I was watching the 1994 elections very closely. A County Commissioner who had been instrumental in helping Jerry’s Home Improvement Center with a tiny urban growth boundary change that allowed us to build our first large store in West Eugene was running for State Labor Commissioner.
Jack Roberts had made the arguments, in a joint meeting with the Eugene City Council, that it was good for local business and the economy to make the adjustment. It happened.
Not long after the newly approved Jerry’s Store was opened Debi Farr talked me into running for the Bethel School Board. I won. It was right after that victory that I watched Jack Robert’s great victory in his bid for Labor Commissioner.
When Roberts was elected, the balance of the County Commissioners selected my City Councilor, Bobby Green, to replace him on the Board of Commissioners.
Then came the phone calls to me. Would I consider replacing Bobby Green on the Eugene City Council. I said no, but many calls and discussions with many people convinced me to do so. And I won.
Eight years later Majority Leader Karen Minnis, later Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, called me to ask if I would run for the House seat in District 14. Once again I said no, but was worn down by many phone calls and discussions. I won that, as well.
Today I sit in what was Jack Roberts’ and subsequently Bobby Green’s seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners.
So, thank you Jack Roberts for your initial spark.
Jack served admirably as Oregon Labor Commissioner for eight years, then led the Lane County Metro Partnership through many years of catalyzing the local economy. Now he is serving, once again, admirably, as the Oregon Lottery Commission Director.