County Office
John Griffith photo


Occupation: Coos County Commissioner.

Occupational Background: 1970s logger; 1980s automotive and industrial purchasing agent; 1990s full-time correspondent The Oregonian, California border to Newport; 2001-present, county commissioner.

Educational Background: 1968-1971 Lewis & Clark College, history major.

Prior Governmental Experience: Ocean Policy Advisory Council 1998-2002, numerous boards, committees and commissions.

"The counties are not backing down in their choice of Coos County Commissioner John Griffith, widely seen as an unyielding champion of coastal interests"
The Oregonian, April 23, 2004.

The Associated Press quote above is truer now than ever. Whether by state or federal policies, we have lost a lot of local control of issues that are important to us.

Local elected officials in this region stood firm behind their choice of me to represent citizens on the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) because they know I work hard, research and understand issues, and I know the differences in political, administrative and judicial actions. After a four-year standoff, this January I was reappointed to the OPAC.

I also work as your commissioner for better state and federal policies regarding private property rights.

I am our region's representative on the Association of O&C Counties, and the Council of Forest Trust Land Counties, to name only two. With our citizens' continuing support, we are striving for more realistic state and federal land and resources management.

Besides working on complicated policy matters, I do a lot of volunteer service and work long hours on the stay-at-home county issues. Unfortunately, Congress cut Coos County's revenue that came from timber. That forced budget reductions in service areas I strongly support, like law enforcement. But state law limits where budgets can be reduced, by protecting services like property tax assessment.

Your board of county commissioners didn't sit and wait for the federal timber axe to fall. We established multimillion-dollar savings accounts to act as shock absorbers, just as families do. However, even with savings, we had to cut appropriations to balance county budgets.

(This information furnished by John Griffith.)