The Tillamook County Pioneer sent five questions to Tillamook County candidates for State Representative for House District 10 (south Tillamook County); House District 32 (Central/north Tillamook County); Tillamook County Board of Commissioners; and Tillamook PUD Board Candidates.
Over the next week, we will publish the candidates’ answers, beginning with candidates for state representative. It is our belief that voters need as much information about the candidates as possible, and many can’t make it to public forums and events, and the ads, social media, postcards, brochures do not always give an accurate view.
It is our intention to provide the opportunity for voters to compare the candidates on a level playing field.
MEET THE CANDIDATES:
Edwin L. Jenkins, Tillamook PUD Subdivision 2
1. Why do you want this position, and why are you the best person for it?
The reason I want this position is to continue my service to the PUD and to its customer/owners. I have served on the TPUD Board of Directors for over 29 years and I am not ready to quit as there is unfinished business that needs to be taken care of. I am the best person for this position because of my 29 years of experience in working in a very complicated and complex industry. I have attended many classes of instruction pertaining to understanding the electrical utility industry and have been awarded a certificate of “Board Leadership for Rural Electric Systems” and “Credentialed Cooperative Director”. I have attended hundreds of Public Power Council meetings which deals with the complicated way in which TPUD, and other utilities region wide, purchase their electric power by means of a 20 year contract with the Bonneville Power Administration.
2. What will you do to make a difference for Tillamook County?
I am and have been a strong supporter of the Oceanside/Netarts Transmission Line which is very much needed. This transmission line will reduce the load on the Wilson River Substation which provides energy to the Tillamook County Creamery and to Hampton as well as the general Tillamook City area and Netarts and Oceanside. The substation is reaching capacity. If we were to have a severe cold weather event, TCCA and Hampton would have to curtail production in order to keep the heat on for residential customers. TCCA and Hampton jobs are essential for Tillamook to continue to be a prosperous community. The current distribution line to Netarts/Oceanside is old and that part of the system needs to be upgraded. The customers of the Netarts/Oceanside comprise about 10% of TPUD customers. The power outages for those customers are 10 times the outages for all other sections of the TPUD system. The new transmission line would originate from the BPA substation which is adjacent to the Wilson River Substation, and the Netarts/Oceanside load would no longer be on the Wilson River Substation providing more capacity for TCCA and Hampton. The proposed new transmission line and substation would provide reliable energy for the Netarts/ Oceanside customers.
3. What are your main/top priorities?
My priority is to represent the customer/owners of the Tillamook People’s Utility District and make decisions which results in affordable, reliable electric service for all customers.
4. Provide a SWOT analysis of Tillamook County – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Tillamook County is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Due to our agricultural and forestry industries, we are surviving where as other smaller communities nationwide are struggling. We are a generous and caring community and have a sense of looking out for one another. One of our weaknesses is that we are not growing new businesses which can provide the kind of jobs attractive to our young people after graduating from high school or college. The shortage of affordable housing is also a major problem. There are lots of opportunities in Tillamook County for young people who want to work hard and through hard work, advance in their trade. One example: today, try and find a building contractor to build you a new home! If you can find one, you will be at least one year out. The same thing goes for electricians and plumbers. Define “Threats”. During the winter time, there is always the threat of a severe storm resulting in wind damage and flooding. Hey! That’s Tillamook. Crime? I have lived here for 42 years (Pioneer Member) and , yes, there is always something happening but not enough to lose any sleep over. I do not believe Tillamook County has to worry about any serious threats in the future.
5. Please describe your vision for Tillamook County.
I love Tillamook just the way it is. I am not opposed to improvements to our infrastructure and I want to do whatever possible to keep it prosperous. I am very interested in promoting new businesses which can provide new jobs to the area. Again, I have lived here for over 42 years and when I go to the high school on Friday night to watch my grandson play football or to the gym and watch my granddaughters play volleyball, I am surrounded by friends and family and it is such a warm feeling that I want to try and preserve for future generations