Wytoski clear, compelling choice for commissioner

Dayton mayor and educator Beth Wytoski is far and away better qualified than her opponent, marijuana and nursery stock grower Kit Johnston, to join the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners.

Wytoski boasts an extensive record of public service, a comprehensive and detailed command of the issues, a willingness to consider all sides of an argument and an ability to embrace compromise and collaboration to achieve workable solutions.

Wytoski holds a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Oregon and master’s in education from Pacific University. She has experience serving as a legislative aide, classroom teacher, YCAP board member, Dayton city councilor, Dayton mayor, Oregon Mayors Association president, and wife and mother. And her family has owned and managed a local nursery operation for 70 years.

There’s a reason she has been endorsed by a long list of mayors and former mayors; former State Rep. Ron Noble; County Commissioner Casey Kulla; and former county commissioners Stan Primozich, Rick Olson and Mary Stern. She displays the competence and temperament it takes to be successful. She is also endorsed by every member of the Dayton City Council, a vote of confidence from those who have worked closest with her on public matters.

Wytoski recently served on an Oregon Mayors Association task force to address homelessness throughout the state, which developed a plan to be sent to leaders in Salem that presents solutions and partnership opportunities to ease the crisis. Her leadership and voice at the table helped city mayors from Portland to Fossil, Hood River to Toledo, Eugene to Hermiston, and many in between, put differences aside for the betterment of their communities. It’s one of many examples of Wytoski’s experience in collaborative policymaking that Yamhill County needs.

Until his recent appointment to the Yamhill County Planning Commission and Newberg Urban Area Management Commission — facilitated by the sitting, ideologically-aligned commissioners he would join — Johnston, also of Dayton, had no record of service outside the ag and business realm.

Johnston argues ag is central to the county’s economy and deserves formal representation on the board. But ag and resource interests have effectively controlled the board for decades, and will continue to do so through Mary Starrett and Lindsay Berschauer, whether Johnston joins them or not. It serves the public no good to convert a two-thirds majority into a 100% lock.

Wytoski led a field of four in the primary. Here’s hoping she prevails again this time around.