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SOS Meeting Notes – June 24, 2014

Good evening SOS!

GREAT NEWS!

On June 25, 2014, SOS received news that SOS has been “officially” recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization!

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Here are the meeting notes from Tuesday’s Meeting (June 24, 2014):

Trust and Transparency

Grant Medley  UPDATE

This committee is working on defining what our Local Government is doing and where our current tax dollars go. While it is grueling, it will be worth it in the long run. We need to understand how the current collection of taxes works and where our shortfall is, with respect to funding of the Criminal Justice System.

Grant said that he and several other committee members recently met with the Josephine County Board of County Commissioners and were impressed with their receptiveness, open to input and overall desire to make our community a better place to live. 

Grant’s committee met after our SOS Meeting and Grant subsequently sent out the following e-mail:

Many of us have been studying the county government financials.  This is a good start, but our committee has been going for over a month now, and it is time to start producing articles and brochures.  There are LOTS of issues we could address.  PLEASE pick out one issue below, claim it, and start researching.  Feel free to contact the commissioners directly.  I can get you their info if you need it.  They want to help!

Here are our members and what they have claimed so far:

Steve Marshak:  Arrange meeting with Rosemary Padgett or other knowledgeable member of the budget office.  Get suggestions and answer certain questions.  Produce brochure on where the 58 cents goes.

Laurie Norman:  What happens on 7/1/2015 when the last of the federal money is gone?

Shane Simon:  What is the total county budget?  Where does the non-property tax money come from & where does it go?

Grant Medley:  Why can’t the non-county portion of my property tax go towards law enforcement?

Feel free to clarify if I’m not stating your objective clearly.  & Keep me posted on your progress!

Remember, David Smith can help write/edit your brochure/article.  And Gordon Edstrom will get it posted on the website.  All you have to do is gather the information for a one page (front & back) brochure.

David Smith has listed dozens of trust issues on our shared google spreadsheet (let me know if you have trouble accessing this!).  Please pick ONE of those issues to focus on, or choose your own.  Here are some I feel are VERY important:

  1.                  Is the following true?  How is it publicized?  “Homeowners 62 or older may delay paying property taxes based on certain income criteria. The state offers a Disabled Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program and a Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program. Both deferral programs allow qualified taxpayers to defer payment of their property taxes on their homes. The state pays the taxes to the county, maintains the account, and charges 6% simple interest, which also is deferred. Taxes are owed when the taxpayer receiving the deferral dies, sells the property, ceases to live permanently on the property, or the property changes ownership.” 
  2.                 What is the ‘ISF’ (Internal Service Fund)? Is that money ‘wasted?’ Is there a better way to pay for overhead?
  3.                 Many members of the public believe county employees to be overpaid? Or that their pensions are not being adequately accounted for?  How is the county trying to control this cost?
  4.                 What are the actual prospects for ‘suing the feds’ to gain local control of BLM/forest service land?

There are some members who have signed up who have yet to take on a task.

Please contribute. We need you and the efforts of this community could be the single-most important thing we accomplish to achieve our Mission of community safety.

Grant shall be meeting with the Sheriff soon and needs another member of his Committee to accompany him.

If you want to join this committee and/or participate, e-mail Grant @ grantmedley@charter.net

Lastly, Grant stated, “Thanks for your help!  This community needs you!”

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We reviewed an article I read in the Rolling Stones about Camden, New Jersey, entitled, Apocalypse New Jersey. Are they facing a similar plight? (Rolling Stones Issue 1198/1199; December 19, 2013-January 2, 2014)

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SOS Committee Inventory

Revealed new sign and received comments and critique: We are changing the SOS sign!

The sign will used for outreach efforts and events that would be simple to understand at a glance for people who are not members of SOS and are not familiar with the work that our organization is doing.

Linda Scott and Phil Killian have made suggestions and we shall be sending them out this weekend for your input!

We inventoried all of our Committees and added yet another: OUTREACH (Captain position is vacant)

Our committees are as follows:

Trust and Transparency-Grant Medley

Timber-Jim Frick

BIOMASS-Cheri Adkins

Hard Rock Mining-Michael Cope

Sobering Center-Bill Landis

Medically Assisted Treatment Center-Nancy Yonally, Marilane Jorgenson and Dr. Felicia Cohen

Justice of the Peace-Dave Corsi

Lottery-Cliff Thomason

Run for the Law-Bill West

Art Auction-JoAnne Alvarez

Tax Options-Pat Fahey/Ken Smith

Sales Tax-Jay Meredith

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SOS Website

Gordon Edstrom will be contacting all of the above Captains to update their respective sites!

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SOS Fundraising

We, unfortunately, are going to need money for the OUTREACH program and to help with some of the other committee’s efforts, ie. deposits for the Run for the Law; etc.

We are beginning to decide on Fundraisers. What has been suggested thus far:

Poker Night—Date to be decided, possibly this summer

Talent Show—Date to be decided, possibly in December

Other ideas???

We are planning on having our Art Auction in February again!

Hard Rock Mining Committee – Michael Cope/Jay Meredith

Jay indicated that Gareth Hatch, our keynote speaker from the past summit, will include us in his newsletter which is international and which he will put Josephine County and our mineral potential “on the map”!  Jay and Michael both emphasized the economic development potential this might spur!

Lottery Committee

Cliff Thomason        http://www.lotterylocalcontrol.com/news.html

Cliff said that the signatures have been turned in and now it’s a waiting game again with the State Attorney General’s Office; looks like the earliest we might be able to collect signatures will be the middle of August.

Jack Swift indicated he thought the Lottery concept was a good one and located some news of concern:

http://koin.com/2014/06/13/lottery-cash-may-go-to-bike-pedestrian-projects/

Join this committee @ clifft9@gmail.com

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Run for the Law/Sponsors

Bill West

Set date for next run is still being decided upon. Dates of interest include March 14, 2015 or March 21, 2015. Club Northwest owner Scott Draper has already pledged $1,000 in Prize money. We want to get as many businesses as we can in Josephine County involved!

Join this Committee @ ontherogue219@gmail.com

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The Deschutes Tax District Model

Pat Fahey and Sheriff Gil Gilbertson are exploring this possibility

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Skateboard Raffle

Shane Simon and the group decided that we shall coordinate with the OUTREACH effort to have the raffle and make the award then—IT WILL BE SOON! Our intentions are to get the OUTREACH program up and running very soon! The Fair is in August!

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Tax Option Committee

Ken Smith and his team have moved forward with contacting two professional pollsters, J.L. Wilson and Josh Baloch, and have begun work on setting up several focus groups and will follow up with an intensive scientific polling effort. These efforts cost and MRIPA has, once again, graciously stepped up to absorb the cost. Thank you! This is very exciting news!

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County Commissioner Cheryl Walker, in attendance, announced that the BCC exhausted all of its reserves by utilizing the $600,000 to provide the Sheriff with 4 more deputies and 2 dispatchers. We are currently at “0” with respect to reserves. Cheryl, the consummate professional, even with her arm bandaged from a recent dog bite encouraged the positive momentum in the room. She also identified a trend she had noticed, that many more people appeared to be working in Josephine County but living in Jackson County.

There was also discussion about possibly learning from the Animal Shelter Levy by breaking up the services, such as .69 for patrol deputies, .30 for the jail, etc.

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DISCUSSION:
Discussion of where we’re going from here…

Bill West  was frustrated by the impression that we’ve given up after defeat of the levy…wants a short range plan, or middle range plan, and a long range plan. Bill says kids need help NOW! There is currently no place to take them or for them to go. Can we do a lower amount to get kids taken care of? Bill suggests just going for the .30/$1,000 it would take to fully fund the JJC.

Bill said his heart goes out to the neglected children! He said we need a short term fix.

In light of Bill’s comments, it was suggested that we characterize the situation with the Juvenile Justice Center as an “emergency” and go to the public for funding to address it.

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WHAT SAY YOU?

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

www.securingoursafety.org