US flag

Notes From September 10, 2013 SOS Public Meeting

Good Evening SOS.  On this solemn day of remembrance, let us not forget to take a moment and remember those who died in the massacres back east…

Here are our Meeting Notes from Tuesday’s Meeting (September 10, 2013):


o   The Great DEBATE in detail

·       High School Students & their Coaches from around SW Oregon are coming together to debate Funding Solutions to our current Criminal Justice System Funding Crisis

·       WHERE: North Valley High School

·       WHEN: September 14, 2013 at 9:00 AM

·       Honor our students with your presence and LISTEN to what our students have to say about solving our County’s Fiscal Crisis. There is no charge for this event, graciously hosted by North Valley High School and sponsored by SOS. A lunch time BBQ will be available. Contact Matthew A. Eldridge ( ) for further details.


High School Debate Tournament Schedule

North Valley High School

6741 Monument Drive

Grants Pass/Merlin, Oregon 97526 (in red yet to be confirmed)

9:00 AM: Registration Cheri Adkins/Jay Meredith

9:30 AM: Opening Ceremonies for the Tournament 

Matthew Eldridge  

·                  Pledge of Allegiance (Led by Grants Pass City Mayor Darin Fowler)

·                  Welcome Address Teams/Audience/Honored Guests

·                  Introduction of Amber Garza representing Securing Our Safety

Amber Garza

·                  3 Minute Prepared Speech about who SOS is and why we are here; provide website info:

     —briefly mention Lottery Committee recent activity and $30,000 on the

 bore on the backs and businesses of Josephine County in 6 weeks/State our Mission: MISSION: “A citizen-voiced plan to provide for a secure, stable and sustainable Josephine County.”

·                  Introduce the Honored Speaker (VIP—State Representative Wally Hicks) Subject Matter 3-5

Minute Speech about, “Why our Youth are so important for our future and why this Debate means something.”

·                  Introduce Matthew again as formal Moderator/Amber will also co-moderate

Matthew Eldridge

·                  Brief Outline of Event

·                  Announce O+C County School Teams participating: Butte Falls, Coquille, North Valley, and

               Grants Pass High School Speech and Debate Teams

·                  Where teams will stand/debate (Microphones?)

·                  Etiquette—Turn of Cell Phones, etc.

·                  Where bathrooms are

·                  Where snacks and drinks are; Remind Tobacco Free School Zone

·                  Benjamin Dodds introduction Director of Forensics, University of Oregon


10:00 a.m.: Round 1 Prep Starts

·                  Larry West Timekeeper Introduction/Explanation of time keeping

·                  Dr. Kurt Brewster Introduction/Secondary Timekeeper/Purpose

10:30 a.m.: Round 1 Starts

·                  Amber sounds the bell/Matthew moderates/Larry keeps time

11:07 a.m.: Round 2 Starts

·                  Amber sounds the bell/Matthew moderates/Larry keeps time

12:00 p.m. Lunch Hour

·                  Amber sounds the bell and directs everyone to lunch

·                  advise that students participating in round 3, community members joining them, as well as

               respective coaches and support staff, please proceed to the front of the lunch line, followed by the other participating students and our community audience

·                  there is no charge for the meal, generously provided by Pat Fahey, but if you would like to leave a donation, that would be appreciated

·                  NOTE: Teams and Community Members debating/prepping Round 3 get half-hour lunch and take the second half of lunch into prep. Lunch will start

12:30 p.m.: Round 3 Prep Starts

·                  Dr. Kurt Brewster coordinates

1:00 p.m. Round 3 Starts

·                  Amber sounds the bell/Matthew moderates/Larry keeps time

1:47 p.m. Round 4 Starts

·                  Amber sounds the bell/Matthew moderates/Larry keeps time

2:36 p.m. Round 4 Ends

·                  the formal part of Debate Tournament Ends

·                  Transition to Student Congress

Student Congress

·                  VIP Thanks Students and Community for their much appreciated participation/Pastor Dennis Webber and Superintendent of Butte Falls School District

3:30 p.m. Closing Ceremonies and Awards

·                  Presentation of Awards by local VIPS

4 Awards (Sheriff Gilbertson/GPDPS Deputy Chief Bill Landis)

·                  Introduction of Benjamin Dodds and University of Oregon Debate Camp Awards


o   Jail/Juvenile Justice Levy Committee UPDATE

·       Kris Woodburn Chris Mecca , and Pat Fahey

Pat advised his Committee was in the final stages of drafting the petition, and has hopes the final Chief Petitioner will be on board soon; that stated, the effort will then have to get under way soon; this should be seen as a compliment to the GPDPS City Levy and a logical solution to the end of City residents paying for jail beds, in addition to what they already pay in county property taxes; Committee member John McCafferty enunciated how important it will be to have everyone on the same page with this effort, that being said, this Committee will have their webpage up on our site in the next few days so that we can begin answering questions; it is important, as with all of our efforts, that when engaging anyone in conversation gets to a point where you do not know the answer, refer them to our website and the answer will already be there or the Committee Captain will answer that question when posed, and then place it in written form on their respective web pages!!!

o   Lottery Committee Refund Research Project

§  Cliff Thomason Cliff advised us that now that we have the signatures in, we are in a waiting mode for the next 6-8 weeks while the signatures are validated and the final formal petition is drafted; Cliff announced that his political committee is now meeting separately from SOS at Club Northwest in Grants Pass; additionally, Cliff was interviewed again about our Lottery Efforts

§  Step Closer in State Lottery Measure by Sharon Kho 9/10/2013

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Voters in Oregon may soon be able to decide if millions of dollars of lottery funds should be state controlled.

Securing Our Safety, a group of citizens dedicated to restore public safety in Josephine County, is behind this initiative.

The group has collected over 13 hundred signatures to get a ballot title. The next step is to go state-wide to get over 116 thousand signatures by next July.

SOS is proposing to allow 50 percent of that state-controlled lottery dollars to be county-controlled instead. Members are pushing for funds to restore the criminal justice system. The group says a hurdle they face is overcoming citizen’s mis-trust in local government.

“On a local level, people can get more involved in how that money’s spent, ’cause people can be part of the budget committee. They can go to budget hearings. They can solicit the commissioners to help decide where the money is going to be spent,” said SOS member Cliff Thomason.

If SOS can get the 116 thousand signatures, the measure will be on the 2014 November ballot.

§  For more information about the Lottery Petition, go to

§  Lastly, Pat Fahey emphasized an excellent point Cliff made regarding the lottery, in that we, the taxpayer, already pay a significant amount of money already for schools; and Jim Ditmer emphasized how important, that our message remain simple and we keep the impact of one’s decision in front of the decision maker

If you can, please make it to the Great Debate. It will be a lot of fun in a loving-nerdy sort of way and we can hear what our young adults have to say!

o   10K Run/Walk Committee

Bill West announced his webpage on our site: ; that his Committee will be meeting every other Tuesday after the regular scheduled SOS meeting starting September 24, 2013 and the date for the run/walk you have all been waiting for: March 15, 2014  (mark it down in your calendars!)

And now to name the event—please go to our website and either vote on a name already submitted or write one in. The person who comes up with the name which is chosen, based on the voting of Josephine County, shall win a $50 Dutch Brothers Gift Certificate (Compliments of SOS)!!! Go to and let the voting begin!!!



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

Leave a Reply