SOS Meeting Notes – June 10, 2014

Good Evening SOS!

Our next meeting shall be Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at the Wild River Brew Pub located at 533 NE F Street, from 5:15 PM until 6:15.


Trust and Transparency Committee

Grant Medley

  • Grant, and several of his committee members were going to meet with the Josephine County Board of County Commissioners on June 11, 2014
  • Grant also has an upcoming meeting with the Sheriff scheduled
  • Grant said his committee is also working on an article for our website
  • That committee met after the SOS general meeting


  • We engaged in a lively discussion about reaching out to the community, which consumed the rest of our meeting time.  Here are some of the comments:
  • Levy Results released in the Daily Courier on Friday revealed the City supported the Levy, with every single precinct passing
  • We wanted to see how the precincts voted; then target all precincts, go out and meet them and find out what they want

  • We discussed the questions sent out to stir some thinking
  • Linda Scott said that if we’re going to collect information that we can use in the future, we need more detailed questions, and more focused questions, the results of which we can study and perhaps review with a lobbyist
  • Simple questions are needed to be asked, such as: Are you a registered voter?
  • Gordon Edstrom suggested an educational piece be provided with the questions, as to what SOS wanted to achieve
  • Leading questions were suggested, such as, “Did you know that it costs $100 per day to house an inmate at the Josephine County Jail?”
  • Cheryl Walker said we needed to craft some anchor questions, such as, “Did you vote in the last election?”
  •  Josh Balloch, a professional Pollster from Salem, in attendance, recommended some considerations to have the answers in a format supporting crosstabs of variables – e.g., response vs. income
  • Dale Matthews said that people won’t trust a poll conducted by SOS, because SOS had a levy-focus
  • Dale was corrected by several, that the perception of SOS is that we are just for a levy, but that we really are not; we are for secure, stable, and sustainable funding for our criminal justice system and that the levy was just a bridge to buy us time, never meant for long term; Dale was reminded of the Justice of the Peace Court, the Lottery, Mining, Timber, Sobering Center and MAT-C, etc.;
  • Dale’s point is valid, because perceptions are often what is realized as realities, hence the need for an OUTREACH by SOS throughout the county
  • Phil Killian suggested SOS have a FAIR BOOTH demonstrating just what we are working on!
  • Cheryl Walker said we should focus polling on those precincts in the county that were close to 50/50 for/against
  • Holly Lidey said we could not afford a poll
  • Cliff Thomason Lane County passed their levy. Cliff asked why the Commissioners don’t use some of the Economic Fund money to hire a professional polling firm; the cost of the Lane County poll was estimated to be somewhere between $10,000-$28,000; Cliff wondered why we didn’t hire the same polling firms they did
  • Cliff was reminded that we can’t sit there and throw stones at the Commissioners; that if he—or anyone else had an idea, that it needed to be developed and then presented so it could be moved forward
  • Everyone was reminded that while we expect all of our leaders to be transparent, that we should be transparent ourselves!
  • Cheryl said she had visited Lane County, that she had an entire file on Lane County and their efforts and had passed it on to Keith Heck
  • What do we do next?
  • How much time do we have before things get worse?
  • Do we go forward with just a Juvenile Justice levy separate from the jail?
  • What do we do in November?
  • Linda suggested holding meetings in granges, around the county; have a facilitator; hand out question sheets that people can take home
  • Josh suggested four focus groups: 2 male groups (25 each) and two female groups (25 each); two in rural Josephine County and two in the City of Grants Pass
  • Josh suggested reaching out to 25 randomized voters who routinely vote and who are vocal; invite them to a venue; feed them and discuss the situation
  • Josh said that we should have males separated from females (as males generally “dominate” such meetings, and women are the “swing voters”)
  • Kristine Crewse suggested that although the focus groups and polling are good, we should not lose sight of all of the work that SOS has completed and that we should go out to the precincts and educate people about what SOS is doing and what we are about
  • Josh defined the purpose of the Focus Groups:
    ·       Identify the main concerns
    ·       Identify what solutions people would support
    ·       Refine questions to use in poll
    ·       Identify the biggest sticking points and what people understand and


    •       what further information they need


  • Josh defined purpose of a Poll (separate from Focus Groups):
    Gather reliable data re: what voters think and will support
  • We discussed Town Meetings where we could exchange information and build support
  • City Council votes next Wednesday on a utility tax for Jail Beds; it will have a “sunset clause”
  •  Grants Pass is not an island unto itself; we must act with consideration of the impact of a struggling county criminal justice system
  • Shane Simon said the Levy didn’t pass because people are not satisfied with  the services they received and they lack trust
  • Ken Smith agreed to Captain the Outreach Committee
  • Josh Balloch will be sending us a game-plan, with respect to how to start with focus groups, then polling and then arriving at a decision after seeing the data collected



It was a lively discussion! OUTREACH in the form of educating the community as to what SOS’ continuing efforts are, is definitely needed and it needs to be done county-wide. The focus groups, and polling, independent of SOS is also needed. Said efforts will require fundraising.

We did not get to hear the updates from the following committees, which we shall hear at next week’s meeting:

Lottery Committee – Cliff Thomason

Next Run for the Law – Bill West

The Deschutes Tax District Model – Pat Fahey

Hard Rock Mining Committee – Michael Cope/Jay Meredith

Skateboard Raffle – Shane Simon



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