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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor for May 2, 2014

Letters to the Editor for May 2, 2014


Don’t let temporary Republicans win; vote Harvey

The political party changes just for the primary election just seems wrong. But then having a candidate change parties just because he thought it would be the easiest way to be reelected was also a judgment issue and possibly following very bad advice. We now have the daily paper instructing Democrats becoming Republicans just to vote in the primary and then register back again. What has happened to personal ethics?  Doesn’t anyone stay true to their convictions and beliefs? Is everything for political expediency?

The Clerk’s “political party change” report is public record.   You can obtain a copy from the Baker County Clerk; you can view the names of those who have done this. Reading the list you will see the names of the most liberal Democrats in Baker County who have now re-registered Republican temporarily just to vote for Warner. Don’t forget birds of a feather flock together. Core beliefs just don’t change because you registered Republican last year.

Warner’s time has come and gone. It is time for someone with some energy to stand up for Baker County. Vote for Bill Harvey. Harvey is the real conservative Republican in this race.

Margarete Brittain

Baker City

Harvey will use coordination to benefit Baker County

 Building relationships. Mr. Warner believes his approach has best served Baker County, and will continue to be a “win-win” strategy for the county. Bill Harvey believes in building relationships through coordination. Coordination doesn’t prevent “building relationships,” it builds relationships on equality. Coordination, with a good county resource plan, is the winning hand.  

 How did “building relationships” work when the Forest Service responded to the county’s travel plan? Baker County, unfortunately, was seduced into believing the sacrifice of roads would ensure an honest working relationship with the Forest Service. Road loss is not a desirable condition. Our county was willing to give up way too many roads.     

 Who benefits when the county chooses to cast aside a legal tool that provides equal, agency-to-agency conversation? Why would the county sign MOU agreements that negate a position of coordination. Is this building relationships? Coordination will give the county a stronger voice when we try to resist the continued overreach of federal government agencies. 

Once again, the USFS is back.  This time a forest revision plan is driving the conversation. Recreationists, miners, timber interests, grazing allotments, businesses, all need to be concerned. Natural resources may not be the only issue facing Baker County but it’s safe to say if not No. 1, it’s a close second. Is it, “likely,” even “very likely,” if we manage these rich resources, the economy will respond positively? Bill Harvey is eager to lead us in the right direction.        

“We will eventually get it all, we just tried to take too much this time around,” this was reported conversation exchange among USFS staff, after the Travel Management Plan was withdrawn.  Anyone can see, whether its BLM or USFS, they’ll be back. We need to be ready with a strong, “county resource plan” and leadership to defend it.

Coordination will never work with the present county court, as their past record indicates, there is no support for coordination.  

Bill Harvey will build relationships through coordination and lead. Every vote counts.

Wanda Ballard

Baker City

Walden has allowed Forest Service to lock out public

I would like to introduce you to a congressional representative that’s currently up for election. This candidate will work collaboratively to increase wilderness areas, will allow all Oregon national forests in his district to operate under the “closed forest system” of the USFS Travel Management Rule, and will champion the concept of working in “collaborative groups” with environmentalists to negotiate away access to our mountains in trade for possible, not guaranteed, but possible future timber cuts.

This candidate will hire staffers that will not return correspondence from constituents, will not attend meetings that are perceived as “boring” and make commitments to addressing issues without ever reporting back on findings of said meetings.

Sounds like a great choice don’t it, a vote for Greg Walden will get you that candidate. If you are an active user of your forest, either subsistence or recreation, please realize Mr. Walden is not the candidate for you. In Greg’s tenure as our U.S. representative he has systematically allowed the US Forest Service to lock us out of our public lands, and has lifted but a very light hand to address the issue. Greg has been our representative for 15 years, and 10 out of the 12 national forest in his district are now “closed forests.”

While I appreciate the “urging” Mr. Walden has done with letters to federal employees, his ability to effect change on these agencies’ personnel is limited. However, his ability to effect change on budgets of such agencies is not. Mr. Walden has made it very clear it is deemed “politically unpopular” to use such tactics with his colleagues in the House, he may need to be reminded he does not represent the House of Representatives, but the people of Eastern/Southern Oregon. 

If Greg is unwilling to truly tackle this issue, it’s time we find someone that is. I will be voting for Dennis Linthicum for representative this year. I ask that you do the same.

John D. George

Bates

Fleming explains why he’s running

Why am I running for County Commissioner Position 2?

I believe our resources in Baker County are being locked up by federal agencies in violation of the laws that govern those agencies. I believe there are opportunities for the county government to resist this loss of our economic base. Our forests are so overcrowded and with such high fuel density that a devastating fire is certain unless something is done to remove these fuels.

The draft Forest Plan acknowledges: “The potential for fires with uncharacteristically severe effects exists on approximately 60 percent of the three national forests.” Yet despite this acknowledgment, even the most aggressive thinning proposal will remove only a small fraction of what grows each year.

The problems will continue go get worse until a stand clearing fire turns our resources into liabilities. I will do anything and everything I can as your county commissioner to alleviate this problem.

Check out my website www.electdickfleming.com for articles about how to managing for old growth characteristics etc.

I am a husband and father.

I am a civil engineer and have been a licensed professional engineer since 1975.

I have 28 years experience working for cities and counties in public works departments and 14 years doing engineering consulting work. This includes five years as public works director for Baker City.

I have a master’s degree in public administration.

I believe in a God who loves all his children.

I believe the Bible is his word to us and it all applies to our lives, including all Ten Commandments and including severe judgments against those who abuse their positions of authority.

I believe that the Constitution of the United States is the highest law of the land and any law passed contrary to that constitution is not a law, but fraud.

Vote for me, Dick Fleming.

Dick Fleming

Baker City

Bennett’s experience, background set him apart

Friends, neighbors and fellow Baker County voters: We are facing a very important local election in a few weeks, Our county courts are one of our last lines of defense against the overreach of our state and federal government.

I am writing in support of my friend and neighbor Mark Bennett, who I believe has done an outstanding job filling out Dr. Stiff’s unfinished term. Mark has spent a lot of time not only getting up to speed on the issues, but also working to minimize the damage of the sage grouse plan, the high voltage transmission line route, and the Forest Service’s road plan. I think Mark has proven himself to be the best candidate for a full term.

Mark’s education, prior governmental experience, and strong agricultural background, along with his proven leadership, also set him apart. I believe it is important that all of our county commissioners understand how important agriculture and our other natural resource industries are to our economy.

I am reminded of a saying my father-in-law told me he often heard while growing up in Kansas. “If it ain’t broke, don’t waste your time trying to fix it.” I think we owe our present Board of Commissioners a word of thanks and a vote of confidence. Thanks, Mark, Fred and Tim. Keep up the good work.

Lynn Shumway

Baker City

Elect Harvey and put integrity back in government

After attending several of the candidate’s forums and listening to the many discussions, it has become clear to me that we need the following:

• Someone who knows what they stand for and is able to follow through

• To have the courage to back up their convictions

• To have the strength to stay on task and deal with the issues of Baker County

• To listen to the people

• To work with the local agencies and to be able to say NO when it is appropriate

I believe that Bill Harvey can and will be able to do all the above.

Please join me and vote for Bill. We need to put integrity back in our government.

John Creighton

Baker City

Don’t back kingdom building; vote for Harvey

Fred Warner is not a conservative Republican. He re-registered from Democrat to Republican over a year ago as a political strategy.  Time will tell if this works. He and his liberal Democratic Party members are also busy re-registering so they can vote for him in Oregon’s closed primary May 20.   

And why?  Why try to hide your political core beliefs under the guise of being a Republican, when you are still supported by liberal Democrats and are temporarily trying to hijack the Republican Party? Seems like dirty politics to me and a travesty for Baker County and it smacks of kingdom building. 

Join me in voting for Republican Bill Harvey.

Terry Speelman

Baker City

Warner has helped County Fairgrounds prosper

The Baker County Fairgrounds serves the community by providing facilities for events that the people of Baker County value. These facilities include the Baker County Event Center, which is used for meetings and conventions, a rodeo arena,  which is home of the “Bronc and Bull rodeo,” and the livestock buildings used for the annual August fair that hosts 4-H,  FFA and adult open classes. There have been many challenges over the years developing and maintaining the facility. This has required a great deal of coordination with the county and community. The result has been a $1.5 million new and refurbished facility for the benefit of the community. 

The Baker County commissioners, under the leadership of Fred Warner, have been a tremendous support in these efforts. A recent example of Fred’s contribution to the welfare of the Baker County Fairgrounds is the utilization of his contacts at the state legislature and Oregon National Guard to reconcile the fairgrounds property dispute. This had been an unresolved issue since the 1990s, but through his efforts the Baker County Fairgrounds has been justly compensated. The $500,000 from the Oregon National Guard will go a long way to help provide and maintain premier facilities for the people of Baker County. 

The Warner family received the “Fair Family of the Year” award last summer because of their contributions to the fair over the years. Fred continues this longstanding support which is only one example of how the community benefits from his leadership. We believe Fred, as Baker County Chair, is managing the county in a positive direction, and we support him in his bid for re-election. 

Ron Rowan

Dean Defrees

Baker City

County is running well; re-elect Warner and Bennett

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

Under Fred’s leadership the county is in a sound financial position. Basically every issue that has been thrown at the county, whether it be financial, environmental or natural resources, has been dealt with and we are receiving excellent services from every department in Baker County government. What more could I ask for?

With Mark we are not only receiving his leadership skills but also his experience and knowledge of the inner workings of county government. Due to his past employment in various departments and management abilities as a department head, again what more could I ask for?

As a multi-year county budget board member, I have witnessed the interaction between our current commissioners and county staff and department heads and watched how they have worked their way through tough issues (without the drama) to reach the goal of providing county citizens with the services they need even under adverse conditions. How could I ask for more?

Finally, for those with a concern about the cash carryover: Cash carryover is an integral part of Baker County’s financial health and stability. It is also testimony to our current leadership, staff and county employees’ fiscal responsibility. Cash carryover is a budget item scrutinized carefully every year by your budget board. The budget board would welcome public comment on any budget matters.

Pat Sullivan

Hereford

 
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