Al Switzer has been county commissioner for 16 years. He is trying for another four so he can reach the magic number of "20 years of service" and retire like only kings used to dream.
Having been county commissioner for 16 years Al is most accountable for the condition of Klamath County today. Al's had the most time to shape policies, spend money, raise taxes and all the rest more than anyone else.
I want to spend a moment analyzing Al's response to a question by Ernie Palmer in the Herald and News from Friday, April 13, 2012. Rather than making empty claims, I'm quickly going to put some muscle behind the idea that Al doesn't have a clue and needs to go.
Q: "If I vote for you, what will you do for me and my neighbors?"
A: Switzer said he would not raise taxes without voters approval, [stop]
Really. How kind of him. However, no county commissioner can raise taxes without voter approval. Here Al is pretending he is against raising taxes to solve fiscal problems, but this is not really his belief. Read on...
A: [start] Al would maintain roads and streets [stop]
Interesting. Isn't that part of the job description for county commissioner? And yet, Al is so big hearted that if you give him a fifth term he promises to do his job. Now that's what we are looking for, someone to do their job!
A: [start] Al would provide adequate law enforcement, which he added, could require a vote to raise taxes. [stop]
Interesting. He started his answer by alluding to the idea he would be against raising your taxes and ends by saying he just might have to do that anyway.
A: [start] Switzer also said he feels more positive about the county's finances than he has in a long time since chief financial officer Jason Link was hired last year. "I think our new CFO has just been a godsend."
So for 15 years Al let the county finances sit in ruin and it's only in this last year he got his act together and Jason Link showed up to magically make things better?
Listen, Al is probably a nice guy, but this answer makes no sense. He doesn't give any idea he knows how to help the local economy. He doesn't seem willing to do anything different than what he has done for the past 16 years. Al is in neutral hoping to coast to the finish line. Al is not who we need right now. We need someone with real, current business experience, who is a principled fiscal conservative, and someone who is creative and who will work hard for the people, not for their retirement. It's time for Al to go. Otherwise we only have ourselves to blame with four more years of this senseless drivel.