Notes from June 4, 2013 SOS Public Meeting

Here is a summary of the 6-4-13 meeting:

1.     Knitting the Community Together We talked about how important for SOS as a group to continue to involve everyone who is willing to help us achieve our Mission: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”; We spoke about how involvement and ownership of/by our Community presents itself in many forms.

2.     We talked about the need to solicit more Crime Stats We shall ask Frank Morin to continue to petition for those stats from the City Police, DA’s Office, State Police, Sheriff’s Office, etc. and get updated statistics on the website ASAP!

3.     SOS Letter to Salem Jay Meredith spoke about the letter that was sent to Salem; how State Representative Wally Hicks had it entered into the record during the testimony in Salem on Monday, June 3, 2013; We also discussed the need for a similar letter to be addressed to the Grants Pass City Council and Mayor, which shall be hand delivered by SOS Members.

4.     Testimony in Salem Monday, June 3, 2013 Pat Fahey and Josephine County Commissioner Cherryl Walker gave a presentation on their testimony; Pat will provide me a summary of that testimony for your review; here are some of the highlights: Cherryl stated that she represented the Josephine Board of County Commissioners (BCC) in Salem and the BCC did not support the proposed House Bill in its current form; several reasons for non-support included how the proposed income tax would be unfair and burdensome on those who already shoulder much of the County woes and because it does not address a long term solution; Cherryl did speak about House Bill 49, brought to light by the Josephine County Finance Office, a Bill which has already been signed into law by the Governor, where State appointed Marshals will now be available to replace the 1.5 Josephine County Sheriff’s Deputies for Court Security (We currently have 1.5 deputies and numerous volunteers spread out in two buildings for 5 courtrooms), at a cost to the State and not to the County; Cherryl acknowledged that it was a small victory, and emphasized how the little things, which include the ability to charge accounting fees for tax revenue collection, etc., were items which become our Multi-Prong approach for secure, stable and sustainable Criminal Justice System Funding; Cherryl and Pat spoke about numerous Amendments being drafted/considered for the aforementioned Bill; Cherryl said she is watching the Bill and will report its’ progress; one take-a-way message was that this problem and the long-term solution  will ultimately “fall back into our own laps”; on a positive note, Cherryl said the timeliness of our aforementioned letter was “spot-on” and SOS was seen in a positive light, that no other County suffering such woes had people battling—at home—for solutions and that “lights were going off” on the panel, indicating that Josephine County was trying to solve its’ own problems, which Salem seemed to appreciate; More to follow!!!

5.     Wal Mart Loss Prevention Presentation by Jamie Williams will be rescheduled

6.     Opioid Clinic Update by Toni Webb; Toni discussed the outstanding progress of this Committee and stated there is a real possibility that we will have a functioning Opioid Clinic by year’s end; if you aren’t aware, heroin, the #1 overdose drug in Oregon this past year (SOURCE: State Medical Office 2012) is a member of the opioids and probably currently our worst abused drug in Josephine County; Toni passed out a form to gather Signatures in support of the Clinic as a way to show interested parties our support for such a clinic; if you took one of these forms, please return it with the signatures next at next Tuesday’s Meeting; we shall also have these forms available at the Saturday Market SOS Booth; next meeting will be Thursday, June 13, 2013 at the Women’s Health Center; More to follow!!!

7.     Kick-Off Lottery ReferendumCliff Thomason gave us a brief update on the Lottery Committee; He will also be collecting signatures of support for this research project; he spoke about Wally Hicks pitch of an immediate Lottery project; Cliff spoke about having $6,000 in funds thus far and needing approximately $20,000 more to get the legal and education process fully completed; Cliff shall be aggressively moving forward and we shall be having a multitude of fundraising events; Cherryl Walker expressed that this was seen as a viable option in Salem; tonight in the Daily Courier, Kevin Widdison Editor does not speak favorably about this option, however, please keep in mind, the Lottery option is one of our prongs for the secure, sustainable and stable funding of the Criminal Justice System and it appears Kevin is not familiar with all aspects of what we’re trying to do here and why we’re doing it.

8.     Debate Committee Update was given by Matthew Eldridge; let me just print his outgoing e-mail to serve as summary:  


Teams & Coaches,

I am so excited to invite teams from three Oregon O&C Counties. The teams are Coquille, Butte Falls, North Valley, and Grants Pass. I want to schedule this event Saturday September 14, 2013. Please let me know if this will work for everyone. I understand coaches/teachers are in finals right now. Here are some details you need to know. 

There are going to be four rounds with four different topics/resolutions. However, teams will only debate in two of the rounds. Please prep for each of the four topic areas. Teams that are not in the debate, they will be given ballots and asked to watch the debates and provide feedback. These ballots are going to be given to the Board of Commissioners and on the bottom of the ballots, each coach will receive specific feedback. This kind of event has never been done and all four teams are making valuable contributions to Josephine County as well as making a statement why high school forensics is so valuable. 

I am working on location right now. Today, I approached Grants Pass High School about using their school. If we get this location, I want the Grants Pass team to become a guest in their school with no worries about having to run the tournament. If I cannot get it there, Rob, would you let me know if your high school is a possibility? 

This is a political discussion but it is not Democrat or Republican, instead, we are communities that are falling apart due to this fiscal crisis. 

NOTE: Your Student Congress Bills/Resolutions need to address the fiscal issues facing Josephine County. Your team and coaches will decide the topics. Coaches will be responsible for approving the Bills/Resolutions and will request that you e-mail them to me ahead of time, too. 

The members of SOS (Securing Our Security) are excited about this event and on behalf of SOS, I want to say how much I appreciate your teams helping solve the crisis. I will send you in August the letter we sent to the Governor and legislative members in Salem. I will encourage your teams to go to our website to gain valuable information. The question/answer section will be useful to you. 

 I know we are almost done with the school year. So, would coaches please give me contact information for during the summer to reach you in case you don’t check your staff e-mails?

  Appreciate Your Citizenship, 

  Matthew A. Eldridge,

  SOS Debate Tournament Committee Chair  


Matthew needs 4 people to assist him with his Committee!

9.     Criminal Justice System Thank You Banquet Shane Simon wrote, “Our Criminal Justice Appreciation Dinner committee will be meeting this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Tap Rock in the Evergreen room. Our biggest mission ahead of our group is to cover the cost of the meal for 300 people. We are always looking for people to join our group in efforts to make this event a night to remember for these individuals that give so much to our community. Other topics we are addressing within the next two days are flyers, invitations, and alternative ways to get the word out to people in our community. If anyone would like to help out with this event by donating towards the cost of the meal, please feel free to contact me at 541-218-8278 or email

10. Refunding Committee “Next Step” Carl Raskins requested volunteers to assist this evening with the packaging of all of the recyclables collected—what a turn out!!! Carl led Mimi Raskins, Syed Ali, Mary Bowers, Bill West, Gordon Edstrom, Toni Webb, Randy Benetti, Brandi Benetti, Amber Garza, Cliff Thomason, Matthew Eldridge, Bekah Lidey and I; Carl and some of the others came up with a FANTASTIC Idea which we shall unveil at our next meeting!   

11. What to do with Signs? Pat Fahey wants to have all of the left over Levy Signs taken to his shop on Redwood Avenue to recycle!!!

12. Awareness Run/Walk Bill West wrote, “I was thinking about a way to raise money for SOS. What do you think of have a fall 3-5-10k walk run. We give each person who completes the walk-run a small medal/medallion or ribbon. For 1st place we give out like a $50 savings bonds(cost about 37 dollars each. Also collect sponsors so we can have additional things like dinner for two at local restaurants.You can have different events for instance: first runner to finish in the 5 and 10K. First walker to finish the 3-5k wins. We can charge modest entry fees. $2 dollars for the 3k and $10 for the walk run-events. We could coordinate with the city on paths and routes, have members of SOS provide directions for the walkers and runners. Since we don’t want to tangle up the serious runners and walkers. We can sell SOS t-shirts for a profit, 8 bucks each. Or develop a special SOS Walk for Safety event t-shirt. Maybe have our kids design the shirt around our safety issue. We can hold an event like this in Sept, Oct or Early November. Parents  can enter as a family with  strollers, kids will be free etc.. I have been involved as a committee member in a few of these events when I was teaching in Missouri. It is a huge money maker not only for us but the community as well. A healthy way to promote our SOS program and bring attention to our Officers in Blue and the Sheriff’s Department.”

13. Josephine County Fair Booth Tom Dorman wants SOS to have a booth at the County Fair— WHAT SAY YOU?

14. Ty Tucker asked in substance: “Why do I have to tolerate marijuana growers next to my house, endangering my children?” Ty responded, “I have been in contact with Representative Wally Hicks regarding the medical marijuana zoning. Here was his reply: “This is a widespread problem.  I have proposed amendments to two bills (HB2919 & HB3460) which would prohibit growing Medical MJ in city limits or around schools.  Just this morning I requested that the House Judiciary committee hold an informational hearing regarding Medical Marijuana.  I am very committed to getting Medical MJ out of city limits and away from children.”   

15. Creating Jobs — A Priority for County & Cities within Josephine County – How do we get active cooperation from councilors, commissioners, and businesses? Was not addressedwill address next meeting

16. Daily Victim’s Article on Website— (David Smith) Was not addressed—will address next meeting

17. Business Sponsors (Committee?) —Was not addressed—will address next meeting

18. Saturday Market/Sign-Up Sheet  Cheri Adkins will coordinate the SOS Booth at the Saturday Market; it was decided that we keep the booth and the representation; we need people to donate a Saturday morning to work the booth; thus far, PLEASE SIGN UP BY E-MAILING ME!!!! The shifts and volunteers thus far are as follows:

June 15, 2013                             1) Erin Smith Mateja

                                                  2) Cheri Adkins

                                                  3) Archie Lidey

June 22, 2013                             1) Cheri Adkins

                                                  2) Neal Appleton


June 29, 2013                             1)______________________



July 6, 2013                                1) Toni Webb

                                                  2) Jodi Nigh

                                                  3) Neal Appleton

July 13, 2013                               1)______________________



July 20, 2013                               1) Bill West

                                                  2) Mary Bowers

                                                  3) Jennifer Essick

August 4, 2013                            1)__________________



August 18, 2013                          1)__________________



August 25, 2013                          1)__________________



September 1, 2013                      1)__________________



September 8, 2013                      1)__________________




19. Grants Pass City Levy Was not addressed—will address next meeting

20. SOS Flag Proposal Was not addressed—will address next meeting

21.   Multi-Tier Taxing District Committee Kick-OffChris MeccaKris Woodburn, and Pat Fahey are the Captains; they will be making a presentation next week after the precinct results are in.

22. OSP Talk—A night with Oregon State Police Superintendent Richard Evans which Holly Lidey shall be coordinating, will feature Superintendent Evans commenting on OSP’s role in Josephine County.

23. Need for Liaison with Schools and Churches—This is part of the knitting of the community; we need to find a Liaison for SOS for the Churches as well as for the schools— Was not addressed—will address next meeting

24. Representative Wyden wants to meet with SOSBill Ertel will coordinate

25. Town Hall Prayer Meeting Roy Lindsey Was not addressed—will address next meeting.

26. ToastmastersLee SpargoWas not addressed—will address next meeting.

27. Nancy Aroian wrote, “I will be attending my first SOS meeting tonight so am currently ignorant as to the accomplishments thus far. Is there a committee formed or has anyone researched what can be done for S.O. calls for service when there is no one to send, OTHER than to tell callers, “There is no one to send?”Perhaps with some innovative, out of the box, forward thinking we can do something more than leaving people in need vulnerable. I believe this one step, no matter how small, will help change the negative attitude we are enduring here when it comes to law enforcement.”; We thought this an excellent point and will begin to research how we might do that with volunteers etc.; I was told that at a recent meeting, Josephine County Commissioner Simon Hare stated that the number of burglaries were actually down in the county; while I am not certain as to whether or not Commissioner Hare actually said that or not, nothing can be further from the truth based on training and experience and observations of trends in the city; what is true is that people are no longer reporting crimes because they cannot get through the phones system to the Sheriff’s Office or are being told by the State Police to call the Sheriff’s Office on Monday (over the weekends) and those calls are never made or received; there has also been reported glitches with the on-line reporting system, an ineffective tool for those who do not have computers or worse yet, their computers were stolen; perhaps Nancy’s timely question can be researched and a battery of volunteers can man phones to receive criminal reports; more to follow.

28.  I read some exerpts from an e-mail I received from a highly intelligent colleague who I shall leave un-named:

“I am writing to you as a friend who respects what you (SOS) are doing to improve Josephine County. I have not been active for reasons you are aware of. I offer these criticism and comments below in an effort to give you an insight from outside the county looking in. SOS needs to focus on the plans that are going to bring long term sustained funding to County law enforcement. That would be the multi-tiered tax district. That is going to take winning over the non-voters out there; the fifty percent that did not vote.

Spending time on ideas (in some cases hair brain schemes) that take time away from keeping the eye on the prize, is wasted effort. For example I still see the Methadone treatment center being on the SOS agenda. Is SOS serious that it thinks that a methadone clinic will solve the fiscal problem with the County. Really? That is negative PR. Support addicts…make money off of addicts. Need more addicts for more funding. Why not just buy a bus a run it up and down I-5 picking up addicts in Portland, Salem, and Eugene to get their business? Quit wasting time energy and limited resources of ideas that get you nowhere.

SOS has a great story line about victims. SOS needs to win over the hearts and minds of the non-voter; education and scare tactics are going to be the most effective. It almost worked; 51-49. Where is the continued daily, nightly drum beat in the media?

Why did SOS wait so long before having the victim’s forum before the election? Why does SOS think a debate with the non-tax crowd is beneficial? Why give the wing-nuts a forum to voice their stupidity? SOS needs to do the math to figure out that the tax district is going to be far less expensive than the income tax surcharge being considered by the legislature and governor. Scare tax payers with that news! SOS needs to control the message.

Narrow the focus, sharpen the tongue, and attack with mindful purpose.”

While I appreciate the comments and criticism, we are knitting together a community. In that sense, we need to address all facets of the Community. Just today, the Oregon State Medical Examiner announced that Heroin led the State with 147 overdoses. To ignore the heroin problem in our community is simply obscene. To address the problem further upstream in the form of treatment is not only thinking outside of the box, but the long term financial benefits of assisting the addict gain control of their addiction might never be tangibly calculated. For example, yesterday, I encountered an individual who proudly told me how he shoplifted from stores on a daily basis, finding receipts in trash or on the ground, identifying bar codes and then returning to the respective store to shoplift the item and then returning the item for the dollar amount. This individual said he has been in Grants Pass for 4 months and has never been caught. When he gets the money from the returned item, he goes and purchases his heroin so he “doesn’t get sick”. This individual lamented how the cost of heroin here compared to Stockton, was ridicules. He said he has to pay $20 for a “point” or a dosage of heroin in Grants Pass, one of at least two “points” he needs to survive and “not get sick” for the day (He said he could by a “point” in Stockton for less than $10); helping him gain control of his addiction through other controlled/prescribed drugs can be a way to not only help him but his addiction as well our community—let’s see: $40 X 30 (Month) X 4=$4,800. Who pays that? I encouraged him to go back to Stockton. Oh, least I forget, this young lad said he wasn’t even worried about getting caught, stating, “What are they going to do to me?”       

LASTLY—I received this notification from our WEBSITE Last Night:

Name: Josh Bancroft with Rigs & Rides Email:

My Story:

I’m going to keep this brief… 
5 stolen vehicles, 12 vehicles broken into and vandalized,
Not over 10 years… this has just happened in the last 30 days.  Insurance has been cancelled from so many reports over the last year and we have over $30k in losses just this month.  At this rate, our car lot is not going to survive.  Something needs to change!!!



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

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