Powder River Examiner -

Commissioner Candidates Debate at Chamber Forum


October 15, 2020

On October 6th, the Powder River Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture held their Commissioner Candidate Forum live on Facebook. The forum featured the two candidates for the Powder River County District 1 Commissioner position – incumbent Republican candidate Rod Schaffer and Independent challenger John Olson.

The forum was moderated by David Gardner, with Jessica Malone facilitating the event. Meanwhile Horizon Marketing Agency (Marni Gaskill) handled the technical aspects of the forum.

The Facebook Live format allowed viewers to watch the forum live from home. Viewers at the live event were also able to ask questions on the comments section of the Facebook page, which were answered towards the end of the forum, following the moderator’s Q & A session.

The questions posed by Moderator Gardner were wide ranging, including questions such as the budget and county roads, combining the county health care under one roof with a potential critical access hospital, administering of COVID grants, full-time versus part-time pay, how Broadus could draw in new residents, and how county funding could change if Denbury’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring fell through and the company evaporated.

The candidates maintained civility as they answered the questions over the hour long forum. Following questioning by Gardner, Jessica Malone asked about the role of the commissioners with other community groups.

Commissioner Rod Schaffer spoke in detail on his experience as a current commissioner, emphasizing the updates to the county roads in the works with the help of the newly stockpiled gravel reserves, as well as how the county has not had to raise taxes.

John Olson, as a challenger, spoke of his ability to work hard with others to get things done, and how he would continue that hard work in the public servant role as a commissioner.

For full details on the candidates’ answers, please check out the forum video, available on the Chamber’s Facebook page, or on the PR Chamber website (www.prchamberofcomm.com) where it is currently available for viewing. The Chamber recommends that viewers should watch the event on a good, modern device with the speakers turned up high. Another alternative if the viewer is having trouble hearing the candidates is to use headphones.


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