West Lane Co. Commission race 2010: Jerry Rust

West Lane Co. Commission race 2010: Jerry Rust

FLORENCE, Ore. - Jerry Rust wants his old job ack: He served as a Lane County Commissioner when Jimmy Carter was president.

"I've been there, got the t-shirt," he said.

First elected in 1976, Rust held held the seat Pete Sorenson does now as a county commissioner for 20 years. He has since moved to Florence.

But in 2010, this is no trip down memory lane for Rust.

"I don't believe in bickering," he said at a Junction City candidate forum. "We don't have time for it. This is the public's business."

Rust, 67, He entered the West Lane race when Bill Fleenor decided not to run again.

Rust said that without question, the top job is solving the budget deficit for next year.

"I understand it's $7 million dollars," he said. "That's a big number, but it's doable. I believe we can balance this budget with no new revenue."

County Administrator Jeff Spartz confirmed that deficit figure.   

Rust thinks certain steps next year can avoid deeper trouble.

"That means early retirement; that means trimming some high salaries, that means freezing some open positions," Rust said.

KVAL News asked: Any specifics?

"Well, I think it's too premature to say," Rust said.

What about jail funding? "Well, jail funding is a given," Rust said. "Public safety is the highest level of need."

To jump-start the economy, Rust wants to grow jobs through wine tourism. He envisions what he calls a "pinot trail."

"We need to do some land use changes so that wineries can have restaurants, they can put on special events," he said.

Rust also said public-private partnerships are the only way to put the fairgrounds on a more stable footing, not with county money. |  More Campaign 2010 News