County Treasurer candidate speaks up
Bill Bordeaux steps out of classroom and onto campaign trail
County treasurer candidate Bill Bordeaux doesn’t have any biological children. But if you ask him how many kids he has, he’ll grin broadly and answer, “Thousands.”
During a 36-year run teaching and coaching in the McMinnville School District, Bordeaux developed a reputation for being “fair, but firm.” And while he’s not quick to laugh, when he does, it’s genuine.
He said that’s an element of his personality that would serve the citizens of Yamhill County well — that and the fact he’s a straight-shooter who doesn’t mince words.
He’s also a man of few words, at least when it comes to words uttered before an audience. In fact, the race for the non-partisan post of county treasurer has come to stand out for it’s silent side.
While County Budget Committee Chair Michael Green has attended candidate forums and maintained a visible presence throughout the campaign season, Bordeaux has not.
He’s happy to talk with people who have questions about his policies, views or qualifications, but is not interested in being in the limelight. “I’m just not the type of person who looks for that,” he said.
Asked what he’d bring to the table as county treasurer, he said, “I’m honest and transparent, someone you can trust with your money. I bring all of those attributes to the job.”
In his voters’ pamphlet statement, Bordeaux also cited a solid understanding of economics and accounting, combined with investing skills.
He said he’s a lifelong numbers guy. In fact, until his retirement, he taught middle school math for a living.
Bordeaux said his own experience speaks to his ability to manage money.
He earned his bachelor of science degree at Cal State University, majoring in math and minoring in business, without incurring any debt. He learned the principles of investment at an early age from his grandfather.
“I have continued to successfully manage my financial investments throughout my life,” he said in the voters’ pamphlet.
He said he would apply his prudent investing and money-management practices at the county if elected. Ultimately, his goal would be improving county investment outcomes, preferably through local investments.
“This will not only improve the local employment picture but also strengthen the county’s fiscal outlook,” he said.
Bordeaux criticized the County’s Compensation Committee, on which Green served, for taking action to dock the pay of County Clerk Becky Stern Doll on grounds she was warned repeatedly about sub-par performance and failed to make the necessary corrections. He said he felt the committee exceeded its scope of responsibility in evaluating the performance of an independently elected official.
He also accused Green of conflict of interest in being part of the unanimous six-person panel that cut the county treasurer post to part time, and then filing for election to the position.
“This seems most questionable to me and I hope to the good citizens of Yamhill County as well,” he said. “The job of treasurer requires careful financial stewardship, which includes trust, openness and transparency.”
He said, “I can’t believe it’s a 10 hour a week job. I plan on putting in more than that on investments.”
This is Bordeaux’s first run at public office, but he said he has had several interactions with McMinnville Water & Light.
“I’m a fan of what they are doing, but I think they can do better in the whole scheme of conservation ideas,” he said. “I’ve broached ideas with them,” he said, and gotten a positive response.
“I’ve never shied away from becoming involved,” he said. “I believe that’s part of democracy.”