Nichols has the skills to be an effective County Commission chairman

I urge you to vote for Bruce Nichols. He has the skills to be an effective commission chair.

The actions the Herald lists in its endorsement show that Mr. Harvey has done a poor job as chair. He’s a poor leader, the primary attribute needed for commission chair.

Harvey’s closed-minded, unilateral approach on important issues — which all commissioners should be working together -— exemplify his lack of skills for the chair position. Failing to keep the other commissioners fully informed is irresponsible.

Honest debate about a decision when commissioners disagree is important. Harvey, as chair, couldn’t care less about the other commissioners’ concerns. We deserve better than to continue “to keep the current team together” when the chair, Harvey, disregards and denigrates other commissioners.

The “high-profile disagreements” the Herald lists — the Tri-County Weed Cooperative and the abandoned lime plant — cost extra commission time/money because of Harvey. One, probably both, would have cost the county more money had Harvey’s unilateral decision been adopted instead of resisted by the other commissioners. Nichols did the work. Another example is Harvey’s poor handling of emergency management services, which created a lot of animosity.

Complacency will come from continuing poor leadership at the helm of our commission. The Herald notes that Harvey failed to involve the department which would handle one of his bad decisions. Nichols did what a good commission chair would do: ask the county board. Ignoring the people who implement and manage the county is a long-standing problem with Harvey, who then got upset with Nichols for doing what he should have done.

Harvey’s less-than-professional approach to dealing with locals who work for federal agencies to manage public resources is another example of his poor leadership, and shows his failure to understand economics. We need a commission chair who understands economics and will work with the local FS and BLM employees to achieve the best for the county, not alienate them at every turn.

Baker County deserves a capable and effective commission chair. Bruce Nichols is obviously that person.

Rick Meis


Nichols the best choice for Commission chairman

I urge voters to consider electing Bruce Nichols for County Commission Chair. His years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant and as an accounting firm owner/manager are invaluable tools for budgeting and managing the fiscal welfare of Baker County.

Bruce understands the limits and responsibilities of the Commission. He is a good listener and gathers information, opinions and ideas to effectively interact with various agencies and committees to make our voices heard. He makes our concerns known and uses his influence to be a force for all of us.

His approach to the Commission is one of cooperation, honesty, intelligence and above all, transparency.

Bruce and his family love and use our public lands. He has a lifelong and future interest in keeping access open to them for everyone.

Bruce Nichols is a conservative choice offering openness and integrity. Most of all, he is the best choice for Baker County as Commission Chair.

Mark S. Pollock

Baker City

Nichols always has thoughtful comments, and he listens

My name is Boyd Britton. I hold the honor of ser ving as an Eastern Oregon Commissioner in Grant County for 15 years.

In Eastern Oregon, we share many of the same concerns. For the most part, the commissioners in Eastern Oregon work collaboratively to solve complex problems as a group. With Baker County’s best interests in mind, Commissioner Bruce Nichols brings clear thinking, objective and reason-based solutions to these problems to the table.

Remember the old investment commercials that said “When E.F Hutton speaks people listen”? That is what the residents of Baker County get with Commissioner Nichols, when he speaks people listen.

In the meetings I have been involved with Bruce in, be it infrastructure meetings, or be it the Forest Revision Plan, the grazing, or transportation, both state and federal agencies and elected officials pay attention to what he has to say because they know that Commissioner Nichols always has thoughtful comments and practical solutions.

The thing I most admire about Commissioner Nichols is that he remembers to do what most elected officials forget to do — he listens, (yes, unfortunately that at times has included me). The Commissioner Nichols that I have seen in action has shown himself to always have the best interests of all the people of Baker County in the forefront.

I am proud to call Bruce a colleague and friend. For the good of Eastern Oregon and Baker County please vote for Bruce Nichols, Commission Chair for Baker County.

Boyd Britton

Grant County

Blue Mountain Community College an important resource

April is National Community College Awareness Month, and as a proud member of the Blue Mountain Community College Board of Education, I would like to take a moment to remind the community of the benefit having a community college in our area affords the region.

BMCC strives to make an education attainable by anyone in Eastern Oregon. Students from anywhere across our 18,000-square-mile district can earn an entire associate’s degree online, via distance education, or face-to-face in one of our convenient regional centers, such as the Baker County Center in Baker City. Education at BMCC is top-notch, with nationally-recognized agriculture instruction, a state-of-the-art Workforce Training Center in Boardman, and programs such as data center technology that serve the unique needs of our region. Access to education shouldn’t be hard, and BMCC makes every effort to ensure a college education is affordable and convenient for anyone in Eastern Oregon.

BMCC’s partnerships in our area are also important to sustaining a skilled workforce. A great example of this is a partnership between BMCC and Behlen Country to enhance general education skills of its workers.

We are also maintaining a very effective pathway for nursing and healthcare professionals in our region. We have in-demand opportunities in the healthcare industry for medical lab technicians, diagnostic imaging, nursing and phlebotomy. During this current spring term, 12 high school students are receiving direct service from BMCC through our phlebotomy partnership with Baker Technical Institute in Baker High School.

BMCC’s Small Business Development Center is also a tremendous resource in our community. The SBDC has been able to assist in the start-up of 10 businesses just in the past year, which created 14 jobs. Last year, the local SBDC helped businesses secure $252,950 in capital fusion while serving 88 clients.

During the past year, our local Baker County Center has also opened its doors to local state agencies for meeting and inst ructional space for workforce training and professional continuing education needs. BMCC is proud to be a resource to our community.

Bob Savage

Baker City

Nichols, Bennett represent all of Baker County

Mr. Harvey’s campaign ad on Page 6A of the April 20 edition reads “Making the Tough Decisions,” but shouldn’t any tough county-level decisions be made by all three commissioners? And what about the rest of the population not specifically involved in agriculture, mining, forestry, tourism and business? Is he not an advocate for everyone?

Bruce Nichols and Mark Bennett are both skilled in their own areas of expertise but I especially support their candidacies because they represent all of us.

Maryanne Lovell


Josie Hermann best qualified for Justice of the Peace

About two weeks ago, Lois Grushka wrote a letter to the editor listing the reasons she feels Josie Hermann is her choice for Baker County Justice of the Peace. Most important is experience: She’s been J.P. pro-tem in the absence of J. P. Don Williams for the past year and a half. And at the candidates forum last week, it was obvious she is by far the best qualified candidate.

When I was director of the Baker County Parole and Probation Department, I hired Josie to be a parole officer on the advice of my wife, Eloise, who had taught Josie in high school. She considered her one of her brightest students. As predicted, Josie was a quick learner and performed very well supervising adult probationers and prison parolees.

Josie’s family has deep roots in Baker County going back to a great-grandmother in the 1890s. Her grandfather, John Bates, came here in 1901 and was a BHS ’21 graduate. Her grandmother Bates graduated from Baker Business College. Her maternal grandparents, John and Adna Himmelberger, came to Baker City in 1923. Her father, Glen Bates, and mother, Joan Himmelberger, graduated from BHS in ’49 and ’48. Joan was a nurse and Glen taught math and science at Union High School and then had a long career with California-Pacific electric company. (In 1958, Glen and I worked that summer remodeling a farm house in Richland. I remember him fondly.)

Josie Hermann has already proven herself to be a fair and competent judge. She deserves your vote to elect her Baker County Justice of the Peace.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

The twin challenges of educating and parenting

Two articles concerning education on April 23 are a double treat. The article on the Opinion page by Mark Witty, superintendent of the Baker School District, about the advantages of early childhood education and the front page article about education at the Baker Adventist Christian School were informative and included results of helpful research.

The conclusion of Mr. Hosey, the teacher at the Adventist Christian School, that children learn academic subjects best in the morning hours might be of value to Mr. Witty’s hopes for early childhood education. It would seem logical to first aim for three morning hours three times a week rather than eight hours five days a week. The latter objective, in my opinion, is equivalent to a day orphanage.

The needs of working mothers are not to be ignored. As we try to serve them, consider a bit of information that came out of the aftermath of World War II. Psychological testing of children from London who were shipped to rural farm homes during the war as compared to children who endured the Blitz with their parents in London showed that the children who spent the war in the peaceful English countryside were more psychologically damaged than those who stayed with their parents.

If, as a society, we are wanting the best for our children, we need to think of ways to help children be cared for by parent s, mostly mothers, to avoid as much psychological damage as possible. How about offering parenting classes in high school? How about freeing employers to (at their own discretion) increase the salary of fathers whose wives are stay-at-home moms? You MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers, do any of you work at home? I mean for profit or pay. How do you manage.

Suzanne Kahle

Baker City

Nichols has greater knowledge than other candidates

I am writing to express my support for Bruce Nichols as Chair person of the Baker County Commission.

As the result of his years of experience as a CPA and his long involvement with the Baker County Commission, he is familiar with the fiscal issues facing the county from a public standpoint and a private standpoint.

I believe he has a greater knowledge and comprehension of these matters than the other candidates. He will be better able to handle the many complex issues which face local government.

As a longtime Republican he will remain fiscally conservative while at the same time be able to entertain forward-thinking solutions in the best interests of the county.

He will be better-equipped to arrive at responsible answers to the complex problems facing the county and to work in a cooperative manner with various agencies than the other candidates due to his great experience and professional training.

When you compare the education, training and experience of Bruce Nichols with the other candidates, Bruce Nichols is the clear choice for the position of Chair of the Baker County Commission.

J. David Coughlin

Baker City