Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Ogan can find solutions

Mike Ogan has been an involved parent in the school district for many years. Currently he has a child enrolled in the Baker School District.

Mike has served on several school board committees and has attended numerous school board meetings over the past few years. This has given him an insight into some of the most pressing issues our school district is facing, and additional challenges that are on the horizon. He has a realistic view of these issues and a practical approach to finding real solutions.

Mike will not only advocate for the best education of our children, he will represent his constituents by obtaining factual information and making a sound decision based on that information.

Mike Ogan is a straight forward candidate and by supporting him you will have a voice on the 5J School Board.

Troy Lepley

Baker City

Vote for Abell, Cassidy

Candidate Richard McKim says with good reason, "The public is sick of their school district making the news."

Well, School District 5J Board member Kyle Knight and School District critic Kerry McQuisten are the ones who caused most of that negative news.

Last year they were the prime persons behind the attempt to recall two school board members. The voters defeated the recall by a wide margin.

What Knight and McQuisten could not accomplish through a recall, they are now trying to accomplish by endorsing the election of McKim and Mike Ogan as a team. McQuisten has publicly endorsed them, and Knight helped put up their election signs around town.

If you voted against the recall, then the possibility of Knight, McKim, and Ogan forming a majority on the Board should be all the reason you need to fill Position 4 with Rosemary Abell, who has by far the best educational credentials of all four candidates for that position, and to fill Position 3 with the well-qualified Kevin Cassidy, who is Ogan's sole opponent.

The last thing our excellent schools need is a school district board chaired by Kyle Knight.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

Keep sidewalk program

I'd like to see the City Council and the public works department continue the sidewalk program for awhile longer, and not just abandon this project so soon. The sidewalks are too valuable a part of our town's infrastructure to see them deteriorate further. Sidewalks serve the public in general, not just individual property owners.

We were able to take advantage of the city's generous discount which helped replace 100 feet of sidewalk in front of our house and we feel it was well worth what we ended up paying, not to mention we gave a few people a temporary job in this difficult economy. I applaud Barbara Johnson for supporting good sidewalks in her lone vote at the council meeting.

I agree with her that our sidewalks need to gradually improve, not just for the beauty of our town, but also for public safety. Many people, myself included, have fallen down from tripping on cracks or gravely walks.

If the fund does continue, perhaps the city could give a deeper discount or an easy payment plan or even a lien for those unable to pay all at once. If it isn't possible for the fund to continue, then maybe the city could devote some of its general funds to the goal of repairing at least the very worst ones over time.

Donna Landon

Baker City

Gun policy is important

You would think that after recent school shootings and the resulting gun battle in Congress that during the recent forum with school board candidates the district's weapons policy would rate more than a couple of sentences.

I wasn't there, but according to the story, someone asked about the weapons policy and Karen Spencer responded "that it was too soon to tell what the state and federal government will dictate, but that the district 'is doing everything to keep our kids safe.' "

That's great. It's good to know that everything is being done, but as a grandfather who might have another grandchild in the 5J district in a few years I would like to hear a few details about that "everything."

It is true that the state might change a few rules, it's a given that as Jefferson said nobody is safe when the Legislature is in session and Portland lefty Ginny Burdick always has an antigun bill or two and one of those leaves it up to local districts on a weapons policy, which means Oregon's left-leaning cities will prohibit and some Eastern counties will get on with maybe arming teachers, hiring armed guards or other plans.

So again what is that actual policy going to be? Having just one candidate respond wasn't very good investigative reporting. Where did the other candidates stand? Why or why not should someone vote for or against them on the most important issue facing schools these days?

Steve Culley

Baker City

Elect Rosemary Abell

Undoubtedly each candidate for School Board would serve well, if elected, but I ask voters to consider Rosemary Abell.

Abell is an educational consultant who taught in public school systems and worked for state departments of education.

Additionally, she acted as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education, research institutions and school districts.

Abell's qualifications surely influence my vote, and I hope yours. For wise decision making on the 5J School Board, elect Rosemary Abell for a four-year term.

Phyllis Badgley

Baker City

Best bang for tax dollars

I am voting for Mike Ogan and Richard McKim for the following reasons.

They both have children in the 5J school system and will be very proactive to ensure that 5J students receive the best education possible.

They both are graduates from the 5J system.

They both have very strong financial and management credentials. They both have expressed that they want a stronger community involvement in the 5J school district.

Therefore, for the best bang for your tax dollars and to promote an excellent education in the 5J system, vote for Mike Ogan and Richard McKim.

Jon Sallquist

Baker City