Notes from September 17, 2013 SOS Public Meeting

Good Morning SOS,

This past Tuesday, September 17, 2013, was a very good meeting!

Here are the notes:

Great Debate 068Great Debate 093Great Debate 101Great Debate 102

·      The Great DEBATE was a very successful event. We thanked everyone who participated, especially Matthew Eldridge, the SOS Debate Committee Captain! Also, we gave a special thank you to Pat Fahey, for providing a wonderful lunch. The Daily Courier Editor Kevin Widdison was present and here are sections from the article he wrote:

Students debate JoCo funding crisis

“MERLIN — Should Josephine County use a credit card “round up” tax to raise money for its crippled criminal justice system? Or maybe soldiers from the Oregon National Guard could step in to supplement the depleted staff at the Sheriff’s Office.

These and other issues were debated by high school students from North Valley, Grants Pass, Coquille and Butte Falls Saturday. The event was hosted by Securing Our Safety, a private, volunteer group working toward solutions for public safety problems in Josephine County. The event was held at North Valley High School.”

Debater topics included:

• Multi-tier law enforcement districts. Under this proposal, all county residents would be taxed for universal services such as the jail and district attorney. Beyond that, residents could form their own districts to add on services such as patrols. Currently, only residents of the incorporated cities of Grants Pass and Cave Junction are in a position to tax themselves for such services.

Under this proposal, if the residents of, say, the Merlin area wanted to tax themselves for patrols, deputies would patrol only in the district paying for the service.

Opponents said the proposal would divide the county and said they wanted to see policies that unite the county. They proposed a local credit card “round up” tax, under which purchases using credit cards would be rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the balance going to criminal justice programs. For example, a purchase of $23.50 would be rounded up to $24, with 50 cents going to public safety.

• Use of the National Guard to supplement law enforcement in Josephine County. During this debate, supporters said it would be a quick, affordable way to address the current situation, which they said constitutes an emergency. Opponents said it would amount to martial law. They also contended it is not an emergency, but rather a circumstance Josephine County residents have brought on themselves by choosing to reject tax measures for law enforcement, in 2012 and 2013.

• Lands burned during the wildfires of 2013 should be aggressively salvage-logged to generate money for county public safety programs, and mining should be increased on federal land in the county.

• Josephine County should sue the federal government for not honoring the 1937 O&C Act, which took back land from the Oregon and California Railroad and placed it under control of the Bureau of Land Management. At the time, the federal government said the land would be managed for timber production, with a portion of revenue from harvests going to the counties where the land is located.

Also speaking at the event were state Rep. Wally Hicks, Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson and Grants Pass Mayor Darin Fowler….”

·       The students really appreciated our efforts and publicly made that known. Some of our take-away points we learned from the students were: 1) that we need and always should deal in “facts” when discussing, proposing and implementing solutions 2) we are on the right road, with respect to what we have developed thus far as solutions 3) that a multi-pronged funding source will be needed to achieve our goal of secure, sustainable and stable funding 4) security is a “base” need, and we referenced Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of Hierarchical Needs (as did our High School Students in the Debate!), and until we achieve our “base” needs, it will be difficult to achieve our own self-actualization as a community, or other community needs such as jobs, libraries, more enlightened schools, etc. 5) we sometimes forget the necessity to answer the question, “What if this proposal fails? What’s our back-up plan?”

2013-09-14 14.32.44Great Debate 019Great Debate 057Great Debate 067

·      The Hardrock Mining Committee—What’s the Next Step? Michael Cope assisted by Pat Fahey, gave a video presentation 

The purpose of this very informative 2007 video was to alert people to the mining potential of Josephine County. It was/is literally the first step to get our mining potential underway. Next week, Michael will answer the question: “If mining was so successful, why did it shut down?”; Michael will continue to update his webpage on our website; there is talk of a combined effort with Oregon State University to establish a Mining School here; Michael will also bring a flow chart for next week’s meeting, so we can understand what the process to continue with our mining efforts are and why the Mining Lab in Merlin is so important

·       Jail/Juvenile Justice Levy Committee Presentation  Pat Fahey spoke about the need to have the language for the petition completed this week;  The proposal is simple: provide funding for a fully operational jail and juvenile justice system, we discussed how the Jail and the Juvenile Justice Center are the cornerstones to our Criminal Justice System; we discussed how recent purchase of jail beds by the City of Grants Pass have impacted criminals and crimes they commit; we proposed language in the petition to include that levy funds are dedicated and are also subject to scrutiny via audit, the latter, a necessary component in an effort to regain trust in our local government; the target date for this levy, a petition by the people, will be May of 2014

·      Justice of Peace Committee Update Dave Corsi attended the JOP Seminar in Springfield, Oregon, this past Wednesday and Thursday, and will be giving us an update next meeting; in short Dave spoke of how in 1990, the Josephine County Board of Commissioners gave the “go ahead” to establish a JOP here in Josephine County, but it never materialized; we just need to see if that “go ahead” still has merit; we are going to need current Stats from the DA’s Office to know what is being prosecuted and what is not to see where such a court would fit in; Dave spoke about needing to define the jurisdiction of such a court, with potentials to include current non-prosecuted misdemeanors as well as animal violations, registration collections, etc.; currently the “State” gets the first $45 from every violation, with the average violation charge of $160; Dave was explicit to announce that this court “would not be a revenue gatherer, rather a revenue diverter”

·      The Immediate Change Committee’s First Project-Jubilee Park, Cave Junction Shane Simon presented this committee’s first project: assist Cave Junction with their efforts to raise funds for a Skate Park; the group overwhelmingly agreed to support it! As such, Shane reported: “Our plan as it stands now is to set up a SOS tent and provide information. Our second intent is to help the group that is raising money for a skate park by donating a jump house and skate boards to be raffled off by us. All the proceeds would go towards their goal.”

Shane suggested to the group that SOS attend and participate in a Cave Junction initiative fundraiser to build a skate park in Jubilee Park this Saturday, September 21, 2013. Shane spoke of the similarities between Cave Junction and Securing Our Safety’s attempt to create a more SECURE Josephine County by creating an environment that gives youths a positive outlet, in which Cave Junction has few.

Shane explained Cave Junction has secured $80,000 and will continue to hold fundraising events until they reach their goal of $100,000. Shane has already secured a donated Jump-House to include to this event and asked if SOS would donate two skate boards to raffle off. The proceeds from the raffle would be presented to the skate park from SOS.

Please contact Shane via e-mail @ to donate or participate this weekend!!!

·        Opioid Clinic Update/Meeting Notes Dr. Felicia Cohen led last week’s meeting and that committee established their mission statement and goals:

MISSION: To support a continuum of care of treatment for members of our community who have addiction


1. Secure a group of physicians and counselors willing to provide comprehensive care to this population

2. Raising community awareness around addiction and opioid use/misuse

3. Having a physical structure for the clinic

4. Money to support our mission

Also-–there is an Impact Summit on October 3, 2013 at the Grants Pass High School Commons from 4:00 PM until 9:00 PM: Opioids in Josephine County and sponsored by Zonta International, which the group agreed we should promote and attend. The flyer will be posted on our website:  

AdditionallyDr. Felicia Cohen forwarded this e-mail she received from Asante:

Announcing the start of the Josephine County Opioid Prescribing Work Group.

What :  The purpose of this group will be to look at the prescription of opioids in Josephine County and to search for ways to safely manage opioid prescribing.  We will be dove tailing on recent progress by a similar group in Jackson County.

Who: Opioid prescribers, pharmacists, substance abuse treatment providers, mental health treatment providers, other interested parties

 When:  Wed. Sept. 18 , 6 PM

Where:  Cascade Conference Romd 1-3.,  Three Rivers Medical Center



1.      Introductions

2.      Brief discussion of PI CME process

3.      Introduction and cursory review of opioid prescribing guidelines.

4.      Start brainstorming about direction of Josephine County Opioid Prescriber work group

7PM join Jackson Cty.  Opioid work group via teleconference  for case reviews. 

Contact Dr. Tim Roberts 541-476-6644 for additional info

Topics for discussion for next meeting: 1) who we want to lead us—a 4-Team-Captain-ship might be the way to go: perhaps two Docs (Felicia and another), Toni Webb and someone from one of our counseling groups; 2) A different name for our committee, maybe something like MAT Committee? 3) Review Asante Meeting

Our next Opioid Committee meeting is September 26, 2013 at Women’s Health Center

·      Timber Committee—What’s Next? Jim Frick gave us a brief overview of inventory discrepancies that needed and shall be addressed with respect to board feet potentials; Jim said the next thing we can do is to write letters to the Editor asking the County Board of Commissioners, “What is the County doing to log current county lands?”; We should be asking how the fires have affected timber potentials; Jim will be presenting a more extensive overview/answer to the above topic at our next meeting

·      The Lottery Committee Refund Research Project Update Cliff Thomason reported that the Oregon Secretary of State certified our signatures to be valid and we are proceeding to the next step!

·       Website Update UPDATE

Gordon Edstrom / Frank Morin /Jay Meredith Go to website and vote for Walk/Run and win $50 Dutch Brothers Gift Certificate

·       Fund-Raising Art Show for the Opioid Committee’s Awareness Campaign will start to meet next week—More to follow!

·      Making a PointLarry West gave a very interesting presentation on how to be more effective selling SOS points; he broke down our arguments to achieve our goals into 4 Basic Components: 1) Money 2) Need 3) Urgency 4) Bias; an example Larry provided was how we say how much money we need, i.e., What is our budget? With respect to Need, we might ask, “Do we really need public safety?” With respect to urgency, we might ask, “Do you think we can tolerate this for another year?” or “What happens when the city’s jail bed money runs out?” With respect to bias, we spoke about people’s commitments to brands, etc.; I was personally impressed and suggested Larry to constantly evaluate what we are doing to improve; we will definitely need him back as we continue to sew our community together!!!

·      Judy made us aware that the day of our meeting was National Constitution Day, a day which was going to be ratified by the Josephine County Commissioners

·      Next Week, on the Agenda already: Mark Seligman 5 minute Topic: Levys, Crime and Information about it!!!

Thank you for fighting for our community!


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

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