Commissioner candidate Archie Osburn, 61, Monument, has been working on his family’s ranch for most of his life. He graduated from Monument High School with honors and attended Blue Mountain Community College for a time before returning to the ranch.
“I’ve had the same address since 1967,” he said.
Osburn’s ranch employs eight people. He also operates a wildfire support business and an agricultural trucking service.
He was elected and served for several terms on the boards for Monument School and the Monument Soil and Water Conservation District. He’s also served on the Farm Service Agency since the 1980s, which handles disaster relief funds for fires and floods, and loans for conservation projects, student education and 4-H projects.
“Through my ranch and firefighting business and my work on the Farm Service Agency, I’ve brought several million dollars into Grant County,” Osburn said. “No other commissioner candidate can say that.”
The biggest issue facing Grant County is jobs, he said.
“We need employees who are qualified to do the jobs that already exist here, and we need to diversify the local economy to attract skilled workers,” he said.
It’s important that Grant County holds onto the skilled workers who live here now, but there is a lack of opportunities. Bringing broadband internet here is one thing that will help achieve that goal, he said.
“Broadband access is necessary — it’s our new highway,” Osburn said, adding he believes access will eventually branch out from John Day to the rest of the county.
“Lack of good internet access has stopped economic development in Monument,” he said.
Osburn also supports creating a countywide special district for 911 dispatch in Grant County to protect existing dispatcher jobs and to ensure calls are handled by people who are knowledgeable about local geography and people.
He strongly opposes the creation of a natural resource adviser position for the county. He said he leases large tracts of land in two counties from the Bureau of Land Management, and he didn’t want anyone interfering in his relationship with the agency.
“I’ve put my whole life into working with them,” he said.
Osburn said his 45 years of business experience would be an asset for the county court.
“I don’t feel like any other candidate has that kind of experience,” he said.