Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
October 16, 2012
POLK COUNTY -- When the boundaries for legislative districts in Oregon changed last summer, Falls City and Sheridan were moved into the traditionally coastal territory of House District 10.
Also new? With the retirement of Rep. Jean Cowan (D-Newport) this year, there's no incumbent for the first time since 2006.
David Gomberg, a Democrat from Neotsu, and Republican Jerome Grant of Depoe Bay are both vying for the seat, which covers primarily Lincoln and Tillamook counties, and small portions of Polk and Yamhill counties. In Polk, it's essentially the Falls City and Grand Ronde areas.
Gomberg owns Gomberg Kites International, one of the United States' largest kite manufacturers and was a previous executive director for the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce. During the 1980s, he was an assistant to then Gov. Barbara Roberts and was an administrator of the House Education Committee.
Gomberg said the state needs to invest in the research and energy industry beginning to emerge on the Oregon Coast.
"At the same time, we need to take care that new opportunities don't harm traditional industries like fishing and farming," he said.
Reversing funding cuts to rural colleges will be a priority for Gomberg if elected. "They help students complete their education, train workers for new jobs, support small business, and turn unemployment into re-employment."
Grant is a commercial fisherman who specialized in sea urchin along the Oregon and Washington coasts for 15 years. Since 2005, he and his wife have owned and operated Gracie's Sea Hag restaurant in Depoe Bay.
Grant was appointed by the state to the Oregon Developmental Fisheries Board and the Oregon Sea Urchins Commodities Commission.
Grant said Oregon must become fiscally solvent and wants to find a way to pay down its debt on public works projects. On the education front, he wants more resources in school career counseling, and to gear learning toward jobs that will help graduates be financially independent.
"In Oregon, the two biggest things we have going for us are natural resources and human resources," he said.
"One thing I would be in favor of is increasing production in state-owned forests," he added, noting he would like to see harvest of sustained yield increased to 75 percent."
STATE HOUSE, DISTRICT 10
Name: David Gomberg.
What are key issues facing the portion of your district that sits in Polk County? "Folks in Falls City are right to feel just a little isolated from this largely coastal district. You actually have to drive out of the district to get back into Falls City. But as I have knocked on doors in Polk County, I'm reminded that all of us share similar concerns: paying our bills, the cost and quality of health care, decent education for our kids or grandkids, and proper attention to the needs of seniors."
Name: Jerome Grant.
Hometown: Depoe Bay.
What are key issues facing the portion of your district that sits in Polk County? "There are farms in that area and I think resolving the state's estate tax problem might help out people. Roads and education are issues. Let's fight for more money in our rural schools, modernize some classrooms and move our education system into the 21st century."