One of the Deschutes County Commissioner races voters will decide on in less than two weeks is between incumbent Patti Adair and challenger Morgan Schmidt. Central Oregon Daily News recently had a chance to sit down with each of them one-on-one to discuss the issues.
“Housing is top of the line for me,” Schmidt said on the growing housing crisis. “If folks can’t afford to live here and work here, if our businesses can’t afford to keep employees because they can’t find anywhere to live, then we’ve missed the mark.”
“One of the bills that I’ve done is for this next spring. But it’s 57 acres with over 300 single-wide manufactured homes,” Adair said on the same issue.
On the ongoing drought, the two candidates agree on reducing flood irrigation.
“Piping sections of our irrigation canals that are losing a ton of water is really important,” Schmidt said. “Helping our farmers and ranchers move to more on-farm efficiencies, like less flood irrigating.”
Schmidt also advocates for funding from the state and local government, along with more flexibility in old water laws that she says are no longer working for Central Oregon.
Adair says she has been working on reducing the juniper tree population.
“We only get an average of 11 inches of rain a year. So if we could take out those junipers, because they take 30-50 gallons a day,” Adair said.
Schmidt has worked as a pastor the Bend Community for nearly eight years, with a focus on serving the community. She says running for county commissioner is an expansion on that.
“I think you have the choice of a Deschutes County that’s led into the future, through the lens of political extremism or through the lens of someone who is ready to work with anyone who wants to actually tackle our problems and leave that partisan, polarizing rhetoric behind us,” Schmidt said on why people should vote for her.
Adair, the four-year incumbent, says helping people is in her nature.
“I always love talking to people, finding out where I can help them,” Adair said. “That’s just been my nature throughout my entire life.”
Election Day is November 8.
You can view the full interviews with Patti Adair and Morgan Schmidt below.