SOS Strategic Plan

Notes from SOS Public Meeting – February 4, 2014 and Art Auction 2-6-14

The Artists United for Public Safety Awareness fundraiser event at Roux 26 on Thursday, February 6, 2014 was fantastic!

Community Awareness was our #1 priority and I think we achieved that with approximately 150 people in attendance!


We enjoyed tremendous support from our community. The venue was great. We were humbled by the generous donations of our local Artists. We were humbled by the support of our vineyards and by the participation in the fund-raising portion of the night.

We are still working through expenses versus money raised. What we can say is that every single piece of Art was auctioned and approximately $6,000 was generated!

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

The Art Auction Committee did an outstanding job!

The COREJoAnne Cohen AlvarezNadine PatelCami BenedictCheri Adkins and Kay Smith

NewcomersJon Bowen (Roux 26), Amber GarzaJennifer EssickMark Gatlin and Jay Meredith

MC and Auctioneer:  Don Monette and Jim Frick

Harpist: Bonnie Walker

Wineries: SchmidtFiascoTroon, and Bridgeview (Please remember them when you consider wine and events!)

The Core group needs to be recognized! They started meeting before Thanksgiving and put in a lot of hours! The event showed! Everyone worked so well together.


February 4 Meeting Notes:

Why raising awareness is so important! We discussed how we need to get everyone who lives in Josephine County excited about being here and to invest in our community.


Timber Committee – Jim Frick

  • As a result of the fire season, and the subsequent timber sales of over 80,000 burnt acreage, Josephine County had 1100 truck-loads of timber sales
  • 2,600 Acres was approved to be replanted
  • With 55,000 acres of burnt BLM lands, only 3,400-3,500 acres have been harvested

  • County Timber Survey has not yet been completed; the last time it was done was 1984
  • Jim spoke about the money received in Josephine County in 2009 was approximately $12,000,000 and in 2013 it was approximately $5,000,000
  • Join this committee, e-mail Jim:


Jail/Juvenile Justice Levy Committee UPDATE  Pat Fahey

  • WE have 11 days left!
  • 33 people have collected and turned in signed petitions
  • We still NEED signatures
  • estimated need of 200 additional valid signatures for a safe margin
  • If everyone who reads this goes to frineds and family and just fills out 1 sheet we will be there!
  • Bring all of your petitions to Tuesday’s Meeting!
  • Connie Roach/FAQ Section—IS UP!
  • IF you have questions that you have encountered regarding the upcoming levy, please forward them to Pat Fahey ASAP. Please, don’t be shy!
  • THE NEXT STEP is to finish this petition drive off!
  • Join this committee, e-mail Pat:


The Hardrock Mining Committee Update Michael Cope/Jay Meredith

  • What’s the Next Step?
  • The Hardrock Mining Summit date will be May 10, 2014; venue most likely shall be the GP City Council Chambers
  • Here is the recent SOS Hardrock Mining Committee Letter sent to the Josephine County Board of Commissioners:

February 3, 2014

Josephine County, Board of County Commissioners

Re:  Economic Development Efforts and the County’s Natural Resources

Dear Commissioners,

Thank you for meeting with representatives of the SOS Hard Rock Mining Committee on January 23, 2014 to discuss how Josephine County can benefit from our research into mining methods that can generate a huge economic benefit while not impacting the natural environment.  We have understood since coming together and forming SOS in the summer of 2012 that it would take a series of solutions to restore the Criminal Justice programs and overall health back to the County.  Our conversations with you continue to focus on efforts within your control that can make a long-term positive impact on the County and targets one of our greatest assets, our natural resources.  We had three basic agenda items that we discussed that we will mention again at the end of this letter.

The SOS Hard Rock Mining Committee desires to positively impact the County and our safety through economic development efforts in hard rock mining.  The County’s vast natural resources go well beyond the most common discussion of timber.  In fact, it is quite possible that the County’s mineral wealth far exceeds the County’s timber wealth.  Through hard rock mining, a mineral development effort that has only a tiny environmental impact when done correctly (compared to timber harvesting and other types of mining), the local economy can benefit and the County can directly receive a benefit.  The County either directly owns or has a stake in a vast amount of timber land, much of which should also be classified as mineral lands and studied/developed for the direct benefit of the County.

The SOS Hard Rock Mining Committee seeks to provide education and research in order to help continue some of the work that the great governor Charles Martin started back in the 1930s.  In the middle of the great depression, Governor Martin chose Josephine County as the place that could get Oregon back on its feet due to its vast and plentiful natural resources and mineral wealth.  Today most of this wealth remains untapped and modern mining methods could provide a huge boost to the local economy (and the County) with very little, if any, environmental impact.

This vast potential is clearly not new, but now is the time to make it happen.  This Committee’s chair has developed a thorough library of research that shows the vast mineral wealth and also a very real potential of mineral wealth in a mineral that has not been previously mined in Oregon (yes we have a potential for much more than precious metals that provided a large local industry in the 1800′s and early 1900′s).  Please see this local article from 1926:  Southern Oregon Spokesman – January 1926

Not only is it a fact that the County has vast gold and other valuable mineral resources, but a mineral that was not popular until recently, Tellurium, is also present in Josephine County.  A vibrant market in Tellurium (Te) now exists because it is one of the primary materials that are used to build solar panels.  Therefore along with the known mineral wealth, the local economy has a potential to be a supplier to the solar panel industry (there are not many Te mines and in fact may not be any Te mines in operation in the US, making for an attractive market opportunity).  Along with developing mineral properties, the potential to harvest Te needs to be considered along with other valuable raw materials that we already know exist in an amount that makes this industry attractive today.

Hard Rock (or narrow vein) mining has minimal surface disruption and targets rich yet small veins of underground minerals.  This is why the environment impact is minimal.  And because of the nature of the rock in this area, most of it can be successfully mined without concern of chemical/environmental impact.  We’ve all heard the stories of mines that caused problems but believe it or not there are hundreds of historic hard rock mines in the area that operated without any problems and need to be further developed along with vast mineral properties that have not been developed or studied in depth.

We are in the early stages of planning a “Mineral Summit” here in Josephine County and an expert in the market for Tellurium (see his basic info HERE) has already committed to be a part of the Summit.  We have a tentative date of Saturday May 10, 2014 if you would like to reserve a spot on your calendar for this important educational summit.

We discussed three main agenda items in our meeting on January 23rd:

  1. The importance of having a local assay lab for mineral development efforts:  We are working on the potential for a private assay lab to open up locally to be able to efficiently service local mineral developments.  A lab is critical to every stage of the proper development (and even operation) of a hard rock mineral property.  We are also looking for the best place to site the lab and among other possibilities we intend to review the County Fairgrounds to see if there is a location there that would be suitable.  In the grander scale of what the private assay operation hopes to do, it would eventually be coupled with a vocational training opportunity and potentially offer a tourism attraction.  We agreed we would provide you with additional information on why a local assay lab is critical to local mineral development efforts.
  2. Given the County’s vast mineral wealth (again much of the County’s timber land should also be considered mineral land), the County should immediately seek to launch some pilot projects on County owned land to generate income and/or to document the mineral potential on some key properties for the eventual generation of income.  This should be an open bidding process so you can partner with a private operation that is experienced and capable of proper mineral development and you can make sure to take the offer that benefits the County and local economic development the most.  A key requirement should be to document the minerals present on the property, including Gold and Tellurium among others.  We provided two high priority County owned properties that have historic mines on them that would be great candidates for these initial pilot projects.
  3. We reminded you of the economic development recommendation that we made to you last summer.  We recommended that at least 50% of the County’s available restricted economic development (lottery allocation) funds be earmarked for the development of natural resource related businesses in Josephine County.  This is where our true wealth lies and the distribution of the County’s limited economic development dollars should reflect the desire to responsibly harvest this natural endowment.  The best use of a public agency’s limited economic development funds is always to bolster the strengths/businesses that are already in its jurisdiction…or in other words local retention and expansion.

Members of the SOS Hard Rock Mining Committee can be available to answer questions at your convenience and we look forward to your response to these important recommendations.





New Stat Article by Frank Morin

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs

Ever wonder what happens to stray dogs and cats in this area?

I never worried about it.  In fact, I didn’t really see an issue.  Turns out, the reason I didn’t see hundreds of loose animals running wild through the city and county is because the Josephine County Animal Shelter quietly works every day to make sure that doesn’t happen.

In fact, in 2013 the animal shelter took in over 1700 dogs and cats, plus some other weird cases like alpacas, goats, pigs, and rabbits.  In fact, they received on average 147 dogs and cats every month.

That’s 36 animals every week. Or 5 animals every single day!

That’s a lot of animals.  And amazingly, they found homes for over 700 of those animals.

They do all that work with only 1.6 Full Time Equivalent workers, who also take care of the animals  housed in the shelter until they can find homes for them.

How do they fund all that work?  With difficulty.  Only 10% of their budget is funded from the county right now, while 40% is funded through charging of services and the remainder trickles in from other grant sources.  With the overwhelming load they are faced with every single day, they are in desperate need of additional funding to allow for much-needed staff.

To support the efforts of the Animal Shelter, there is a proposed levy for the May ballot, asking for 8 cents per $1000 of assessed property tax value.  For an average home of $150,000, that would cost the homeowner $12.00 per year, or one dollar a month.

With those funds, they can continue serving the county and handling the constant demand of animals needing shelter, and providing families across the county with animals for adoption.

To me it makes a lot of sense.


“Run for the Law” Committee

Bill West/Holly Lidey


  • IF you want to purchase a run T-shirt but don’t plan to register, such as volunteers, they can e-mail Holly: or call her at 541-660-8186. She will need the shirt sizes and money for the shirts before March 1st! Cost of the shirts: Adults $13.50 and Kids $12.00
  • Where are we at?
  • Sponsors have been impressive! Evergreen Federal and Southern Oregon Sanitation announced to its’ employees that it would pay the registration for any employee that wanted to participate!
  • Conservative estimates of participation in this run, in our county of 82,000 is: 1000
  • Club Northwest has begun advertisement
  • Join this committee, e-mail Bill:

St. Patrick’s Day Run For The Law

10k Run or 5k Walk/Run & Kid’s Dash

March 15, 2014

Go to to register


Gold Beach Summit Keith Heck

  • Approximately 12-19 counties participated
  • Much was discussed as, believe it or not, there are counties in Oregon worse off than ours
  • Curry County looks to be the first where the Governor might have to take over
  • No real tangible plans were developed and there shall be future meetings similar in nature


Lottery Committee Update

Cliff Thomason

  • LOGO Battle
  • Still waiting on word from the Oregon Supreme Court
  • Join this committee, e-mail Cliff:



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

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