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Notes from 4-23-13 SOS Public Meeting

Our SOS Fundraising Ball on April 27 is SOLD OUT!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Meeting Notes:

·      We thanked everyone again who participated in the event: “Our Community Pulls Together.” We encouraged everyone to view over 50 posted photos of the event on our website: www.securingoursaftey.org or go to: http://securingoursafety.org/sos-event-our-community-pulls-together-a-success/

·    We talked about the Momentum that SOS has generated and how we needed to keep it going by staying involved.

·    I read an e-mail from Stacy Kellenbeck, which read as follows: “Just wanted to pass this along to SOS. It’s an article in the April 5 ODOT publication, Moving Ahead.

The line of special interest is, ‘Oregonians should be upset about this situation because their tax dollars fund these facilities.’

I think it’s important to note that this ‘problem’ we have is reaching further and further and affecting more than just our own community.

I served on the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation for 8 years… I can attest to the difficulty Josephine County has had in securing state funds for transportation. The loss of $100,000 to criminal activity will surely be noticed as ODOT’s available funds continue to shrink. Point to be made here- the problem affects more than our security.” (Go to websitewww.securingoursafety.org to view ODOT article)     

·     RESTORE’s Chairman Jeff Wolf presented RESTORE Topics in a separate meeting which included signs, the need for letters to the Editor, Fireteams and proposed ground campaign, Radio Spots, Mailers by the County—indicating the fact as to what a person’s tax would be if the Levy was successful, Saturday Market, First Friday Art Night and Post Office Booths and RESTORE’s participation in the Merlin Parade; there was also mention of the Courier Border Ad purchased by Josephine County Commissioner Cherryl Walker

·     Walking For Justice  Flyers by Ashley Lombardo were presented—-neat Flyer—go to website to view!!! Our Walk is on April 30, 2013Ashley and Steven Lombardo and Shane Simon are coordinating the walk.

·     We spoke of the need for Bill Ertel to step up and use his Media connections to promote all our events.

·     Memorial Day Parade Float Cheri Adkins has submitted the application for our participation; Pat Fahey is going to provide the trailer and the vehicle to pull our float—more to follow.

·     T-Shirts We still have about 25 T-shirts left! They are $6 Each—e-mail Cheri Adkins :adkinscheri7@gmail.com if you would like an SOS T-Shirt

·     Opioid Clinic Update Toni Webb gave us a quick update for the clinic: We got funding to train 5 doctors to prescribe suboxone and coordinated efforts to formally re-establish the methadone clinic are underway! Great job Toni! More to follow!

·     School Board Liaison  I met with Gary Penning last week to discuss how the School Board and SOS can come together; I referenced Fred Borngasser’s Letter to the Editor as a starting point; While we all agree how important the Criminal Justice System and Our Schools are, we need to find middle ground to move forward together; Gary and I are currently working on an initial  meeting with the School Board very soon!

·      The Debate UPDATE Pat Fahey indicated he was still working with his opposition for a specific venue/date and time; as of now, it is scheduled for April 30, 2013 @ 6:00 PM at the Grants Pass City Council Chambers; More to follow!

·     The Ball UpdateKimberly Gasperson has done a fantastic job coordinating this event! We are going to try and post all of the Silent Auction Items prior to the event to allow anyone not attending to bid on the items; Ali Syd stepped up tonight and said he will coordinate the donation of a new grill to the Silent Auction! Great job Ali!!!!
SILENT AUCTION ITEMS:
  • $ 40 gift Certificate to the Bistro
  • Box from Dutch Bros (coffee, gift certificate, chocolate, mugs)
  • Power of Attorney/Last Will and Testament
  • Lamp (Boy themed with army men and trucks)
  • Handmade Necklace
  • Two Carvings from Bill West
  • 2 Smoking Loon Bikes
  • $150 to Serendipity
  • Hellgate Lunch Excursion for 2
  • Cake Pops
  • $350 Gift Certificate to the Spa at Club Northwest
  • Organizing Session from Efficient Spaces
  • 2 Bottles of Wine from Schmidt
  • Piece of Art by Miller
  • Lunch with the Sheriff
  • Pie a Month from the Powderhorn
  • Napa Valley Epicurean Adventure: Cooking Class, Wine Train, Olive Oil Tour & Tasting, and Meritage Resort and Spa 3-Night Stay for 2 Wine Country
  • 4-Night Fairmont San Francisco and Sonoma Getaway for 2
  • iPad 2
  • 3 trips over the valley in a plane
  • $100 gift certificate for Matsukazi
  • BBQ Grill
OUTSTANDING! THANK YOU!

·     We have a new Committee: Property/Resource Committee Dave Corsi is the Chairman! Members include Phil KillianPat FaheyJay Meredith and Archie Lidey; More to follow!

·     SOS Refunding Committee UPDATE Carl Raskins is going to e-mail me the dates, times and venues for his upcoming refunding events; More to follow!

·      Our College Works Committee have officially adopted Securing Our Safety as their name, to be an extension of SOS at the Rogue Community College; Ashley and Steven Lombardoand Shane Simon are coordinating these efforts at the Rogue Community College Campus and are also employing the Social Media

·     View of WEBSITE—If you have not been to the website as of late, you need to go there: www.securingoursafety.org Jay Meredith, Gordon Edstrom and Frank Morin are doing an awesome job!  The website looks FANTASTIC! We have doubled the daily visits to our site since last month (we average 200 hits per day!!!) We now have 43 Questions Answered in our Q+A Section (see below for the latest batch of questions delivered)

·     We spoke briefly about the Sobering Center  and its’ plans under the guidance of Bill Landis; that group is meeting tomorrow to continue with the actual plans for the center.

·      Josephine County Jail Tours  A plan for these tours are underway with Sheriff Gilbertson, who recently had to reduce the number of beds from 99 to 60 due to budget constraints; We talked about how ludicrous it was that we were unable to lodge a man with a gun by the Redwood School yesterday; More to follow!

·     SOS Office Space  Holly Lidey is in the process of establishing an official SOS Office at Neuman Methodist Church; More to follow!

·      Lottery Update Cliff Thomason was unavailable tonight, but will give us an update on his Lottery Presentation in Klamath Falls next week.

·     Question Inventory We have 43 Questions answered on our website; below are the latest questions submitted and/or yet to be answered:

1. Are the County Commissioners going to refund O+C Monies received to the Tax Levy participants?

2. How would the Board of County Commissioners refund monies to the County Levy participants?

3. Why doesn’t the County cut 10MBF in the Forest sales they have planned, instead of the 5/6MBF now planned?  It would bring in a lot of money and not affect sustainability.

4. The timber advisory committee has been working diligently regarding an increased harvest on county lands. It appears that Vic Harris (County Forester) will not change his methodology of harvest on these lands that is allowed under the Oregon Forest Act to harvest more aggressively to increase dollars to the county. As such, the sales projection he is reporting is an increase over years past, but not going to make a significant impact on money received by the county. Professional foresters who sit on the advisory committee are reportedly getting frustrated. Are the County Board of Commissioners going to demand a change and increase harvest on these lands?

5. What about “flat tax” for everyone, not one based on house value.  The argument was made that people in lower valued houses tend to use more “services” and it’s not fair for other law abiding citizens to pay for it. Is a “flat tax” a possibility?

6. Someone suggested to impose a tax on houses but put a cap on it.  For example XX amount on the first $5,000 value of your home. It would be a way of keeping it down when economy returns and house values go back up. Would this generate enough funds to sustain the Criminal Justice System?

7. Concern about the ever-growing transient population causing a bulk of the crime is on the rise. People who live in the outer areas in Josephine County are reporting that they have problem with squatters living on or near their property. How can we “crack down” on this problem?

8. Is it possible that the state will come in and take over Josephine County?

9. What kind of tax would we pay then?

10. Was 600 thousand dollars, that could have been spent to keep the county safer, recently diverted from the General Fund for a single piece of assessor software?

11. Since Rosemary Padgett (County CFO) has said that the current software is “ok”, why is the County going ahead and spending money (is it really $600,000?) on a new software system right now?

12. Commissioner Hare said on a radio interview on KAJO that he wants to send back any O&C/Rural Schools Act money we get through Wyden’s efforts.  What reaction by the Federal Government is Commissioner Hare hoping to see?

13. What is in place or in mind to EDUCATE the public on the basics of how our tax dollars are spent?  “When I (the submitter of this question) talk to people or read the comments in the paper, it is abundantly clear that people feel tax dollars have no restriction/guideline on how they are spent and that controlling of spending must be done before any additional taxes are acceptable.  People feel that they have seen way too many examples of government waste and foolishness. If people understood that the State of Oregon has control over certain processes, and that there are laws/regulations that control how taxes are utilized, that knowledge may help create some understanding of the actual process.  This could move some folks to support a temporary tax to allow changes in such regulations and processes to take place.

It seems that the primary focus right now should be:  TRANSPARENCY and EDUCATION.

14. Do you think a forest dept. employee deserves to keep his job, if he is derelict of duty?

15. Is there a reason the residents of Josephine County are not being served in the most efficient manner?

16. Why are the people’s trees not being harvested, in order to pay for their public servants service?

17. I see that Josephine County Commissioners Keith Heck and Cherryl Walker appear to be out in front of the levy (Bridge) proposal. Does Josephine County Commissioner Simon Hare support the levy (Bridge) proposal?

18. It sounds like the current levy proposal won’t do much to restore much needed criminal justice system services. So why bother with a levy?

19. The County Commissioners are saying that the levy is a temporary “bridge”, a tool to help them arrive at secure and sustainable funding for the criminal justice system. Why should we believe them? They haven’t produced before!

20. There is allot of distrust for the by members of this group (SOS) and the county at large. How can SOS help to overcome this distrust and build a working relationship between the county and the County Commissioners?

21. Where does the distrust for the County Government come from and what is the best way to address those concerns?

22. What does a felony warrant cost the Josephine County Criminal Justice System?

24. Why should Josephine County taxpayers pay for a state function such as the District Attorney, who is a State elected official and his office prosecutes crimes against the State? Should the State of Oregon be responsible for funding the office?

25. Has the Josephine County Board of Commissioners failed to explore and implement any non-taxing means of funding Josephine County?

26. Has the Josephine County Board of Commissioners failed to stand up to Salem, by refusing to accept and fund Oregon’s unfunded mandated services?

27.  Has the Josephine County Board of Commissioners failed to stand up to Salem, by refusing to accept and fund Oregon’s unfunded mandated services?

28. Has the Josephine County Board of Commissioners failed to force the State Government to take back the Animal Control Department, which the state once operated?

29. Are the salaries of the Josephine County Board of Commissioners more than twice the amount that the Home Rule Charter allows by law? (Oregon Constitution Article VI Section 10 adopted May 23, 1978)

30. Is Josephine County any more regulated, with respect to businesses, than any other county?

32. Has the SOS group explored the option of a residence fee? I am suggesting a flat rate added to each tax payer, not the assessed value.

33. I noticed that none of your SOS teams are focused on bringing companies to the area. Full employment and business taxes will generate large amounts of funds to replace lost timber revenue. There has been limited amount of effort put forth by the county and state to help make counties like Josephine replace the timber jobs.

34. Are Oregon State Troopers free? If so, why bother with a Sheriff’s Office if we can get the Troopers for free?

KEEP THE QUESTIONS COMING!!!

WE CAN EFFECT CHANGE.

www.securingoursafety.org

MISSION STATEMENT: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”

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