Shullanberger wins Commissioner race

Barry Shullanberger

Lake County residents voted in the Oregon primary Tuesday, May 19, choosing Barry Shullanberger over Elmer Riblett as their new Lake County Commissioner.

Shullanberger, a native of Lakeview who graduated from Lakeview High School in 1986, ran his campaign as bringing Lake County together. He credited his experience working in the United States Forest Service, being president of the Lake County School District #7 Board and president of the Fremont Highlanders Ski Club as the perfect training ground to becoming a commissioner.

“I am very humble by the voters of Lake County and those that showed their support for me,” said Shullanberger.

With the campaign season cut short due to COVID-19 with no large gatherings, or restaurants, either opened or allowed to happen. Shullanberger had to deliver his message to the voters via other methods such as online, media campaigns in the paper and radio, and signs in people’s yards. One of the normal method of reaching voters was disrupted.

Shullanberger has goals he wishes to accomplish, including helping Red Rock Biofuels get tax credits for biomass from the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

He also wants to improve Goose Lake Railroad, though a CRISI grant was not awarded, current Lake County Commissioners are looking at other funding sources for improvements for the railroad currently.

“I need to work hard to meet more people in North Lake,” said Shullanberger.

That is one area that he wants to work on as a Commissioner, listening and meeting the people from the northern part of the County; who have often felt unheard and appreciated by the southern part of the County.

It is a mail goal to improve communication with people from North Lake so they do not feel like Shullanberger is just representing Lakeview, instead he wants people to see him as a Commissioner for all of Lake County no matter where they live.

Shullanberger looks forward to bringing businesses back to the community and helping to fill the empty storefronts in many parts of Lake County. One area is promoting Lake County resources, such as timber, agriculture, and ranching. Strengths that he feels Lake County can promote and at the same time attract businesses to the region who wish to invest.

With COVID-19 having a big impact on state and county budgets, Shullanberger is entering a time when budgets could be tight across the next several years as budget transfers from state and federal resources make up the bulk of Lake County’s $50 million dollar budget.

“I look forward to the challenges that are ahead and doing the very best for Lake County,” said Shullanberger.

He will be sworn in as Commissioner at their first meeting in January. He currently plans on keeping his positions on the LCSD#7 Board and with the Fremont Highlanders Ski Club.

Riblett, who also grew up in Lakeview and moved back to the area after some time away, ran a campaign that revolved around voters not being heard or represented by the Commissioners. He feels that Lake County has not really progressed since he moved back after and that it has become stagnant.

Riblett believed he could be the voice of change as a Commissioner and work hard to promote the County for both business and tourism.

For questions contact Shullanberger at barry.shullanberger@usda.gov.

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