Lesley challenges Bozievich for West Lane commission seat

Lesley challenges Bozievich for West Lane commission seat »Play Video
Dawn Lesley and Jay Bozievich, the candidates for West Lane County Commissioner

EUGENE, Ore. - The candidates for West Lane County Commissioners squared off before the Eugene City Club on Friday over contrasting views of government, how best to grow the economy - and what went wrong with former county administrator Liane Richardson.

Incumbant Jay Bozievich said for the first 2 years, Richardson did a good job and that her later problems could not have been predicted.

"Somewhere in her personal life something happened. Some behaviors changed," he said. "She broke the trust of the board and the board fired her for breaking that trust."

Challenger Dawn Lesley questioned whether Bozievich and the commission had made the right choice by hiring Richardson in the first place.

"One of the main responsibilities of county commissioners is to hire a qualified administrator," she said, "and Ms. Richardson did not have a background as an administrator."

On growing more jobs, Lesley told the city club she wants to emphasize Lane County products.

"Agriculture, food production, tourism, recreation, information technology and high tech," she said.

Bozievich wants to see the county's natural resource economy revived.

"One of the things I've been focusing on is advocating with our federal representatives to put our federal forests back to work for Lane County in a sustainable and reasonable manner," he said.

Both raised caution flags on Lane County's possible investment in a proposed hotel/conference center in Glenwood.

"If I use that money for that particular development, what does it gain for Lane County?" Bozievich said.

"If it's going to run for 5 or 10 or 15 years before it actually makes money," Lesley asked, "who's on the hook?"

Deadline to register to vote in the May 20 election is Tuesday, April 29