“How do you thank someone for saving your home? All your neighbors' homes? We will never forget what Joe did.“
Bernie McJunkin, resident, Filbert Grove Co-op (formerly the Patrician Mobile Home Park)
Joe speaking at 2019's swearing-in ceremony
A Fond Farewell
You know me. I don’t mince words. I mean what I say.
First, from the bottom of my heart, I give thanks to Springfield's voters for the opportunity of public service the past four years.
I had help from some truly outstanding individuals from all walks of life. You know who you are. You made my term as county commissioner more fully informed and effective, more worthwhile and uplifting.
Everything I accomplished as commissioner increased local financial and social investment, injecting dollars into local commerce while at the same time helping those least fortunate among us. To me that’s the proper intersection of good government and common sense.
The county’s adoption of community benefit priorities in contracting, an innovative climate action plan, and continued commitment to providing health
and housing safety nets are evidence of that philosophy, and I’m proud of it.
From the very beginning of this journey back in 2018, Maddie and I simply wanted to demonstrate how a campaign could educate and be aspirational, as opposed to operating from a mudslinging, do-anything-to-win, dark-money-infested cesspool. Unfortunately, in 2022, while battling these same forces, a lifetime of diabetes caught up with me.
I recently lost a second toe. With luck I’m hopeful my health will finally stabilize so that by spring, Maddie and I can catch up on travel, hit some warm beaches and enjoy more time with our grandchildren.
Before I go, however, a word to the wise:
Threats to our democracy are very real. Disinformation and misinformation are obviously toxic, but so is no information. Without a healthy Fourth Estate that provides full and objective coverage of local officials, issues, meetings and events, speaking truth to power becomes an exercise in futility.
Without watchdogs asking important questions, airing differing views or offering in-depth context and analysis, the public’s henhouse remains unguarded. People won’t know what they don’t know. Now, more than ever, it’s the patriotic duty of every one of us to remain alert and vigilant.
In my parting remarks as a Lane County commissioner I discussed always being guided by the Golden Rule – “Do unto others (and our planet, I might add) as you would have them do unto you.” Please join me in in staying positive and never giving up. We have a world to make better, healthier, and more sane.