Brandon Criss, a fourth generation Siskiyou County farmer and volunteer firefighter from Butte Valley, hopes to replace incumbent Jim Cook as District 1 supervisor.

Brandon Criss, a fourth generation Siskiyou County farmer and volunteer firefighter from Butte Valley, hopes to replace incumbent Jim Cook as District 1 supervisor.

Making a pledge to bring strong leadership to the county, Criss said he’s looking forward to representing the citizens of McCloud and the rest of District 1.

A firm believer in the process of coordination and the need to save the Klamath hydroelectric dams, Criss was the Butte Valley-Tulelake regional campaign manager for the “No on Measure G” campaign in 2010, an advisory vote that showed a large majority of those who voted opposed dam removal.

Criss holds a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on economics and political science and a master’s degree in public administration. He said he’s concerned with economic growth, job creation in the county, and keeping the family resource centers viable. He hopes to bring a proactive approach to county government and pledges to stay involved with all his constituents to represent them to the best of his ability.

Economy
“Natural resources are the base of all economic growth... A county this rich in natural resources shouldn’t have this high of an unemployment rating,” said Criss, who describes himself as “pro-ag, pro-timber and pro-mining.”

He hopes that through coordination, state and federal agencies will be forced to respect local land-use laws.

If elected, Criss hopes to help the county “move beyond dealing with the county budget in a year-to-year crisis mode and establish long-term planning that would give the county a sounder fiscal policy.”

On his website, Criss said he believes that sound funding prioritization for essential services such as emergency services, fire, law enforcement, public works and public health is critical, and the county should be taking a long-term approach to funding.

“The county can do this by funding essential services during economic good times and saving the extra money to cushion the county during economic poor times in order to maintain those essential services,” Criss said. “It shouldn’t take a recession for the county to prioritize its funding... [it] should be a basic operating premise for the county as it is for any private business.”

Criss said he’d like to ensure programs in the county’s outlying areas, not just the Interstate 5 corridor, are funded. He believes the cost-effective family resource centers are vital in meeting that objective.

Dam removal
“The dams provide the cleanest, cheapest electricity that can be produced,” Criss said.

“It was believed by the incumbent county supervisor that a majority of the Tulelake Basin supported dam removal because farmers had been promised water if they supported it,” Criss continued. “I couldn’t stand by and let part of Siskiyou County be fooled about false promises. I was told it would harm my future Supervisor’s race if I got involved with the issue in Tulelake because it was very divisive locally. Instead of being scared, I assumed a leadership position... we won with 77 percent of Tulelake voting against dam removal and an 83 percent average in my entire campaign region.”

Thoughts on McCloud
Though the Nestle issue is “still big in McCloud,” Criss believes that with strong leadership, the community can come together, much the way Tulelake did on the dam issue.

“The community has already taken several initiatives to improve the economy especially with tourism,” Criss said. “I would organize roundtable meetings between the business community and the county asking community members what needs to improve from the county’s end,” Criss said. “Leading and listening will be key.”

Background
Criss has been married to his wife, Kerry, for two  years. He’s a seven-year volunteer firefighter and six year volunteer ambulance crewmember.

Criss has worked for Oregon State Senator Doug Whitsett as his legislative aide, and is familiar with reading legislation and long budget reports. He has made contact with state and national elected representatives and their staffs.

“I have the knowledge and experience to lead us successfully in really beginning and continuing with coordination as a tool to stop dam removal,” Criss said.

Contact Criss
Criss is available to discuss concerns and answer questions by phone at (530) 859-5548, or by email at brandoncriss22@yahoo.com or at his website, brandoncriss2012.com