Letters to the Editor for Oct. 26, 2012

By Baker City Herald readers October 26, 2012 10:26 am

Current Justice of the Peace endorses Williams

The last three people to hold the position of Baker County Justice of the Peace, myself included, worked as pro tem JP for a period of years to gain experience before being elected or appointed to that office. Only Don Williams has any appreciable prior experience as pro tem. His experience goes beyond the years he has worked in Justice Court. He started gaining experience long ago as a juvenile court counselor, juvenile department director and DHS branch manager.

It is that experience that led Lise Yervasi to nominate him for appointment as Justice of the Peace pro tem. A move which I endorsed and wisely continued after my own appointment to the bench. Only Don Williams has the necessary experience to be Justice of the Peace on Jan. 1, 2013. He is ready today with the experience, common sense and integrity for the job.

I endorse Don Williams.

Damien Yervasi

Baker City

Bogart has proved himself a capable leader

My choice for Baker County Justice of the Peace is Steve Bogart.

I have always been impressed with the commitment and common sense Steve has displayed in his management positions in Baker County and Baker City.

He has proven himself as a fair and capable leader in Baker County government and Baker City along with four other Oregon cities.

I believe he will bring the same level of dedication and skill to the position of Justice of the Peace.

Let’s elect Steve Bogart as an effective Justice of the Peace.

Barbara Sherman

Baker City

Citizens should take advantage of right to vote

We, as American citizens, have been given a right by our founding fathers. This right is the right to vote. Their idea was to give the citizens an opportunity to have voice in their government. We still have that right and we need to exercise this privilege at every opportunity.

I urge each citizen of this great land to exercise this privilege before Nov. 6. If we do not vote, we have no right to complain.

Judy Brazofsky

Haines

Bogart for Justice of the Peace: A ‘no brainer’

Rarely in an election do voters have the opportunity to cast a vote among two candidates with vastly different qualifications for an office. This year’s Justice of the Peace race is one of those rare occurrences. I have had the opportunity to work alongside Steve Bogart both when he served as Baker County Commission Chair and as City Manager. Steve has all the necessary skills and experience to bring fairness, respectability and honor to the position. I cannot imagine anyone better suited to the job. Your decision is, without question, a “no brainer.” Please join me in voting for Steve Bogart for Justice of the Peace. Baker County deserves no less.

Charles Hofmann

Baker City

Feds make it difficult,          to get public information

I recently submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which is not “free” at all, in an attempt to gain more knowledge as to the management activities on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (WWNF). We, as a group, have been told repeatedly to “engage and participate” in the Travel Management plan “process” by congressional staff and leadership from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). My request to be able to garner more information as to historic management of our forest has been accepted, but at a cost, of nearly $1,000.  

This is not how to run an “open and transparent” government. When you limit the public’s ability to access knowledge based on their financial status you no longer have a democracy, but an elitist system where the ones that have rule over those that do not. While I have received other information from another FOIA request, it is hard to put together any kind of consistent knowledge base when I am not allowed access to the information I request from a public agency, which generated that data from taxpayers’ dollars.

I am asking my elected county, state, and federal representatives, that have or are in any way, shape or form supported the efforts of the USFS to lock American citizens out of public lands, to reassess that position.  I know that some of our congressional staff feels pressured by the environmental community to move in their direction, as they would “be all over our backs.”  When a government official finds it appropriate to send an American citizen a letter that states that they will have to pay $832 (estimated) to access information, something is terribly wrong.

My request for information in no way will ever be used to generate any financial gain for myself or anyone; I simply want to track trends of management techniques to elk population numbers.

I want to participate in the process, and I want to participate in it with a full base of knowledge. Limiting my opportunities to that information based on my ability to pay a public employee to do their job is wrong, and un-American.

John D. George

Bates

Bogart has deep local roots, wide-ranging experience

I have known Steve Bogart for over 25 years and he has earned my vote for Baker County Justice of the Peace.  Through his years of successful service to the people of Baker County and Eastern Oregon, I have observed his characteristics of honesty, good judgment and fairness –- great qualities for this judgeship position.

Steve’s years as a Baker County Commissioner, Baker County Judge (Chairman of the Board of Commissioners), city manager of Baker City, Vale, Madras, Union and member of the State Board of Education have given him experience in managing and listening to people, preparing budgets and using funds effectively and a legal background in local ordinances and state and federal laws.  Steve’s deep roots in Baker County give him a unique understanding of local issues and people.  I urge you to join me in voting for Steve Bogart for Baker County Justice of the Peace. 

Marilyn Dudek

Baker City