Letters to the Editor April 23, 2014

By The Curry Coastal Pilot April 22, 2014 09:58 pm

Appointments work

Remember the treasurer debacle?

Elected Curry County Treasurer Isabella Brock reportedly refused to provide information to the Board of Commissioners about County investments. The BOC could do nothing about an elected treasurer refusing to provide information on the status of millions of dollars of County funds. Our taxpayer money. 

The controversy spiraled on for nearly two years, consuming more and more time, and making more and more embarrassing headlines even outside of Curry County. Commissioners reassigned the tax collection function from the treasurer and even had locks changed within the administrative center. 

At the time, Brock said “What I want the people of Curry County to know is that the Treasury Office does not work under the Commissions of Curry County but is a separate elected office.” Apparently, a separate elected office that can refuse to provide financial information to the commissioners. Brock claimed she was being harassed by two of the commissioners. The situation was finally resolved when Brock resigned and the commissioners appointed Brock’s assistant Deborah Crumley as County treasurer. 

That’s right, the current County treasurer was appointed by the commissioners … and was then elected … running unopposed … in 2013. There has been no controversy with the Treasurer’s office since she was appointed in 2011. Under the proposed Home Rule Charter, Measure 8-76, a County administrator will set up a system to appoint the best qualified people to jobs like county treasurer, and will work with the commissioners in making those important employment decisions. 

Vote yes on Measure 8-76! 

Garth Richey 

Brookings

A Noyce Scholar!

I graduated from BHHS in 2011, and as an alumni of BHHS, and product of Brookings I just wanted to write to show my appreciation for those who influenced me in my life while there. 

I am now a student at California State University, Chico, and I am working toward two degrees in Science Education and Microbiology. 

On April 17, 2014, I received an email telling me that I was going to be honored as a recipient of a Robert F. Noyce Scholarship. This scholarship is provided for students across the nation who are planning and working toward a degree to become a math and science teacher. I just wanted to thank my teachers at BHHS, coaches throughout my athletic career, friends, and family back in Brookings for all their support and influence throughout my life. 

This scholarship is such a huge honor, and I am proud to say that I am now a Noyce Scholar. Without the support of my community, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. You all taught me that hard work, and dedication, as well as overcoming adversity and being driven will help me achieve my goals. And that is one of the best lessons to learn in life. 

I just want to say to my fellow classmates, and those still in high school, reach for the stars, anything is possible if you strive for it. Once again, thank you to everyone. 

Jillian McCool 

Chico, Calif.

Top and Bottom

I’m not sure how much the new auto parts store will add to the desirability and allure of Brookings as either a tourist destination or a place to live, but it will, at the least, make the north end of town look more like the south end.

Harry Freiberg

Brookings

C.C. Bar Assn. votes

The Curry County Bar Association conducted an anonymous poll via ballots of attorneys who either live in Curry County or have offices in Curry County, regarding the election of the Circuit Court Judge, Position 6, for the 15th Judicial District. 

The 15th Judicial District consists of Coos County and Curry County. A judge in Position 6 is based in Curry County, but sometimes presides over cases in Coos County or other counties when needed. 

The Curry County Bar Association submitted 26 ballots to the attorneys on April 8, 2014, that were to be returned by April 15, 2014. Of those 26 ballots, 21 were returned. Eighteen of those ballots indicated a preference for Cynthia Beaman, and three indicated a preference for Shala McKenzie Kudlac.

Carly Kruse, president 

Curry County 

Bar Association

Integrity, experience

I have worked alongside Judge Cynthia Beaman for six years. She and all of the other judges in our judicial district are top-notch. 

Judge Beaman is fair, intelligent, compassionate, and above all has integrity. 

Her rulings are confined within the scope of the law, but in some instances she can use discretion. This is where her experience is very important, because her decision might be based on the safety of all parties and our communities. 

Her love and dedication to our county is unwavering because this is the community she has chosen to raise her family. 

To be a judge is not an easy job, but Judge Beaman takes the time to try to explain to all parties on why and how she reached her verdict. Our Judicial District will be transitioning to eCourt in 2015. eCourt will be a paperless court and is necessary, but will be a difficult change and will provide a huge challenge to all judicial employees in our district. An experienced judge will be necessary during this change. 

On a personal note, I think Judge Beaman is a great woman. She is very involved as a wife, mother, and business owner in Brookings. Her energy seems endless and you can count on her to serve her district with the same enthusiasm. 

Please visit the courthouse to see that Judge Beaman is doing a great job for our court. 

I encourage you to vote for Judge Cynthia Beaman. Experience, integrity, and compassion do count. 

Julie Brown 

Gold Beach

Meaning of Easter

I would like to express my sincere words of gratitude to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They sent out invitations to several church groups, inviting others to come and share — our joy and love — with them ! 

I know, I know ... WE had to get out of OUR comfort zone, mingle with them other folks!

What a blessed night we all had. 

The obvious message was to love one another, and treat people how you want to be treated. I’m sure this is the message Jesus left us ... long after the stores tear down their bunny displays, and quickly set up for the next money-making holiday sometimes it just does well, to take that risk ... and meet with different folks, and share what we are supposed to be living. 

Thank you again for your wonderful hospitality, friendship, food and music!

Michael J. Freels, and Living Waters Foursquare Church

Brookings

Respect for Kudlac

I have had the pleasure of working with Shala McKenzie Kudlac, a candidate for circuit court judge, while serving on the Bandon City Council. 

I have found her to be professional and prepared in her dealings with the Council and Planning Commission. She has always had a practical solution-finding approach to legal matters within the city and has written code provisions with accuracy and thoroughness necessary for the position. She has guided the city through legal land use matters as far as the Oregon Court of Appeals and I have no doubt she has the temperament and experience necessary to be a judge. 

Shala has had my respect from the beginning of her career and continues to be a good example for young professionals in this area. Shala is an active member of both Coos and Curry county communities with a good grasp of the local people and what matters most to them. She will be a great asset to the local bench. 

Please join me in voting for Shala McKenzie Kudlac for Circuit Court judge. 

Brian M. Vick 

Bandon

Not this Charter

Curry County might be well served by a charter form of government, but NOT THIS CHARTER! 

Measure 8-76 is poorly constructed, leaving it open to legal challenges. This charter was developed “in over two months” according to the promoters’ website, hardly enough time to create a well crafted County Constitution.

Measure 8-76:

•Limits your right to vote for officials. Non-elected means we cannot recall those officials if there are problems.

•Mandates a non-elected administrator, putting an enormous amount of power in the hands of one person, overseen by “volunteer” commissioners with no requirements for active participation.

•Reduces transparency, allowing any two commissioners to meet about county affairs without public notice and oversight.

Measure 8-76 has:

•Poorly written, inadequate procedures for changing to the new form of government that will cause confusion, and waste time and money.

•A strong possibility of expensive legal challenges to sections of the Charter. Our county will pay those costs.

Measure 8-76 does not:

•Save money.

•Ensure better commissioners.

•Safeguard our voices in our county.

•Ensure a more efficient county government.

•Contain a “Severability” section like well-crafted Charters in our state ensuring that provisions or applications of the Charter which are deemed invalid in a court of law do not affect the rest of the Charter. Without this, the entire Charter can be deemed invalid, leaving our county in a crisis.

Measure 8-76 is bad for our county. Vote NO on Measure 8-76. 

Kathi Lindsay

Port Orford

Change is needed

The proposed Home Rule Charter, Measure 8-76, changes how we fill the positions of county clerk, assessor, surveyor, and treasurer. These positions require specific skills and should be filled by people who have the education and experience to perform these jobs as efficiently as possible. Candidates for these positions should go through an interview process with a professional administrator and prove they are qualified.

In today’s system the minimum qualifications … the only qualifications … for getting the job of county clerk, assessor, surveyor, and treasurer are that you be a registered voter in Curry County. They may be doing a fine job, but how do we know for sure? I know I don’t have time to sit in their offices for performance reviews.

Some say that our elected county department managers are evaluated by the voters every four years through the election process. Really? What criteria do we voters use to evaluate their performance? Does lack of controversy mean they are doing a good job? With no one really providing any oversight, how do we know?

When was the last time someone ran against an incumbent assessor, clerk, treasurer or surveyor? I cannot remember a time when I had a choice on a ballot? Could it be because to “apply” for one of these “elected” jobs costs thousands of dollars in campaign costs? You shouldn’t have to pay to apply for a job. Getting hired should depend solely on your qualifications.

Under the proposed Home Rule Charter, Measure 8-76, the most qualified candidate will be hired for these jobs. And candidates won’t have to pay a hefty fee to apply for the job.

Kelly McClain

Brookings

Where is the reality?

Dear Curry County Voters, 

General Law or Home Rule? Do you know the difference? Have you read the proposed changes yourself? Don’t let your vote be the result of someone else’s opinion. 

Having attended most of the community informational meetings, I am very concerned about the information being presented. Where is the reality? Don’t lose your right to vote! 

These changes will NOT solve the fiscal problems of the county. 

How can a board hire an administrator where this is no job description, criteria or expectations for the performance of this job? Section 34 of the proposed charter states that “the duties and responsibilities to be adopted by the Board of Commissioners.” How would an applicant for administrator accept such a job without a clear understanding of what is required? 

Remember Crabtree and the monstrous vacant “Green Building down in the Port of B-H? 

Please read the certified copy of the proposed Home Rule Charter and vote NO on Measure 8-76! 

J. Moger 

Brookings