I’m very (very!) pleased to have discovered that my candidacy for mayor has been endorsed by the editor of the Cottage Grove Sentinel.
I’ve gotten permission to reproduce the article, so here it is in full.
For what it’s worth: Thoughts on Cottage Grove’s mayoral race
BY JON STINNETT
The Cottage Grove Sentinel
Each election season, the Sentinel fields inquiries about whether or not the newspaper will be endorsing the candidates or measures that will appear on the ballot, and this fall has been no different.
With each inquiry, I respond that at larger newspapers and other publications (and indeed, in times of larger staff sizes at the Sentinel) an editorial board typically weighs the issues and candidates of the day and collectively determines a newspaper’s stance. These days, with a thin editorial staff and each member of the Sentinel team tasked with several jobs, it would be next to impossible to gather a group of staffers together for such a reason. As such, any endorsement from the Sentinel would, in effect, be a nod from this reporter/editor, a situation that has in the past made me reticent to offer my own opinion on our editorial page (it’s problematic, I’ve believed, to attempt to objectively report the news on page one, then uncover my own bias on page four.)
That said, I do believe that in my time here, I’ve amassed a great deal of knowledge and experience with the topic I’m about to weigh in on now (again, this is only my opinion) — the 2016 Cottage Grove mayoral race.
As key contributors to this community, I’ve had countless occasions and the honor to interact and converse with City Councilors Mike Fleck, Jake Boone and Jeff Gowing on the issues facing Cottage Grove and their possible solutions. And while I mean no disservice to the other two candidates and believe that each would showcase himself as a credit to this community should he be elected to its highest office, I’m going to tell you a bit about why I’m excited to support Jake Boone for Mayor.
In stature and demeanor, Jake Boone is a man that’s difficult to forget. Early on in his public life in Cottage Grove, it became easy to recognize that Jake is at once warm and engaging, extremely well spoken and pragmatic — qualities that have already and will continue to serve Cottage Grove well, whether or not he’s elected Mayor in November.
On countless issues that have appeared before the City Council, it has been obvious that Jake has delved with great seriousness into the miles of paperwork that often accompany Council deliberations. He shows up on Monday evenings with a well thought-out, well phrased and extremely persuasive viewpoint, and he’s not afraid to be the only one of seven who holds that opinion (his recent stance against the three-percent tax on recreational marijuana bears this out.) Still, he’s not against changing his mind when new evidence in the Council chambers makes it necessary, nor is he afraid to call out and condemn misinformation when he sees or hears it.
I’ve heard Jake described as a Libertarian, and while I’m thankfully, blissfully unaware of his politics on state or national issues, I would say that he’s always engaged in a search for the explicit problem that would be solved by any action of the Cottage Grove City Council. Failing to identify a clear problem, Boone simply does not support a potential solution. Thus, one can be assured that he does not pursue action for its own sake, and indeed maintains the best interest of this community and its members at heart. Jake also believes in inclusiveness, and he’s always the first to ask whether members of the public wish to weigh in on a particular issue. Jake has paid his dues and amassed an in-depth knowledge of the City’s systems and services, knowledge that he can immediately put to use if elected mayor, and at the Council’s Oct. 10 meeting, he announced that he’s pursuing a degree in public policy at the University of Oregon that can only add to his resume.
These qualities have served Boone well and are desirable in a City Councilor, though of course, this is the Mayor’s seat we’re talking about. Being Mayor of Cottage Grove often means being the first point of contact with community members and business owners, with visitors, representatives of outside agencies and other elected officials — in short, it’s about being Cottage Grove’s most outspoken (yet professional) fan, and I can say without hesitation that there’s no one in this community I’d rather have as the face of Cottage Grove than Jake Boone. With no intention of disrespect to anyone who has held public office in this community, he’s probably the most impressive public servant I’ve observed in my decade in Cottage Grove.
I would support him for just about any public office, but in November, I’ll start by casting my vote for Jake Boone as our next Mayor.
As I am deeply uncomfortable with saying nice things about myself, I really appreciate it when someone else does so. Especially if I’m not in earshot at the time.
Thank you, Jon!