Letters to the Editor for May 4, 2012

Written by Baker City Herald readers May 04, 2012 08:09 am

Williams the right person for job

To the editor:

Lately we’ve been reading about the attributes and qualities of the many candidates seeking election for the Justice of the Peace. Given the changes occurring in the budget and the reduction to a half-time position for the judge, it will take someone with excellent management skills to successfully make the transition. Several candidates fit that bill. However, the other part of the equation, and of equal importance in my mind, is a candidate’s knowledge of criminal and civil law, as legally sound decisions must be rendered daily.

After completing college I applied for a position with the Baker County Juvenile Department as a court counselor. I was offered the position, and was elated to be able to come back and reside in my hometown. I soon discovered that I had much to learn, as the job required presenting cases in the courtroom, many times in opposition to the arguments of seasoned trial attorneys. Mr. Williams was my supervisor, and I frequently witnesses firsthand his exceptional knowledge of the law, as well as his skill in the courtroom applying the law. He was also an outstanding teacher in equipping me with the survival skills needed in the courtroom. He has always been successful in managing respectful work environments and presenting well-researched and competent recommendations to the court.

Mr. Williams has a long history of success in both of the disciplines needed to be a successful Justice of the Peace. He has done a good job of serving the citizens of Baker County in the Justice Court for nearly two years as a Justice pro-tem. Additionally, Don Williams has been a strong voice in publicly asserting the rights of all Americans to reasonably access our public lands.

He is competent. He is fair. He is considerate. Don Williams is the right person for the job.

Andy Ballard

Baker City

Continue fight against weeds

To the editor:

While Baker County’s farmers and ranchers may expend more time, dollars, effort and thought to controlling weeds, nearly everyone is affected by them. All homeowners or gardeners are plagued by weeds such as dandelions, bur buttercup, lambsquarter or pigweed.

Baker County is blessed with beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife. While some noxious weeds may enhance the beauty of the environment in some eyes, they all strongly compete with more nutritious native vegetation. This can result in severe depletion of feed and cover for wildlife from vireos and warblers to deer, elk and sheep. Noxious weeds can more directly affect sportsmen, whether hunters, fishermen or birdwatchers. Rare is the fisherman who has not been discouraged from visiting a favorite fishing hole by Scotch thistle or teasel. Many dogs are repelled from good cover by yellow star thistle or bull thistle. Veterinary visits are frequently cause by cheatgrass seeds embedded in ears.

For these reasons I encourage everyone to vote for the weed levy. This is not a new tax, nor is it an increase from previous years. The dollars raised by this levy are leveraged several times over with grants from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, BLM, USFS and even Union Pacific Railroad.

Let’s keep the effort going. Vote for the weed levy.

Jay Carr

Baker City

Downing honest and fair as a judge

To the editor:

For those of you who will be marking your ballots in the next few days, please consider Mike Downing for Justice of the Peace. I have known Mike his entire life and I believe he would be honest and fair in the decisions he would be making.

Mike has deep roots in Baker County and he knows firsthand the culture that is important to the citizens of this area. In 2010 he was appointed a pro-tem Justice of the Peace where he found a love of working in the courtroom and learning about the laws of the land. He has volunteered many hours to community service with children and adults and will be a true servant of the public. Mike has worked at jobs that have given him common sense that will be helpful to him as Justice of the Peace.

Please join me in casting your ballot for Mike Downing for Baker County Justice of the Peace.

Lyle Defrees

Baker City

Williams’ skills ideal for the job

To the editor:

During my career I have earned my living primarily as a machinist, and my passion has been music. Both of those disciplines require a skill level that can only come with knowledge and practice, and in the musical part of the equation, lots of practice. As a performing musician I wouldn’t consider stepping onto stage to perform if I had never played a guitar. The experience, I’m sure, would be a displeasurable one for the audience.

On May 15 we have the opportunity to elect a Justice of the Peace. We’ll be voting to elect someone to hear civil and criminal cases, and to dispense justice. In my mind, it makes no sense to put someone into the position that is not well education or grounded in the law, and has not demonstrated the skill necessary to make legally sound decisions and manage the inner workings of the office. The potential outcome, for those in attendance in court, could be far more consequential than the hearing of a dissonant note.

There is only one candidate who meets the proven skills to succeed in the job. That candidate is an individual who has years of experience in the civil court and in the field of criminal justice. One who has been functioning to assisting Justice Court during difficult times for Justice Yervasi, as a pro-tem Justice in the Baker County Court for nearly two years. That candidate is Don Williams.

I encourage you to join me in voting for Don Williams for Baker County Justice of the Peace on May 15. 

Victor L. Tate

Baker City

Williams will ensure a just court

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to show my support for in my opinion the most qualified candidate for the position of Justice of the Peace, Don Williams.

Don has served as a pro-tem Justice of the Peace in the Baker County Justice Court during the past 22 months. He has 28 years experience in civil court practice, law enforcement, and corrections. He has beyond question an outstanding knowledge and understanding of the law, what I would consider to be the most important prerequisite for the position of Justice of the Peace.

I say without reservation, ask anyone who knows Done what they think of his integrity and qualifications for the job, and you will only hear the highest remarks in return. I know of no one that doesn’t respect and admire him for his dedication to Baker County and its citizens.

With a judge of Don’s qualifications I feel anyone that comes before his bench can be assured of an honest, impartial and just decision based on the two most important issues, the facts and the law.

Bill Ward

Baker City

Williams has a proven record

To the editor:

I am pleased to write this endorsement of support for Don Williams as candidate for Justice Court judge. Don has been a resident of Baker County for many years. During that time he has served our county as director of the Juvenile Department, local branch manager of Services to Children and Families for the Oregon Department of Human Services, and manager of the Alcohol and Drug program at the Powder River Correctional Facility/Oregon Department of Corrections.

I have known and worked with Don during his service to our community and county. He has consistently demonstrated is ability to work hard, and serve impartially, objectively and professionally. Don currently presides as interim judge for Justice Court. A vote for Mr. Williams is a vote for a candidate that already has shown competence and effectiveness as Justice Court judge.

I encourage you to join me voting May 15 for Don Williams as our next Justice Court judge.

Patrick Braswell

Retired Baker 5J school principal

Baker City