By editorial board • 

It’s time for change at the county helm

We had a surprisingly easy time deciding on Grand Island farmer Casey Kulla for the county commission seat currently held by longtime insurance agent and investment adviser Stan Primozich.

Primozich has a distinguished record of service, including 24 years on the McMinnville School Board, 25 on the St. James Administrative Council and four on the Oregon School Boards Association. During his term with the county, he has championed the Riverbend Landfill, Newberg-Dundee Bypass, Westsider Trail and an array of transportation and economic development initiatives.

But we think it’s time for a change and Kulla is well-positioned to provide it.

Kulla brims with enthusiasm. He displays a commendable penchant for planning ahead and establishing common ground. If elected, he promises to infuse the county with new ideas, openness to change and fresh ways of thinking.

In a recent editorial, we argued, “It’s time the county started looking forward instead of backward.” Kulla embodies that quality in spades; Primozich, more reactive than pro-active by both personality and long habit, does not.

This is a race pitting youth against the old guard. In this case, we feel youth is better suited to the job.

Kulla is a fifth-generation Oregonian with an exceptionally diverse educational and employment background.

A Taft High grad, he holds a bachelor’s in biochemistry and master’s in forest ecology from Western Washington University. Before launching Oakhill Organics 12 years ago, he was employed by turns as an agricultural intern, chem lab instructor, plumber, biochemistry researcher and construction worker.

In addition to running the Grand Island farm, he and his wife are raising a young family. On the side, he has served with the Yamhill County Water Task Force.

Primozich enjoys backing from the Oregon Firearms Federation, Oregon Right to Life, Yamhill County Republican Party and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, as well as landfill and trail interests. His goals seem largely rooted in preserving the status quo, with incremental advancements. We don’t see that as the answer in a world beset with increasingly rapid and wrenching change.

Kulla encourage the county to put more emphasis on farming and forestry, update its leadership structure, concede that Riverbend has run its course, and  champion co-existing uses of public space, including the trail corridor. He would like it to plan more effectively for meeting long-range housing, transportation, facilities and disaster prep needs.

Working with the city of McMinnville, he would like it to be more engaged and pro-active in addressing homelessness. He would also like it to take employee concerns about turnover, burnout, workloads and wage scales more seriously, noting they recently led us to the very brink of a strike.

Primozich has served his community well, and likely will continue to do so in other ways if he is unseated. But we think it’s time he stepped aside and turned the tiller over to a newer hand.

Comments

E.J. Farrar

Thank you for a thoughtful and well-reasoned endorsement that should help voters make an informed choice in this race.

Rotwang

I couldn't get Kulla to answer a simple question this summer about whether or not he supported initiatives 43 and 44. And, last week, he wrote that he didn't know about them at all. It would take a hermit not to know about them and still live around here. I will not vote for such a person, who is deceptive by faking ignorance.

sbagwell

OK. I'l bite.
What are Initiatives 43 and 44? I've never heard of them.
We have five measures on the statewide ballot, and they are numbered 102, 103, 104, 105 and 106. If those of your interest aren't on the statewide ballot, what ballot are they on? And where would I find information about them?
Steve Bagwell, News-Register Editorial Page Editor

Rotwang

They were two gun-grabbing initiatives which, happily, didn't make it to the ballot. They were covered by the NR (look through your own paper) and by all local news media. 43 would basically ban all modern firearms. 44 was presented as mandating locked storage of firearms, but actually did much more, including discouraging, as written, youth hunting. Open the URL below, then scroll down to "not on the ballot." They present PDF links to the text of each. You could go to the Oregon SOS website and hunt for them. https://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_2018_ballot_measures

fir tree

Geez Rotwang, you're on a role about this. And you assume that Kulla is "faking ignorance"? I see that Stan has Kevin Starrett's money in his campaign so I guess the gun rights thing can be a big deal, or at least Starrett would like to make it that way. After all, he makes a living off of it. I am a gun rights advocate, but frankly Yamhill commissioners have next to nothing to do with gun rights. There are way bigger and more important things that need desperate attention in this county and Stan is clueless.

Mudstump

Initiatives 43 and 44....never heard of them.

Mudstump

The Oregon Ban on Certain Firearms and Magazines with More than a 10-Round Capacity, Initiative #43, is not on the ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute on November 6, 2018.

from...
https://ballotpedia.org/Oregon_Ban_on_Certain_Firearms_and_Magazines_with_More_than_a_10-Round_Capacity_Initiative_(2018)

Mudstump

Rotwang - "They were two gun-grabbing initiatives which, happily, didn't make it to the ballot."

So, why are you trying to make a big deal out of whether or not Casey Kulla has an opinion on two initiative petitions that aren't even on the ballot yet? The pro-gun groups must have you all fired up and fearful about the big boogeyman coming to get your guns.

Lulu

Rotwang--why would you expect your candidate must align with your beliefs 100%? You two are not joined at the hip. Regardless of how Casey Kulla feels on the gun issue, he remains the best candidate for commissioner.

Rotwang

Not at all, mud. At the time that I asked Kulla how he felt about them, they were a topical item of discussion. Even though they were not a county matter, it would tell me something about his philosophy of government. Plus, there was (and still is) a citizen movenment amongst many counties to pass a pro-2A resolution, and it would be nice to know his thoughts about the potential initiatives that spawned the movement. The fact that I was not satisfied with any answer at all was a red flag for me - that he might hide opinions on other subjects going forward.

Spare me the false claim that nobody's coming for our firearms. The words of many political leaders, a former supreme court justice, and leading publications have debunked that nonsense over and over. They don't even care to pretend any more.

T.W.S.

Rotwang - "Spare me the false claim that nobody's coming for our firearms. The words of many political leaders, a former supreme court justice, and leading publications have debunked that nonsense over and over. They don't even care to pretend any more."

Ditto! It is all so in our collective conservative faces that it is tantamount to the race card being played. They scream and holler so loudly about taking guns, buying the false flag events hook line and sinker to sway the emotive liberal zombies their (democRATS) way with their votes and emotive ignorant support (proven by many journalists going to rallies asking factually based questions, basic info everyone should know if they had a proper education; and no one could answer the question(s) let alone meaningfully articulate why they were even there or what they were even protesting about) with no basis in fact or reality.

Mudstump

T.W.S. - I think you may just hold the world record for the longest run-on sentence. Good job!

Lulu

Mudstump: Maybe he chose a stream of consciousness technique, following in the non-punctuated but massive footsteps of As I Lay Dying, On the Road, Naked Lunch, Ulysses, Tropic of Cancer and Mrs. Dalloway.
Most impressive.

Mudstump

Lulu - "Mudstump: Maybe he chose a stream of consciousness technique, following in the non-punctuated but massive footsteps of As I Lay Dying, On the Road, Naked Lunch, Ulysses, Tropic of Cancer and Mrs. Dalloway."

T - Tolstoy
W - Woolf
S - Salinger

I think you are on to something.

Lulu

Dang!
The code may well be cracked. Not quite as lengthy as Molly Bloom's soliloquy (22,000 words) from "Ulysses," but you have crawl before you can walk. So I say the answer is
"...yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes."

gregtompkins

I abstained on voting for this race. For one I don’t think we want Planned Parenthood kill mills and tons of illegals. That’s what Kulla wants. Primozich seems to want all these outrageously expensive pet projects like bike trails going off into the middle of nowhere. I like Kulla’s personality and enthusiasm. I would even call him friend. But I think the extreme left wing endorsements he’s gotten will give still conservative Yamhill County voters pause. I feel like the fat left progressives from McMinnville are desperately trying a coup on our county. Will they succeed? Probably not this time around but it’s inevitable with Eugene and Portland people and leftist politics coming in we’ll end up as socialist as the rest of the Portland area.