Passing school bond will improve security for students

I am writing in support of the Baker 5J School Bond Measure 1-88 to improve all aspects of Baker students’ educational experience. Specifically, I would like to comment on one of the most important improvements that would come with the passing of Measure 1-88: safety and security for our students.

I have been in law enforcement for more than 20 years, and, when the Long Range Facility Planning Committee pointed out some of the shortfalls our schools have with safety/security, I could not have agreed more. Simply put, when our schools were built, they were not designed with safety and security as a top priority. They lack some of the very basics like controlled entry/exits or visibility of entry/exits for office staff.

In law enforcement we conduct extensive training in respect to critical incidents in schools. We review the information obtained from other school incidents in its raw form and conduct scenarios based off the information obtained. The information and training we receive shows that outcomes of these incidents would have been better if the facilities had been designed with safety and security as a priority. Law enforcement recognizes the shortfalls our schools currently have, and it is a sad truth that training revolves around minimizing loss. It is something I think about every time I pick my kids up from school. I am sure it is something my law enforcement and first responder partners think about when they do the same. However, we should be able to do better than just “minimizing loss.” Measure 1-88 allows our schools the opportunity to provide prevention.

We are at a point where we can no longer brush the condition of our schools aside. Especially when it comes to the safety and security of our students. Too many times “that will never happen” happens, and now is the time to make the changes we can all be proud of.

Chris Hawkins

Baker School Board chairman


Bill Harvey has been effective advocate for Baker County

I have known Bill Harvey for years. He gave me my first job when I moved to Baker. He trained me so well I became a competitive contractor. We have remained close friends since our first meeting. I have followed Bill’s efforts and accomplishments over the last four years as our lead county commissioner. He is well-liked by his department managers and employees. He is judicious in his handling of the county’s funds, has scrutinized departmental budgets, and saved the taxpayers money at every opportunity. Ash Grove’s contributions to the county of $310,000 for a demo project, how’s that for savings? Thank you, Ash Grove, for your charity, and thank you, Bill, for being such an ambassador to the business community.

Many see Bill as an enemy of the Forest Service. He is not. He simply demands that Baker County be given a place of acknowledged input at the planning table, as decisions made without local input have, and will, greatly impact the environmental and economic health of this community. For several years Bill is the only candidate that has advocated for sportsmen, recreationalists, miners, ranchers, timber workers and others to have access to our public lands. He has effectively presented a plan for the beneficial use of cattle to reduce dangerous levels of forest floor grasses and ladder fuels which would not only help local ranchers, but increase revenues to the Forest Service. The present Forest Service plan ignores this effective management idea, and our forests continue to burn at unprecedented rates. When is the last time you’ve breathed clean air in the summer?

Let’s keep advocating for this place we love, called Baker County. Please join me in re-electing Bill Harvey.

James Sanders

Baker City