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Letters to the Editor - May 16, 2014

May 16, 2014 | 20 Comments


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02:29 pm - Fri, May 16 2014
Ginny said:
Last week we received a robo call from Mary Starrett, promising to fix immigration in Yamhill County. My husband thought it a strange declaration; since we could not think of one way that a county commissioner could change immigration. Ms. Starrett also has ads proclaiming she supports gun ownership, and that she will work to protect the personal liberties that government is taking away from taxpayers. These are fine guarantees, but none of them are the job of a county commissioner. The majority of the responsibilities of a commissioner are about the budget of the county. They have a huge and important charge to all of us to keep us safe, and keep our community livable. But, the items Ms. Starrett says that she will do are just not possible in this job. Now the question: does she not realize the work that a county commissioner does, or is she just making assertions to get votes?
Debra Bridges is promising to work tirelessly. She has been the director of Crime Victim Services in the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office for nine years. Her husband is an attorney and small business owner in Newberg, and they both have supported many causes and our county in various ways. She knows exactly what the job of a county commissioner of Yamhill County entails, and she would never make promises that she cannot keep just to get votes. My husband and I are supporting Debra Bridges for Yamhill County Commissioner, and I encourage everyone to do so as well.

Ginny Crabtree
08:51 am - Sun, May 18 2014
Don Dix said:
In all this political furor, I'm looking forward to a quieter phone and not having to lug all that "Junk Mail" to the recycle bin! Wednesdays after elections should be a "paid holiday" for all voters just for having to endure and sort through all the partisan campaign B.S.!
11:32 am - Sun, May 18 2014
treefarmer said:
Ah yes, how we look forward to a post-election decrease in junk mail!

However, an even greater source of irritation, in this voter's opinion, is the fouling of our landscape with miles and miles of big ugly roadside signs. I am all for free speech and the declaration of one's political leanings, I just wish it wasn't allowed to litter and visually pollute the countryside. I suppose some voters are influenced by signs, but there are also those of us who find them offensive.

I look forward to "election Wednesday" when we can return to a clear view of our beautiful Yamhill County farmland.........for a while anyway.
10:44 pm - Sun, May 18 2014
Anonymous said:
Does anyone else find it interesting that nine sergeants (who are at-will employees) have endorsed their boss, Tim Svenson, while a grand total of only two deputies (who are union employees) have done the same? It seems that all is not well with the Sheriff's Office from the perspective of the people who are actually out doing the work. One would think that if things were going along just fine, then more deputies would be willing to sign on as endorsers. I find the nearly-complete lack of support for the current Administration among the rank-and-file very interesting indeed.
08:14 am - Mon, May 19 2014
Don Dix said:
Or maybe it's just as 'interesting' that NONE of the sergeants (11total) have endorsed another candidate (Sergeant Shipley is running and the other has abstained).

The deputies? We'll for one, you do realize unions don't appreciate members going public against a union endorsement, right?

And if the support of the deputies is so critical, where are the supporting words for 'your candidate' (whomever that may be) from those deputies?

It would appear the anonymous writer is attempting to raise an issue using one set of guidelines for one candidate, while dismissing those guidelines for another.

But that's just my observation, I could be wrong! ;)
08:44 am - Mon, May 19 2014
Anonymous said:
Well I would think it's fairly risky for a deputy to openly oppose pretty much the entire Sergeants group, the Captain, and the Sheriff. So perhaps Casey and Shipley have pointedly refrained from placing deputies in that position. Or maybe Don is right and there are a bunch of shadowy union thugs threatening to break kneecaps if deputies oppose the union. Perhaps we should check on the two deputies who have done so and make sure they're ok.

No, I would think it far easier for a deputy to 'go with the flow' and sign on to endorse the Administration's candidate. And yet only two have done so. Seems like that is a statement in and of itself.

But while we are on the subject of using the same guidelines for everyone, how about we mention the paper's lack of consistency? Apparently two retired captains and a bunch of sergeants can write letters expressing support for their candidate, but when the chief of police at a local agency does the same, the paper refuses to publish it. Curious, isn't it?
09:26 am - Mon, May 19 2014
sbagwell said:
In response to the assertion about us not accepting a letter from the chief of a local police agency: We have a longstanding policy of not accepting endorsement letters from members of a candidate's immediate family, and that particular police chief is the candidate's brother. If he would like to line up endorsements from other local chiefs, we'd be happy to print those.
Steve Bagwell, Managing Editor
11:10 am - Mon, May 19 2014
Don Dix said:
Anonymous,

Are you suggesting that the deputies could be punished if they oppose their superior's choices? Really! How do you come to such a conclusion? About the only case of that happening locally to my recollection is when Leslie Van Baricom (sp) of Onpoint read (not composed) a letter from the chamber supporting the school district during teacher contract negotiations a few years ago. Being a 'teacher's credit union', Onpoint fired her. But wait, that was union intimidation, wasn't it?

Glaringly absent (from your retort) was any response to the fact that 90% of the sergeants (available) support one candidate (apparently not yours). Possibly the reason for that doesn't fit well in your argument, but it does have a great deal of merit. I suppose they were intimidated too, eh?

From this view, comparing qualifications and character of the candidates is where the discussion should reside, but some people only wish to speak in negative, nit-picking tones against an opponent (or their allies).

Wednesday morning, we'll see if a negative campaign works as well as one without. My guess -- 'there'll be a new sheriff in town' -- but it won't be yours!
11:43 am - Mon, May 19 2014
Self-Leveling said:
Anonymous,

I have followed the sheriff’s election closely and have been around long enough to see past elections. The listing of two deputies, which interestingly enough is not even a part of any of these letters, is not uncommon. Clearly you have other motives and are attempting to “create” talking points in an attempt to discredit. Most informed voters will see through this ploy. I mean really? To suggest that “all is not well” is just plain dumb. Way to spin it. Obviously you are working for a campaign.

None of the past elections I can recall had deputies come out in support of a candidate, so your tactic to smear the validity of the letter from the sergeants is laughable. A group of supervisors coming out supporting a particular candidate is a huge endorsement. It shows they have the confidence in that person to be able to lead the department and recognize what that person has done to prepare. Are you telling me the sergeants are all misinformed and incapable of making a proper decision? Holy cow, how does the department run with them in place now…

Bottom line is you are attempting to create an issue where there is not one. Take your campaign strategy elsewhere.
12:07 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Self-Leveling said:
And to follow up on the letter from the “chief of a local agency” writing a letter. You got your publication in another local paper and the points made were shot down a couple of weeks later in a response. If, as Chief Casey suggests in his letter, his brother could be hired as a chief, lets see him try. As I said I have been following this race, as I always do, closely. I have been around long enough to see several sheriff’s elections and this is an important choice for our county.
12:19 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Anonymous said:
I'm not suggesting that deputies would be punished for supporting a different candidate, only stating that this would place them in a potentially bad position with their superiors. No one wants to work for a boss who's unhappy with them.

I know all three candidates, I'm not working for any of them. An employees union supported one particular candidate as well, but apparently that isn't as important as what the sergeants have to say. I thought it was an interesting point, but apparently you both are much better informed than I.
12:27 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Anonymous said:
I too am watching the race most closely, and agree with you that this is an important decision for the citizens of the county. I seriously hope it'll be over one way or the other, or the other, after tomorrow.
02:32 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Self-Leveling said:
You, anonymous, were the one to try and taint the letter from the sergeants and tried to make this a union argument by spinning this to a lack of support from the “rank and file.” You obviously have shown your hand, got caught and now back pedal to a moral high ground. You discounted what comes from the leadership of the department in an effort to downplay what was said (written). I would welcome the insight of the union members should they choose to speak, but at this point the only group willing to come forward are the sergeants, which are obviously not backing your guy.

Please do not use the “I am better informed than you” thing. I am a reader and I research. This information is out there and all you have to do is look, although I am sure it will not change your mind. You are the one who has resorted to a smear campaign which most understand is a ploy to take the focus off of the real issues. Hypotheticals and hyperbole have no place here. Come with facts.
02:43 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Anonymous said:
Fact: Two deputies out of approximately 60 have chosen to endorse a particular candidate.

Fact: Nine sergeants out of 11 have endorsed a particular candidate.

Fact: The employees' union endorsed a particular candidate.

Fact: All three candidates had the opportunity to request that union endorsement. Only two bothered to do so. One received the endorsement.

I have made some inferences from these facts. You have done the same. Clearly we differ in the conclusions we draw.
03:37 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Self-Leveling said:
Fact: Two deputies out of approximately 60 have chosen to endorse a particular candidate.

You’re right. Two did, but this in no way suggests the others support your guy (as you would want us to believe). I am sure there is a split within the department. That is something that has gone on since the dawn of elections and hardly an indicator of the health of an organization.

Fact: Nine sergeants out of 11 have endorsed a particular candidate.

Darn. Right again. Wait, one is a candidate and, according to Don Dix, one chose to abstain. That leaves the entire balance supporting Svenson.

Fact: The employees' union endorsed a particular candidate.

Kind of. It’s like the parent company saying go ahead and use our name, but to imply it is the feeling of the members is absurd. A more accurate way would have been to go to the union directly and go for support through a general membership vote, not by going to a council where the local only sits among many. Great, a Portland local supports him. What do they care about our county???

Fact: All three candidates had the opportunity to request that union endorsement. Only two bothered to do so. One received the endorsement.

Let me get this straight. You expect a person in an administrative position to go after a union endorsement? Sure way to show you will lack the ability to enforce rule violations. Administrators and unions make strange bedfellows. Looks like your guy is a pro union supporter.
03:37 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Self-Leveling said:
I have made some inferences from these facts. You have done the same. Clearly we differ in the conclusions we draw.

We clearly have different conclusions. I don’t disrespect your passion of involvement, but do wish you do more research and fact checking. All of your examples are laden with subjective conclusions and that is something anybody can do.

Lets try this one:

Fact: “13 years” law enforcement experience, but only holds an intermediate certificate(s) (from the voter’s pamphlet). It took me two minutes to google “Oregon police certification” and find a chart showing the levels. So if I interpret the figures right, he should have his advanced based on years of service and education (again listed in voter’s pamphlet). If he has 8 as a deputy, where are the other 5? It lists Newberg so wouldn’t he be qualified for advanced. I’m no expert on that chart, as I just found it, but clearly an example of how things can be spun.

http://www.oregon.gov/dpsst/SC/Pages/CertChart.aspx
05:35 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Anonymous said:
If those certifications were the determining factor in who should be the next Sheriff, then Tim Svenson would likely win. But they are not.

If certifications are the all-important factor, then why doesn't DPSST require more of them? It seems to me it would be in the agency's best interest to require more and more certifications if those pieces of paper are critical to knowing how to be a leader. After all, the more people taking the classes and applying for the certifications, the larger the state agency needs to be to supply the product the cops are demanding. Yet even the agency with some measure of self-interest involved doesn't require more than minimal number of certifications. I wonder why that is?

Certifications do not the best candidate make. Especially for a job like Sheriff. Instead I'd rather vote for a man whose integrity I know to be of extreme reliability. The boss doesn't need to know how to fill every role in an organization; he needs to know how to effectively lead others to fill their roles to the best of their ability.

And I'd be curious to know how many of those certifications and how much budget experience Detective Jack Crabtree had when he took over the Sheriff's Office. By all accounts he turned around the budget and squared away some of the problems that plagued the Sheriff's Office at that time. I suspect the answer might be rather interesting.

I'd attempt to explain the certification chart to you, but I'm not sure I understand it myself. Nor do I know any of the candidates' training record well enough to properly interpret the chart.
09:20 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Self-Leveling said:
Certifications in and of themselves may not be the “all-important” factor in the making of a sheriff, but it does show the drive to the commitment to the community by continuing to strive to always improve and grow. And I am certain there are certain certification requirements with the department the higher you go.

You still generalize and paint this picture of certifications being unnecessary, but if that were the case the state would drop them. Instead they are in place to probably maintain the drive to improve an individual’s knowledge and abilities which only benefits us tax payers. For that matter I wouldn’t be surprised if the sergeants who do not endorse your guy are more qualified to be sheriff in their own right. Regardless, you seem to think your guy should get it because he has integrity and is reliable. I would think with all three being professionals they all have integrity and are reliable.

Onto the false argument of comparing your guy to the current sheriff. Again it took two minutes and a google search to find he was the detective division COMMANDER from 1997 to 2002. I am sure in that position it required oversight of budgetary issues and made recommendations. In essence he worked closely with the higher ups. You still want to make comparisons? Please don’t. I remember back to the Vazquez days and recall when Crabtree took over. He did turn the department around, but I doubt it was based luck and not preparation.

The points I make are because of the blind following of someone without really looking. Like I have said in the past this is not based on a name or because you know them. I don’t want that kind of high school drama being played with my money. We hold our elected officials accountable and trust they are positioning themselves well in advance of taking office. Why isn’t that the case with you?

http://www.co.yamhill.or.us/content/sheriff-jack-crabtree
09:48 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Anonymous said:
Okay. If a piece of paper (or several) are what drive you to vote for a specific person, good on ya. I'm not sure what the size of the Sheriff's Office was from 1997-2002, but Detective Commander couldn't have been commander of more than 2 or 3 other detectives. And I think you're assuming a little too much to think he had much/any input into the budget during those years. The detectives "division" in an agency that size is just an extension of the patrol division. All the budget numbers for the detectives would most likely have been run as a part of the patrol budget. Unless you have facts to assert otherwise?

Hope you remembered to vote. I guess we'll see what the citizens of Yamhill County think by this time tomorrow.
11:55 pm - Mon, May 19 2014
Self-Leveling said:
Good God. Who is coaching you? You have definitely shown you are part of a campaign and miss the entire point of the certification comment. The point is the lack of preparation to get to the point of deserving a vote for the sheriff spot. To discount any leadership experience regardless of how many a person commands (which sounds like you have insider information on) is irresponsible of your campaign to project. Oh, I assume nothing. I am not a voter who is swayed by what a candidate claims. I read and research. I have enough life and work experience to know what being in a supervisor position entails and contrary to your claim, supervisors do have budgetary involvement. It makes sense because they are the ones to apply what is directed from the top and a smart person at the top listens to the input from below. This works in both the private and public sectors.

Again, you have played your hand and all see and realize you are part of a campaign. We know which one. You speak of budgets and divisions, which shows full well you are part of it. You have resorted to smearing others rather than showcasing the skills of your guy, but when you do, they are generalities and rhetoric and nothing substantive. A leader isn’t a leader because he is a nice guy and pets my dog. A leader prepares himself to take the lead and is the first to take the blame. I see nothing from your campaign to show this preparation exists and you resort to bashing to muddy the waters. Way to go. I know who I am not voting for.

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