Experience that Qualifies Me for this Office

 

My kids with flying ace Chuck Yeager, first pilot in history confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight

 

                                                      

LIFE EXPERIENCE  - I place great value in having a wide range of life experiences for making decisions on complex issues that affect the public.  We’ve all faced difficult times in our lives, and government officials need that experience to understand what’s necessary to support people through trying times, whether it be COVID-19 or an individual issue such as permitting.   I can empathize with problems people must face, since life has thrown a lot at me, from combat in Viet Nam as a “grunt” (infantryman) to caring for a wife dying of cancer, and then raising two young kids as a single dad while working full time. These experiences, along with many others, would allow me to recognize, understand and defend the views and interests of Benton County residents.

 

    VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE - Volunteer work plays a key role in the functioning of social services within our communities.  Believing everyone should contribute to their community, I’ve been active in volunteer work in Benton County through membership in:

---Benton County Sheriff's “Community Emergency Response Team” (last job was assisting at DaVinci Days)

---Benton County Environmental Issues Advisory Committee

---Republic Service’s Master Recycler Program (last job was servicing electronics at the OSU Repair Fair)

---Philomath Lyons Club, a community service organization

---Mary's River Grange #685

Additional community support activities

---My son and I helped rebuild a stretch of Corvallis-to-Coast Trail

---To assist others whom may be hurt if I come across them while hiking, I took Wilderness First Aid from the U.S. Forest Service in May 2018.  Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, I am unable to renew my Certificate this year (2020).
---While living in Hawaii, I served as a volunteer soccer referee for AYSO
---While living in California, I served as Chair of the Peak and Gorge Outings Section, Mother Lode Chapter, Sierra Club, personally leading over 50 hikes with over 500 participants on peak-climbing expeditions and promoting many more with Outing Leaders.

---While living in Arizona, I served as a Sierra Club Conservation Chair in Phoenix; believing in a reasonable mix of preservation and use of natural areas, while hunting Javelina, I came across a rare perennial creek running through a remote road-less area in the Sonora Desert east of Phoenix, Arizona.  Recognizing its value, I led hikes into the area to obtain public support to include it in Senator Morris Udall’s (Arizona) Wilderness Act.  It is now the Salome Creek Wilderness Area with over 18,000 acres of rugged desert terrain, and, at its center, the perennial creek is a destination for canyoneering, aka gorge scrambling (link here to description and video):

Finally, I am currently the co-founder and Executive Committee member of the Western States Climbers, promoting peak-climbing throughout the western U.S.  to instill in others the joy of being outdoors.

Waste Audit (sorting through the garbage), at Philomath Community Services (for Master Recycler Pgm)

 

At my desk at work as a Civil Engineer

in the 1990s

     WORK EXPERIENCE/EMPLOYMENT  As Chief of the Cal-Nev and Watershed Assessment Section, Dept. of Water Resources, I supervised a diverse, professional workforce, doing watershed management, flood control, dispersed recreation, water quality monitoring & high-level interstate negotiations over water supplies.  This included:

---Staffing: always hiring the best person for the job, I built a solid professional team built on mutual respect and a strong work ethic.

---Budgeting: I was responsible for obtaining enough funds to support my staff and their workload.  My program was always fully funded, despite competition for the state and federal funds needed to support the work of other Sections as well as ours.

---Negotiations: My Section was responsible for supporting negotiations between California and Nevada over water in the interstate Truckee, Carson and Walker Rivers. This became especially challenging after Senator Harry Reid from Nevada began urging all litigants, including the States of California and Nevada, to complete a Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA), thereby resolving 50 years of litigation over who gets how much water from the Truckee River.  My duties included getting Governor Schwarzenegger to sign off for California on the agreement we negotiated.  Besides acquiring funding and organizing logistics for these negotiations, I served as the lead technical negotiator from California, which included formulating innovative ways to resolve standoffs on several important issues, including meeting these objectives:

------Increase instream flows in the Truckee River and tributaries for water quality and fish habitat

------Maintain reservoir levels that benefit fish and recreational use

------Design of wells to not take surface water

------Allow reasonable domestic, commercial, and irrigation uses of ground water while maintaining adequate flows in the Truckee River

My efforts brought me directly into legal and policy debates, where I successfully obtained consensus from many different participating government agencies and interest groups on the above issues.

The primary TROA negotiators, all of whom I got to know quite well, representing the U.S. Dept. of Justice, California, Nevada, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and Truckee Meadows Water Authority

 

---COMMUNITY OUTREACH - Working with Communities and Interest Groups - Before California would agree to TROA, I needed buy-in from many different state agencies (10), counties (5), local communities (5), water districts (12), ski resorts (6), and special interest groups (12) in the Lake Tahoe and Truckee River Basins.  I worked with each of them to find and promote areas of common interest, convene public meetings to inform and obtain feedback, negotiate differences, and continue to meet as necessary until they were supportive.