Notes from July 9, 2013 SOS Public Meeting (A Must Read!)

Great Meeting Tuesday!

Here are the meeting notes:

Multi-Tier Taxing District-(Kris Woodburn, Chris Mecca, Pat Fahey and Jay MeredithConnie Roach gave a brief overview of where the committee proposition is at: the desire is to build a building block in the form of a May 2014 5-Year Levy which would fund a fully staffed/housed Jail and a fully functioning Juvenile Justice Center; this levy would only cover these two pillars of the criminal justice system; opposition was immediate with the most obvious point being: Why should I support this if I live out in the county and it does not provide any sheriff patrols?; good question, but again, I encourage you and everyone else with similar opposition to think this concept through… Connie reported, this is a “building block” and with dedicated funds to the Jail and the Juvenile Justice Center, it frees up monies NOW the county receives committed to the Jail, to the Juvenile Justice Center (back-ward-sly renting beds in Medford) and to the one deputy (Thank you Ray Webb) we have left, to be directed to the Sheriff’s Patrol and The DA’s Office; ever wonder where the people the State Police and Ray Webb and Sheriff Gilbertson (Thank you Sheriff Gilbertson) arrest in the county now go? Connie said the amount for the above would be approximately$1.11; all of this is still a work in progress; Sheriff Gilbertson is going to connect with the Deschutes County Sheriff and make a contact with Lane County (who just passed their Levy for the Jail) and have them come down and talk with us (more to follow at next Tuesday’s meeting)

We spoke briefly about the New York Times article-The overall consensus was, while it certainly painted a picture of our dire circumstances in Josephine County, there was too much of a focus on Obrien and their armed posse, which is not reflective of the majority of the county that does not have such a posse

Lottery Committee UpdateCliff Thomason and Jay Meredith spoke about the Lottery. Cliff and Jay said that we need to come up with $24,000 more by July 31, 2013 for a citizen led lottery research project. We asked Cliff and Jay, “Why do we need to come up with $24,000 by July 31, 2013?”

Jay gave the answer to that question, in the form of a presentation which I asked him to put into print:

There are two main ways to change state law: through the legislative sessions and through a citizen generated ballot initiative. SOS advised our state reps how they can make some positive changes to the state law regarding Oregon Lottery allocations. Wally Hicks took action but the proposed bill didn’t get a fair hearing in this year’s legislative session. This was not unexpected and we must do the research and legal effort on our own. Just like Measure 11 that couldn’t gain any interest in the legislature but was an overwhelming success when brought to a statewide vote, we must do the research and work required to bring this to a statewide vote and create constitutional law.

The process of bringing a state law change to the public for consideration is an expensive one and requires a significant amount of legal assistance. It’s similar in scope, work, and cost to defending a major lawsuit. This is why Securing Our Safety has partnered with Kevin Mannix and the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance Foundation in Salem to complete the first phase of this project. The first phase that we are doing is research and education based and is heavily focused on legal research.  The research can be turned over to an organization that can use the research to pursue a state law change.

The legal cost of phase one is $30,000 and we believe we’ve chosen the right partner to succeed in this effort. Kevin Mannix and his team are widely known as experts in the field of advocacy work in this area and related research work and he is one of the most successful legislators in Oregon’s history. He was very excited to see what SOS is doing when he visited us a few months ago, and agreed to find an organization to pay for and organize the political part of phase one (a couple thousand signatures are also required just to get a ballot title). Our responsibility will be the legal effort – which is a permissible activity for non-profits such as SOS and the Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance Foundation. A separate political organization (not our organization) will be doing the signature gathering and political effort both in phase one and once we proceed to phase two of the project.

As phase one and phase two take about a year from start to finish, we have until the end of July to raise the funds necessary for phase one. We have already raised a little more than $6000 through generous donations, and need to raise nearly $24,000 by the end of July to proceed with this project. For those that want to donate to the effort, please join us in our weekly meetings, participate in our upcoming 4 fundraising events this month, or see our website for instructions on how to provide tax deductible donations: http://securingoursafety.org/join-sos/


Holly Lidey briefed us on Lottery Fundraising Event #1:

EVENT #1: Garage Sale

When? Saturday, July 13, 2013 from 8AM-3 PM!

Who’s in charge? Holly Lidey e-mail Holly at haalidey@msn.com or call her at (541) 660-8186Jennifer Essick will be her right hand warrior!

Where: The Daily Courier (Thank you Daily Courier!) parking lot located at 409 SE 7TH Street, Grants Pass, OR

What Do We Need? For you to take a few moments and get rid of some of that clutter you have been wanting to get rid of—for you to bag and box up stuff you will never use—like that electronic earwax remover you got from Uncle Frank or the coffee mug with a lid your sister brought you back from Hawaii—any and all of your re-gifted treasures, and things (other than trash) you were saving for your own estate sale that even your kids don’t want!!!

Anything Else? People who can help Holly sell and set up!!!

If you have high end items you are donating, please help Holly and Jennifer out by putting a price tag on said items! Every little bit helps!

So far, here are the folks helping out: Lisa SolomonLiz Hirni, Erin Mateja, Steve Marshak, Jodi Nigh, Pat Fahey, Katie Hamlyn, Phil Newton and Cheri Adkins! Thank you! Please help us!  

Shane Simon briefed us on Lottery Fundraising event #2:

EVENT #2: Pancake Breakfast

When: July 20th, 2013 (7-10 AM)

Who’s in charge? Shane Simon ssimon_smn@yahoo.com

Where: Grants Pass Applebee’s

Cost: $7.00 per ticket (We designate cost) For every ticket sold, $2.00 goes towards food cost. Tickets will be distributed this weekend per Shane. Please buy and sell as many as you can. We need this event to be a home run!!!

Seating: 250

Deposit: $50.00 refundable

Meal: Pancake/Sausage/eggs/coffee/tea/juice

What Do We Need? You and everyone you know to show up and eat!!! And then leave a huge tip!

Anything Else? We will need to provide 17 volunteer servers  wearing SOS T-Shirts to meet, greet and bus tables. So far, the following Warriors have stepped up: Shane SimonTom Dorman, Bill Ertel, Cheri Adkins, Matthew Eldridge, Syed Ali, Kris Woodburn, Dave Daniel, Cliff Thomason, Sylvia Travee, Amanda Main, Ed Vincent, Jay Meredith,and Archie LideyWe only need three more people to step up! Applebee’s also made aware of the success they have had with tip/donation jars at these type of events.

Jay Meredith and Cliff Thomason briefed us on Lottery Fundraising Event #3:

EVENT #3: Poker Tournament

When: July 26th, 2013 (6-10 PM)

Who’s in charge? Cliff Thomason clifft9@gmail.com

Where? Wild River Brew Pub

Donation? $50 per ticket

What’s Included in Donation? ASSORTED WOOD FIRED PIZZAS; Hand tossed dough with Wild River’s own all natural pizza sauce compliment a variety of toppings and refreshing mixed green salad and house baked baguette bread; Prizes for top finishers

What Do We Need? You and anyone you know who will buy a ticket and play poker for fun!

Anything Else? Prize donations/People who can deal cards

Sounds like Amber Garza has rounded up several volunteers to deal and we will be approaching 7 Feathers for donated dealers. Tickets will be available this weekend as well! More to follow!!!

Jennifer Essick spoke briefly about our final event, event #4 on behalf of Bill West. 17 people stood up and agreed to participate in this event. We are still working on the details. More to follow!!!

EVENT #4: 5K Walk/Run

When: To be Determined

Who’s in charge? Bill West ontherogue219@gmail.com

Where? To be Determined

Donation? To be Determined

What Do We Need? A venue; You and anyone you know who will participate

Anything Else? Prize donations/For Top Finishers


Cliff went to Curry County on July 10, 2013 to meet with them about the Lottery Research Project. He was also featured in the Curry County newspaper, which we shall be providing a link to on our website.

Frank Morin shall contact Stephen Campbell to see if we can resurrect a past editorial he had written in support of Lottery Fund reallocation

Cherryl Walker suggested we place an ad in the Grants Pass Daily Courier in the form of a coupon, which people can cut out and send to SOS along with a direct donation to our Lottery Research Project.

Josephine County Fair  Tom Dorman will be coordinating with Dave Daniel and organizing a schedule for the manning of our SOS Booth at the Josephine County Fair August 14-17, 2013

 Why we should consider mining in Josephine County

Michael Cope gave us a presentation on the above topic which was well received.

A summary of that presentation is written below:

·       The number one new wealth potential available in Josephine County are the mineral resources that have never been tapped into on a commercial basis since Governor Martin tried to do it in 1935.

·       Governor Martin introduced a systematic approach to mining including establishing a School of Mining in Grants Pass, creation of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI).

·       American Mining Research Inc. (AMR) has been conducting unpublished studies since 1993 the discovery of Tellurium which was found at the Benton Mine in the Mt Reuben Mining District. This is an area slatted by Wyden (et al) in the O&C giveaway. Tellurium has now been added to the critical mineral list.

·       In 2007-2008 Dutch Mining recovered 5,130 ozs of gold and employed 40 men at the Benton Mine located in the Mt Reuben Mining District.

o   Link to documentary –  Dutch Gold Resources producing gold

·       In 2012, AMR sent a letter to Doc Hastings, Chair of the Natural Resources Board in Washington DC protesting HR3436 a bill “To expand the Wild Rogue Wilderness Area in the State of Oregon, to make additional wild and scenic river designations in the Rogue River area, and to provide additional protections for Rogue River tributaries, and for other purposes.”

·       The County has several mineral lands that may be misclassified as timber lands. Research needs to be done on this issue.

·       Random fact. In 1927 the City of Grants Pass was actually mined.

We agreed that we wanted Michael to continue with this presentation next week.


SOS Strategic Plan Jay Meredith spoke about CONNECTING our dots via committees, more formally, in the form of a Strategic Plan, so that SOS is more focused and we can achieve our Mission: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”

By doing so, we can eliminate common misconceptions that SOS is only in support of a property tax solution, a valuable commodity as we proceed forward to making our home a safe place to live. As such, all Committee Captains will be asked to meet with their committees and create a formal Mission Statement and Goal. The plan, a work-in-progress, shall be posted on the website and updated as needed.  


We conducted a Committee Inventory:

(Everything SOS is working on!)

Timber Committee-Jim Frick

Opioid Committee-Toni Webb

Sobering Center Committee-Bill Landis

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

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

BioMass Committee-Cheri Adkins

Refundable Committee-Carl Raskins

Multi-Tier Tasking Committee-Kris WoodburnChris Mecca, Pat Fahey and Jay Meredith

Sales Tax Committee-Jay Meredith

County Property Resource Committee-David Corsi

Property Tax Variations-Jeff Wolf

Lottery Fund Committee-Cliff Thomason

Justice of the Peace Court- David Corsi

Debate Committee-Matthew Eldridge

Lastly, per your voice, we are going to host a Public Forum on Criminal Justice in August. Sheriff Gilbertson advised me today that he has spoken with Greg Walden’s Office and they are interested in a Josephine County public safety and timber resources conversation event with Greg on Friday, August 9, 9:30am-11:00am. They are suggesting a focus which possibly includes the following:

· Provide forum to relay specific stories from law enforcement (county/city/state police) about current and potential public safety concerns/threats in the county.

· Provide forum to highlight dramatic reduction in timber related jobs in the county/region and why providing certainty for future timber harvest levels is so critical to Josephine County.

· Hold conversation at a location that underscores situation – options – empty jail, closed saw mill, recently vandalized business, etc.

· Conversation participants could include county sheriff, city police chief, state police, county commissioner(s), city mayor, timber representative, SOS chair, and crime victim (willing to speak about events).

· Regional media would be invited to attend.



Slowly but surely, we are knitting Josephine County together…  


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

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