Notes from August 13, 2013 SOS Public Meeting

Here are the meeting notes from 8-13-13:

One of our members, Mark Bost somberly told his story of recent victimization, returning to his burglarized home from being away and realizing his vehicle was missing. The Bost family is one of the reasons we are fighting so hard!

I announced our newest SOS Member (as of August 10, 2013): Natalie Maria Simon after Mother Maria Simon carried her around next to PapaShane Simon, to our car wash, garage sale, breakfast fundraiser, Sheriff’s truck pull, Flamingo flocking, Poker Night and awareness walk! Welcome Natalie! She’s doing awesome and another one of the reasons we are fighting so hard for our home!

  1. The Lottery Committee Refund Research Project

“Did we raise $30,000 for our Lottery Research Project?”


YOU, SOS Members, and the community of Josephine County stepped up and pooled $30,000 together in less than 6 WEEKS!

Make no mistake, Josephine County maybe last in many categories out of the 36 counties in Oregon, but we are first in GRIT! You people have GRIT!

Lottery Committee Captain Cliff Thomason  actually had the State ballot title petition in hand last night and started collecting signatures to move forward. The political effort to come outside SOS wants to collect 1,500 signatures in Josephine County.

John McCafferty and Jim Ditmer both voiced concerns over potential opposition from unions, such as the Teacher Union. We decided that we needed to remain transparent and address all concerns as we move forward with this effort. I believe both Jim and John have agreed to join Cliff’s Committee so we can stay on top of any obstacles in our path to success! We will also need people like Gary Penning to be a part as well—answer the call Gary!

If you or anyone else would like to join our Lottery Committee, please e-mail Cliff and tell him: and please sign the petition at the SOS Saturday Market Booth or at the Josephine County Fair Booth!

Remember, this idea for funding the Criminal Justice System is just one of the many prongs we will need to fund the system to arrive at our ultimate goal: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”

And Yes, Archie did dance on top of a table!!!

2.     SOS Strategic Plan

SOS currently has the following Committees:

1.     Timber Committee-Jim Frick

2.     Opioid Committee-Toni Webb

3.     Sobering Center Committee-Bill Landis

4.     Trust/Transparency and Education Committee-Bill Ertel/Holly Lidey

5.     Efficiencies/Public and Private Partnerships-Laurie Norman/Toni Webb

6.     Mining Committee-Michael Cope

7.     BioMass Committee-Cheri Adkins

8.     Refundable Committee-Carl Raskins

9.     Jail/Juvenile Justice Center Tax Levy Research Committee-Kris WoodburnChris Mecca, Pat Fahey and Jay Meredith

10. Sales Tax Committee-Jay Meredith

11. County Property Resource Committee-David Corsi

12. Property Tax Variations-Jeff Wolf

13. Lottery Fund Committee-Cliff Thomason

14. Justice of the Peace Court- David Corsi

15. Debate Committee-Matthew Eldridge

Over the next two weeks, Jay Meredith and I will be meeting with all of the Committee Captains to determine each Captain’s desire to remain as a Committee Captain and also determine if said committee should remain active, based on the committee Captain’s opinion or should it be suspended, again based on the committee Captain’s opinion. We are in dire straits and these positions require time and energy. We will then present to the SOS group the results of our inventory and seek definitive direction by our majority.

We take this inventory very serious, because the first step, as you know, to getting something done, is to know what it is you are trying to do and then knowing what you have and don’t have to do it with.

Here is our basic formula/the foundation for our Strategic Plan for each of our Committees:

·       Each Committee has a Captain

·       Each Committee Captain has an e-mail address, where anyone interested in commenting to that Captain directly about their respective Committee has the ability to do so and may also use that e-mail address as a way to join that Committee

·       Each Committee has a goal and a Mission Statement in-line with our basic and simple Mission: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”

·       Each Committee has a published meeting schedule and venue outside of the main SOS meeting time and venue, when/where appropriate

·       Each Committee has a tab on our website, which when depressed, forwards the viewer to the exclusive website page for that committee as determined by that specific Team Captain; it will be the responsibility of each team Captain to keep that page up-to-date

·       Each Committee shall possess a running/transparent Question/Answer Bank on each respective Committee page, so that Frequently Asked Questions and all other concerns are readily available

·       Every Captain should have a general knowledge of all of the other Committees and at the very least, be able to direct an inquiry to another Committee or Committee Captain

·       The only rule SOS has collectively agreed to with respect to Committees, is that no personal attacks of anyone at any time will be tolerated.

And that’s it! The above is a collection of what we as a group have carved out thus far with respect to Committees. It’s very simple and effective.

Gordon Edstrom , who has been manning our website and who has been doing an outstanding job, will take any and all of your questions, concerns and ideas. Our website has come a long way. He will continue to work on it with Jay Meredith and Frank Morin .

Frank will be focusing on keeping our website and our community up to date with the latest and greatest statistics. Stats are like facts and help us know where we are at and what’s going on. We want people who view our website to have access to “the facts” of what’s occurring in our home, not hearsay.

3.     Multi-Tier Taxing District

Kris Woodburn and Connie Roach were present. Connie said there was not anything new to report. Kris suggested that the Committee name be changed to what the Committee is actually about: A focused Jail and Juvenile Justice Center Levy. Kris said his Committee would discuss the Committee’s name in the future to be more reflective of their objective. As such, until I hear from them further, I shall be referring to them as the Jail/Juvenile Justice Tax Research Committee.

Here is an example of what we would like to see on this Committee’s webpage:

Question Bank Thus Far:

When will this Levy go on the ballot?

What will dollar amount be?

What will this Levy provide for?

What is the life of this levy?

Why is it called a “building block”?

Why is the funding-stream for the Criminal Justice System being referred to as a multi-prong approach?

How do we address those who live in rural county areas when they complain the levy doesn’t do anything for them?

How does this Levy have the potential to free up other monies for rural Sheriff Patrols and the DA’s Office?

When is this Committee’s next meeting?

Where do people in the rural county areas shop? Work?

When you place your cursor over the question, it will reveal the answer in the future.

4.     Josephine County Fair Sign-Up Dave Daniel was on-hand with Tom Dorman to discuss the Fair Sign-Ups.


5.     Mining in Josephine County

There is communique between SOS and the Board of County Commissioners with respect to our Mining Committee. County Commissioner Keith Heck wants more information on how we can go about harvesting our reported wealth without damaging what we have, with respect to our natural treasure.

Jay Meredith spoke briefly about an SOS letter to appeal for economic development funds the County has to “get the ball rolling”. Committee Captain Michael Cope chimed in about how he intended to include the historical evaluation of Josephine County on his Committee website. Michael also spoke about meeting with Debate Committee Captain Matthew Eldridge and discussing the 4TH and final High School debate topic for the High School Debate in September.

6.     SOS Awareness Fall 5K Walk/Run  Bill West shall announce the first meeting of this group to coordinate for this event; the date, time and venue will be soon decided—More to follow!

7.     Fund-Raising Band Concert I was approached by a band (sorry Laurie Norman it was not KISS) who want to perform in a fundraising concert for SOS; I discovered we actually have several people in SOS who play musical instruments and who have already jumped up and said they want to be our opening act… OK!  More to follow!

8.     Fire Prevention Gardening Rycke Brown discussed why it was so important to clear out unnecessary debris/weeds not only for fire safety but also, when brush is cleared, it is not only safer, we have a better view of our surroundings. Rycke said that unnecessary debris/weeds actually attracts the transient population and provides them a place to camp, litter and whatever. Rycke complained about a “HOBO” Camp just north of Baker Park and how it invariably ruins the park for families. Rycke complained how she went to the park recently to relax, but spent time cleaning up left behind trash (two bags worth) so that she did not see it, when she tried to sit back and enjoy the view. The group agreed with Rycke, that although perhaps less of a priority in given times, it was absolutely a priority and we need to, at some point as a group, to take action and bring such notions to the Grants Pass City Council to be addressed.

It goes back to the “broken window story” (I borrowed from Wikipedia):

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a pavement. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of refuse from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars.

We are also planning on having a separate section on our website where Rycke can provide us with Gardening Tips, which actually make our place a SAFER place to live.
Go to our website blog and read the next installment of K. David Smith’s Victim’s Voices!

Lastly, beginning NEXT WEEK, we will be reaching out our hand to other Counties to form SOS groups or similar groups, with whom we can work in the future.

Thank you again for helping us knit our community together!


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

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