized a public meeting to discuss the county’s financial claims tonight (3/5/2024) at 6 p.m. in the Medford Library.

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