Bruce Nichols the best choice for Commission chairman

I am writing this letter in support of Bruce Nichols for Baker County Commissioner. In the years I have known Bruce I have found him to be honest, fair and of high integrity. I think he is the strongest choice for the County Commission Chair. In the last two years as a County Commissioner he has proven himself to be one who will question and work within any legal means to ensure that the citizens are receiving the best value and representation from their local government when dealing with their partners on the federal level.

Baker County is not the only county with issues with state and federal agencies, most other western states and counties are fighting the same fight. Bruce has the personality and experience to work with the other counties as well and state and federal legislators to make a larger voice on the issues.

He will also be committed to keeping Baker County a friendly and supportive environment where small businesses can continue to grow or be welcomed to start or relocate here.

Please join me in voting for Bruce Nichols, Baker County Commissioner.

Mitch Southwick

Baker City

Re-electing Harvey a critical need for Baker County

This is a critical time for our county.

If you want to keep your access to our public lands and get our county back from the chokehold that it’s been under for decades then vote for Bill Harvey.

Mr. Harvey has done more for this county than any other commissioner that I’ve seen since 1993, even though he’s been undermined by those who want to ruin our way of life.

He has kept his word when he was elected and as exhausting as it is to fight off the constant attacks, he remains strong and doesn’t cave to the promises that won his election.

We can’t afford any more devastating fires from the “lock it up and let it burn” policy. There are leaders and there are followers. Which one matters the most when times are tough? My vote and confidence is with Bill Harvey to continue the accomplishments for the citizens of this county. If he loses this election we have just made one step forward and 10 steps back. I urge you to join me in taking our county back.

Tandy Wilcocks

Baker City

Herald’s endorsement editorial is a cop-out

Your April 25 editorial on the candidates for County Commissioner is a cop-out. When people put themselves forward for office they are drawing a clear message for the voters that they offer a better vision and ability to serve the public. Your subtext seems to agree but your endorsement opted for the status quo. It is up to the voters to choose the best person to lead, not the best mix as you suggest, especially as the success of that mix seems to rely on the person you want to keep in the support role.

For the Baker City Herald to suggest a compromise to keep two candidates on board because Nichols, whom you praise, would be a good check on Harvey is doing huge disservice to Nichols, who has presented and proven himself as a leader. Would you feel the same if Nichols were gone and Harvey had no challenger to temper the debate or call him on his actions that the Baker City Herald has criticized in the past? Your editorial praises Nichols’ approach, his research, his transparency, his willingness to seek input, his “ability to analyze issues” and then throws his candidacy under the bus because he will still be there to check Harvey.

And your editorial was less flattering to Harvey. You disagreed with his chastising Nichols for seeking input from the Weed Board and with his secrecy in negotiating with Ash Grove. You say you’re interested in results? It seems they come from Nichols. Your editorial appears to be a wishy-washy cop-out to avoid endorsing a candidate, even though, despite the headline, your endorsement is clear. And, the most specious argument of all, “re-electing Harvey would allow voters to decide who represents them…” instead of appointing for Nichols’ vacant seat should he win. That is not an election decision!

There is another great candidate available. If Downing doesn’t win the election, he is a clear choice for appointment. He is a proven leader, not an unknown. These are two leaders you have actually endorsed.

Aletha Bonebrake

Baker City

Harvey will stand up for Baker County residents

The governor forum held in Baker City provided an educational evening, the opportunity to ask questions and listen to those running for the commissioner position. I’m reminded of one candidate’s answer to a query on the wolf situation, to the effect that wolves shouldn’t be allowed to eat the livestock. We need to keep wolves focused on eating the elk. Poor man misjudged his crowd.

Bruce wants a platform that endorses “cooperative partnerships,” partnerships that have dealt rural small communities a slow agonizing economic death for the last decades. Bruce overlooks two very blatant partnership failures: the Travel Management Plan, which was withdrawn six years ago because of the justifiable outcry, then more recently the amended Blue Mountain Forest Plan, soon be unveiled, which will be another disaster created by these special interest groups.

Baker County, with the voice of Commission Chair Bill Harvey, led the Northeast Oregon outcry that brought 11 Oregon counties together and rejected the amended forest plan. Both of these plans were also overwhelming rejected by the people that live and call Baker County their home.

Repeatedly we come away from these partnerships with less. Erosion and chipping away of our historic and cultural access continues daily. Reclamation or restoration projects came with a price tag. Road closures are the most sought after concession. One less road to gather winter wood, berries, mushrooms, or hunt. The cherished family tradition of returning to a four-generation site is gone with the arbitrary closure of a road. Older populace and the handicapped pay a higher price as they face not only physical disabilities, but the closure and destruction of pathways they could navigate.

Baker County needs Bill Harvey. The time is now for a strong voice. Bill is not confused. He faithfully represents the citizens of Baker County.

I want Bill at the Baker County door, willing to confront Kate Brown when she takes a notion to further destroy our economies, ignore the 2nd Amendment, and the rest of the amendments that thousands died for in order to keep us free.

Trudy Matthews

Baker City