The People's Rights invited Todd J. Gessele, Candidate for Klamath County Commissioner #1 to Speak

Totally INSPIRED Media INC

This introduction to Todd J Gessele, Candidate for Klamath County Commissioner #1 was read March 24, 2022 at The People’s Rights meeting in Klamath Falls, Oregon prior to Gessele's 10 minute speech.

"In this time of extreme political polarization, we need extra kindness, neighborly love, and empathic conversations over emotional reactions! For only by listening and talking with one another, can we separate honest mistakes from unproductive hate."

Todd J Gessele (Pronounced GUESS-LEE) is a fresh face to the race and in our community.

Todd Gessele, a 42 year Oregonian, son of a preacher, is an entrepreneurial local business man, who owns Totally INSPIRED Media INC, a video production company, now located here in Klamath Falls.

Todd and Gioni (Pronounced G-ON-E), his wife, who is here tonight, fell in love with Klamath County last March, when they spent the night here and found a home in the Lynnwood/Lakeshore Gardens neighborhood. Their son, Christian is a freshman at Klamath Union High School. Together they enjoy kayaking and hiking.

By the way, Todd and Gioni, actually were high school sweethearts at Milo Adventist Academy, which is located 50 miles south of Roseburg, Oregon. Her father, was an American GI, who went missing at the end of the Vietnam war. Gioni was airlifted out of Vietnam on operation baby lift at 5 years old, adopted by a immigrant couple from Germany, who raised her in Eugene and Bend, Oregon.

Todd earned his BA in Mass Communications at Walla Walla University in Washington with a business minor in 1992. Todd is a certified Planned Giving and Trust Service officer and earned his Professional Project Management (PMP) certification from City University of Seattle, while serving as Director of New Outreach Media for the North Pacific Union Conference, a faith-based non-profit focused on education, healthcare and religious liberty. Earlier this week, Todd passed his Oregon General Contractor's Boards at Klamath Falls Community College!

Todd is an experienced fund-raiser/grant writer, who has secured over 10M dollars in funding for his clients. He is the chairman of the board of Changing the World INC, a 501 C3 non-profit concerned with solving homelessness, assisting veterans, at risk women and youth. Todd is also a board member of Impact Hope, which has provided 960+ college scholarships to refugee students in Rwanda, Africa since 2014.

Todd was selected by USAID to represent them on a diplomatic mission to Turkmenistan in advance of the 2017 Asian Games, to train government officials. His photojournalist style of photography has documented the struggles and history of the Bushmen in Namibia, Africa, Yupik-speaking Alaskan Eskimos, cannibals in Borneo, and the Maasai cattlemen in Kenya.

Since arriving in Klamath County, Todd has studied renovating Yesterday's Plaza on 9th street, issued a LOI to purchase Ridgewater Subdivision on HWY 140, considered buying Harriman Springs Resort near Rocky Point, read all 437 pages of the America Rescue Act Plan and written ARPA grants requests, which if awarded would create low income housing for the city and county. Todd has also worked closely with DiscoverKlamath and the staff at ChooseKlamath to brainstorm how to bring more businesses and short-stay tourists in.

Please welcome Todd Gessele, who is new, but hasn't wasted anytime getting involved locally, "So Klamath Rises!"

Todd GesseleGioni Gessele

The following is a hard copy of Todd Gessele’s prepared speech to The People’s Rights, March 24, 2022 in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Good evening...

I hope to bring my business acumen and some new blood to Klamath County politics.

While this will be my first time serving as an elected public servant, it isn’t my first experience working along side, decision makers on important agenda items, such as religious liberty, providing healthcare in rural areas, promoting education, on the job training, advocating for hunters and farmers, the physically challenged, helping refugees, immigrants or navigating tribal issues.

We need to find a balance between economic development and jobs and the county’s rural character. We don’t want to make the same mistakes they made in Bend.”

We want to grow, but not too fast.

We need to teach our kids to cook, but not meth.

Though not a user, I support medical marijuana and recreational use. I personally think legislating hard drugs in Oregon was a mistake, because addicts can solo self-destruct without community intervention if caught.

We need more affordable housing, and better paying jobs.

We need our rights, our choice, and we to encourage each other to make better choices.

We need responsible, dedicated workers our businesses can rely on.

We need drug free-kids and drug free parents!

We need social safety nets, not more “be indefinitely lazy” welfare solutions.

We have fantastic educational facilities, OIT, Klamath Falls Community College—Have you been out there and walked around? We have opportunities all around us.

We have much to celebrate. We have a patriotic community, Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base, Home of the 173rd Fighter Wing. Many of our businesses on main street thrived, even during the pandemic, thanks you locals supporting locals.

Klamath County is growing… and changing, and it is our job to manage and adapt.

What I fear, and shall fight, is additional undue Federal and State interference in what are clearly local choices. —Todd Gessele

Our decisions shouldn’t be guided or unduly influenced by old money in this town either. I am not presently beholden to either.

We need encourage property owners to cleanup Klamath County, and to address the number of chop shops and abandoned vehicles. I applaud our local recyclers. I believe local business, like towing companies, should be able to protect their client’s property in electrified fences, which the city doesn’t currently allow.

Everyone knows, there are no police patrols between 3am and 7 am in the county, so we need to find ways to financially prioritize, support and expansion of our police force, especially in the rural areas. We also need to focus on DA staff retention so we can fight crime efficiently.

I am impressed with the scope our road department. There are approximately 4,000 miles of state, federal, city, county, and user maintained public roads in Klamath County. The County maintains approximately 850 miles of gravel and paved roadways and over 200 bridges.

To summarize… what sets me apart.

I am the newcomer, who seeks to understand, then untangle, when possible the complicated existing interests and conflicting agendas, and represent you, the citizens of Klamath County, fairly and transparently.

More than anything else, I hate racism and discrimination. It breaks my heart. It doesn’t belong in our community.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”—Declaration of Independence.

I am for kindness, I wish to serve responsibly, and I welcome your questions and will respect your perspective.

You may follow me, Todd Gessele on FB or connect with me at

Thank you.

Applause and questions
Created for Todd Gessele in kind by Totally INSPIRED Media INCDesigned Pro Bono by

Next candidate Allen Headley's bio was read and he spoke for 10 minutes and he answered questions. Candidates Brandon Fowler and Dave Henslee were both invited, but not present.

Comments / 2

Published by

Totally INSPIRED Media INC, based in Klamath Falls, Oregon, provides international and local media services and reporting for individuals, organizations, and businesses.

Klamath Falls, OR

More from Totally INSPIRED Media INC

Comments / 0