By News-Register staff • 

Candidates respond to issues as election nears

Here are their answers:

David Wall:

Financial obligations must be met before service considerations.

All services are vulnerable to cuts and or elimination depending upon severity of revenues.

Only law enforcement should be spared. Their budget should be increased to provide more sheriff deputies. Yes, even at the expense to other programs.

Right now, the governor has asked for state departments to make 17% across-the-board cuts in the initial “exercise” she’s asking all departments to submit. The two county departments most dependent on state and federal funds are HHS and Community Justice.

Cuts would likely have to be made to programs in both departments should there be significant cuts in state revenue.

HHS receives approximately 96% of its revenue from state and federal funds and client fees and only 4% comes from the county’s general fund. The county couldn’t make up the difference so programs would have to be cut or streamlined. There are HHS programs that are statutorily required. If funding were cut so drastically that we couldn’t support those programs we’d have to ask the state to take over and run those programs. That would be a last resort. Since Yamhill County has established a wide range of programs serving our community’s mental health and addiction recovery needs, any cuts the county is facing will impact our most vulnerable populations.

The Community Justice Department would face the same cuts and that would impact the county’s programs like work release and case management since 94% of this department is funded by the state and only 6% by the county’s general fund. 

Property taxes only make up 15% of the county’s budget, and the assessor is not expecting to see a significant decrease in the short-run for those funds. We talked about this at our Yamhill Soil Water Conservation District board meeting this week. The SWCD is also a taxing district funded in part by property taxes, and after discussing our current situation with the assessor, we decided that we can budget confidently with today’s numbers.

The biggest use of property tax dollars currently in the budget is Criminal Justice, and if there were a decrease in these funds, I would absolutely support the Sheriff in maintaining the budget he needs to keep the public safe. 

Several county departments are fee-based, such as Planning and the County Clerk, so how they address any shortfalls would be determined by those departments themselves.

However, Yamhill County also receives substantial funds from the state and the federal government to fund specific programs and departments within the county. Those funds could see a drop, but they are tied to those specific departments.

Therefore it will not be up to the commissioners to determine how a shortfall of state or federal funds is allocated. However, we can take the lead on being creative in how we support those programs to do as much work as possible with a potential decrease. For example, Public Works could continue to keep up existing road maintenance but take a temporary break from capital projects such as paving new roads.


I don’t think taxing working families with higher utility and gas bills is the answer to better protecting the environment. Oregon is already one of the lowest carbon emitters nationwide. Any solution should be on a national scale if we want to lower the US’s overall carbon output. I think the “emergency to act” that some of our elected leaders warned us of in the past two years is false. Governor Brown has delayed the implementation of carbon caps until 2021, undermining her own rhetoric. Increasing active management of our forestland to prevent massive wildfires would go a long way to reducing harmful carbon emissions. Trees are carbon-eating machines so implementing an urban tree planting program in Yamhill County’s more densely populated areas and in county right-of-way is an idea. Additionally, reorganizing how the state procures goods could reduce thousands of truck miles off the road yearly. Some of these solutions are common sense. 

The evidence is strong that climate shift disproportionally harms rural landscapes, rural occupations and rural people through droughts and more extreme weather. I think the first thing we can do as a county is acknowledge that climate shift is real and that it is affecting our community.

Climate shift is bigger than anything our county can tackle alone. I believe that Yamhill County should partner with the state and the region as a whole to come up with solutions that work for rural residents and agriculture.

As SWCD chair, I have had the honor of working with farmers throughout our county who are already making positive and creative changes to their businesses that will help our county reduce its carbon emission load. Farmers need to be at the table. Yamhill County farmers are some of the most ingenious people I know.

There are also ways that Yamhill County itself can become a leader and a model in reducing carbon emissions through incorporating carbon neutral design elements into any necessary building upgrades or by even converting our older diesel buses and vehicle pool to electric power. Many of these choices have huge benefits, and we need to be actively exploring the options, setting an example, and continuing to collaborate on the bigger picture.

The “climate” changes every day as it has done for millions of years. Reduce agricultural burning — eliminate backyard burning. Plant more trees, increase agriculture and incorporate carbon-neutral methods where feasible such as “No-till” farming. ZERO WASTE...increased recycling of everything. Free yard waste disposal.


I know first-hand the positive role Yamhill County can play when someone is facing challenges or struggles. The addiction and recovery program in Yamhill County was instrumental in shaping the person I am today. They helped me see that redemption is possible and I am worthy of making a difference in this community. As future commissioner, I want to ensure others who need it can access the same transformative support.

One important huge step Yamhill County could take immediately toward increasing our ability to serve our community’s neediest is by joining the regional Continuum of Care organization. Yamhill County was invited to join last year, and county mayors supported the idea, but the Board of Commissioners voted against the move. Joining the Continuum of Care would allow us to collaborate regionally and also access extra funds specifically to serve homeless individuals or people at risk of housing insecurity.

So, yes, I absolutely think the county has a role to play in making sure that our future generations thrive.

Yes, the county has a role in public health. … Taxpayer’s monies are allocated to fund nonprofit and public benefit corporations contracted to provide “treatment options” but, is this money consumed by salaries, benefits, retirements and other ancillary overhead costs? Without any performance and or financial audits to account for taxpayer monies spent on “treatment options” who really knows? This culture must change.

Editor’s note: Wall also provided several internet links in response to this question. They were eliminated as we asked candidates to provide their own thoughts.

I think the county petitioning the governor to re-open is the first step. The county’s elected leaders understand that there is a dire economic toll with the coronavirus shutdown and our younger generations of working residents are suffering greatly because of it. Getting the economy back up and running is critical. However, the despair that Kristof speaks of is not limited to just during this pandemic.  We have seen generations of Yamhill County families suffer, especially in more rural areas. One of my solutions is to reach children in their teens who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and provide an opportunity for them to recover in a peer-driven, safe school environment. A recovery high school would be a public charter school open to any child that enters into recovery and needs wrap-around services and support while finishing high school. Often, teens are released from treatment centers and sent back to their traditional high school where peer pressure is immense. A recovery school would break that cycle and give our kids an opportunity to thrive. In terms of economic recovery, I believe the county can focus grants on areas that are in most need. Our small chambers of commerce are working very hard to boost local economies in the rural parts of the county, so focusing investments there would provide families more opportunities for jobs and economic growth. 


It may seem counter-intuitive, but I would lower the taxes.  In the end more revenue money will be created for the county.

The county can help facilitate the reopening phase by helping businesses and residents understand the new rules that come with it. This will be key to successfully navigating this process and ensuring that as many of our small businesses as possible stay open. I also think the county should prioritize money for grants as continued assistance will be needed even after a phased reopening.

This effort will need to be a collaboration to be successful. As commissioners, we will need to be tireless advocates to federal and state governments for the needs of our local businesses as we help them navigate options and help create opportunities for recovery.

Our first job as commissioners will be to listen — to reach out to the Chambers of Commerce and our local businesses and identify specifically what is needed for recovery. We can’t yet assess what those specific needs will be, because we are still in the midst of the health crisis, but it’s clear that it will take businesses and government working more closely together than ever before.

The most concrete thing we can plan for today is collaboration, opening the channels of conversation now so that we’re educated and ready for what the recovery actually looks like.


County government sets the policy direction for the county.  They are responsible for whether or not Yamhill County becomes more like a METRO county or maintains its autonomy. We are now on the front lines of METRO and everyone knows that comes with higher taxes and less efficient government.  Yamhill County residents don’t want METRO’s policies to infect our county. Commissioners also have quite a bit of influence over land use decisions. The Yamhelas Westsider Trail is an example of county government overreaching and causing damage to our farmers’ property rights. It’s also a complete waste of taxpayer money, especially in this time of economic shock. Having county commissioners who respect and follow land use laws is critical.  Finally, county commissioners serve to protect our working families and with that comes the responsibility to advocate for us on a larger scale. New taxes and regulations coming out of Salem threaten our small businesses and harm seniors on fixed incomes. Yamhill County’s commissioners should be a strong voice in Salem protecting us from bad policy. 

As a starting point, since we are in an election, I want to point out the huge role that the County Clerk plays in making democracy work for voters here locally. That’s just one example of how Yamhill County government works for its residents. The county oversees many such critical programs and departments that county residents rely upon. Criminal Justice keeps us safe. Public Works ensures that our road system works for personal and commercial use. Health and Human Services delivers health care to many in our community.

Yamhill County is the conduit organization through which residents access a wide variety of services unique to government. That is the county’s main role — to ensure that these essential services are provided effectively, efficiently, and equitably throughout the community.

The role of commissioners is to take leadership of this large organization and help it see where it’s headed, to help the many individual programs and departments continually improve and be successful in fulfilling their unique missions and obligations in the community.

“Quality of life.” The Planning Department and Planning Commission are causing serious problems. Allowing the marijuana growing/processing operations in rural neighborhoods is putting thousands of rural residents at risk.

Chehalem Mountain is getting crowded. There are NO fire hydrants on this mountain, and a fire at this location will be WORSE than Paradise, California, where at least they had a paved highway for escape. Not so for our 2,100 residents, MANY of whom are elderly and disabled, including bed-bound. Additionally, CHEMICAL EXPLOSION fires are difficult to extinguish, water doesn’t work. Requires chemical abatement. None of that up here either, or required on any of these applications. Plus, the county put illegal occupancy codes on this entire complex of buildings, and has completely ignored demand letters to correct this, so fire inspectors cannot inspect. No OLCC licenses were applied for, so no fire (prevention) maintenance plan for processing.”




Barbara Boyer demonstrates her ability to speak directly, clearly, and thoughtfully as she address the question asked. Her ideas are solid and intelligent. Not surprisingly Lindsay spouts rhetoric that doesn't actually answer the questions. She seems bereft of any actual solutions.


Barbara Boyer answers are have a direct correlation to our one very liberal commissioner. Her answers on cap and trade and climate change match up to what everyone on the liberal side thinks. And you folks call this position non partisan.

Christmas has Talons

I would like to ask a question of Boyer, is she clean and sober now and if so what is her date of being in recovery?

Is she attending meetings and keeping a good recovery support system?