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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor for April 18, 2014

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Letters to the Editor for April 18, 2014


Who was really responsible for rescinding travel plan?

It is hard to find someone in Baker County  not familiar with the Wallowa-Whitman’s attempt to introduce a Travel Management Plan on our forest.  The Forest Service was (is) to implement a system of roads and trails, provide us with maps, and close our treasured “open forest.”

In response, our county decided to go out and inventory the roads and submit a plan. A committee was formed (which included a seat at the table for Hells Canyon Preservation Council) and many took on the road inventory chore.

Roads were lost; “open forest” was given away.  The nod was given to designate specific areas for cutting firewood. Dispersed camping would become regulated camping. As I recall, road inventory was not finished in some areas. The county would finish scratching our roads, off the map, at a later time. It’s up for speculation how many people on the road committee signed the final document. 

In my opinion the county did a terrible job of representing the constituency.  An attempt to hold onto a couple of RS 2477 roads were in the plan. Mining community will inform you, that RS 2477 routes are guaranteed to the public.   

The travel management victory is being claimed by incumbents at both the local and federal levels.  An enormous effort by citizens led the rally to stop the Record of Decision, for travel management. Those wishing to retain access were labeled as a  “small group of radicals” and “unreasonable.”  This myth reigned until we filled a conference room in La Grande, with an overflowing crowd of the silent majority. Now everyone is jumping on the victory train. Trust me, that claim will not pass the “sniff test.”   

Bill Harvey will stand up. Time the local people had a voice. 

Show your support and vote for Bill Harvey.  

Tork Ballard

Baker City

Warner’s leadership too valuable to let go

It’s an honor to endorse the outstanding work Fred Warner has done for our county as commissioner over the past 12 years. I urge every voter to keep this dedicated public servant in office for the good of Baker County. 

 As Commission Chair Fred has provided strong leadership holding up the people’s interests against heavy-handed government rulemaking that impacts our way of life. He is candid and courageous speaking for common sense and cooperation. Because Fred is knowledgeable and fair-minded in his arguments, he has gained the respect of his peers in all his working relationships

Years ago at a meeting in Huntington I saw him being verbally attacked by angry citizens over a Hells Canyon county road issue. He listened, he answered questions, he kept his cool and the issue was resolved. This scene has played over and over in many different venues in the years of Fred’s calm and steady leadership. Fred manages the county’s day-to day-business with an open door and sincere attention. 

Fred goes to bat for us in Washington, D.C., too. He is known and welcomed in the corridors of power, successfully halting or mitigating decisions that threaten our economy and environment. Fred is also connected into the larger Oregon political structure where he can and does effectively present the needs of Eastern Oregon and affect outcomes. 

Fred is a rare political leader. He is well-informed, unbiased and open-minded in working through every issue that comes before him. Fred not only speaks with conviction, but also acts decisively. He took Anthony Lakes Ski Resort under the county wing after careful research and in timely manner to save it as one of our great assets.  

Fred has been a cost-effective administrator of your county services and steward of taxpayer money. Fred daily defends against regulatory actions that threaten to damage our quality of life, whether that community is a small town, an individual business like Ash Grove, or one of our critical resource based industries.  Such leadership is a true gift to Baker County. Don’t let it go. Vote for Fred Warner Jr.

Aletha Bonebrake

Baker City

Warner leads with common sense, is willing to listen

I believe Fred Warner Jr. is a good administrator of our county. We have approximately 130 employees in 17 departments and a $28 million budget. Under his leadership there has been openness and common sense. 

He works on many issues at the local, state and national level. Some decisions he has made, I did not agree with but when asked for an explanation, his decision was logical. Usually I did not have all the needed information

I believe Fred is very approachable and will listen. Sometimes change is good, but not this time. Vote to retain Fred Warner Jr. as Baker County Chairman.

Robert McKim

Baker City

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