Friday, 30 September 2022

Candidates profiles: Fergusson says military taught him to lead

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Scott Fergusson wants to bring a revitalized economy to the county. Courtesy photo.

 



MIDDLETOWN – After traveling around the world as a Marine, Scott Fergusson made his home in Lake County, and he says that what he learned along the way will make him a good supervisor. {sidebar id=74}


Fergusson is one of six candidates seeking the District 1 supervisorial seat that Ed Robey will retire from at year's end.


Right after high school, Fergusson – who grew up in Occidental – enlisted in the Marine Corps, spending 10 years traveling around the world to places including Japan, Central America, Korea, Denmark, the Philippines and Guam.


“I believe in serving my country and my community,” he said.


After 10 years in the Marines Fergusson left the service. He came to Lake County nine years ago with wife, Linda. They fell in love with the area and decided to make their home here.


Time in the military prepared him for a leadership position like a supervisorial post, he said. He also learned to relate to people from diverse backgrounds.


A local businessman who owns a cutlery shop, Fergusson said he's always been interested in politics, which – along with his interest in community issues – led to his decision to run.


He'd also heard many local business owners complain about their lack of representation in local government. District 1, he said, is “pretty much treated like the stepchild of the county.”


Fergusson said he believes decisions should be made from the ground up, not from the top down. If elected, he said he would reach out more to community members through one-on-one meetings and open forums.


Lake County is a bedroom community with more housing than jobs, which Fergusson said he'd like to help change. He believes that programs like Mt. Konocti Facilitation can help build local business, but he said many people still don't know about those resources.


On the much-discussed topic of growth, Fergusson said the focus needs to be on creating jobs, with new home construction put on the back burner for now. “We have an awful lot of empty houses right now,” he said, adding that there are about 150 foreclosure in Hidden Valley alone.


When growth happens, Fergusson said he wants it to be well planned, and not see a lot of malls scattered around the area.


Not enough jobs forces more commuters over the hill to Sonoma County, he said, so creating jobs here needs to be a focus. “How we do that is going to be a struggle.”


One way of making the area more viable is rebuilding the county's tourism industry, starting with Middletown, he said.


Another issue for him is road safety. He pointed to a “ridiculous” amount of accidents on the Highway 29 corridor that cuts through the south county. Without proper planning for future growth, accidents will increase in number.


He also would like to see more programs for seniors and things for young people to do in the south county, and is concerned that programs for youth and at-risk teens are being affected by the state's budget crunch. Both seniors and children are close to his heart, he added.


Fergusson is interested in the county's water situation, and cited the county's lakes as among its best assets.


Robey has played an important part in negotiations with neighboring Yolo County over water rights, a role Fergusson said he would “absolutely” take on.


Why is he the best choice for supervisor amidst a crowded field?


He said he has the majority of local business owners endorsing him, and once again cited his military experience and leadership skills.


Fergusson added that he's easy going and gets along with everybody, is hardworking, loyal, a great listener and trustworthy. He added that he's received “outstanding, positive feedback” from community members during his campaign.


He's clear that he's a different candidate from Robey.


“I don't see any similarities, and I would hope nobody else would, either,” said Fergusson, who criticized Robey for not being in the community very much.


“I definitely want to be more involved,” he said.


Ultimately, running isn't about him, but about what he can do for District 1, Fergusson said. Whoever elected, he said, is just the middle person between the government and local residents.


Besides seeking elected office, Fergusson has another life-changing event to look forward to later this year. He and wife, Linda, are expecting their first child together on Nov. 26 after 11 years of marriage.


Between them, they have five children from previous marriages, but this will be their only little one at home.


How does he plan to balance a new baby, a business and the possibility of elected office?


“A very organized day planner,” he said.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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