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Letters back candidates for 509-J School District Board and Jefferson County jail levy.

Let's not go back to the matrix days

Yes or no, let's look at a bit of history. I was the sheriff when we voted to build the jail and set up the current operational plan. Since contracting to other agencies has come to an end, the passage of the proposed sheriff's jail levy is critical. Why?

We had catch and release (matrix as Sheriff Adkins calls it) when we lacked the room and personnel before the current jail building and operational levy. Many of you remember those days and several actively put this system together through the Sheriff's Advisory Committee.

If this levy fails, I am certain we will revisit the total downfall of the criminal justice system. The jail makes people listen to judges and parole officers. The jail is where people who don't follow society's rules ultimately are held accountable. If there really is no room to hold people in jail, the lawless have no reason to comply.

I recall, as do many of you, what it was like. People would get arrested and released due to a lack of space. Once back on the street, they had only a court date and several would end up arrested again, and sometimes again, before a court appearance on the first charge (victimization really went up).

It was also common for those released with a court date to not appear as directed because the court's response was to issue a warrant for failure to appear. You got it; they would eventually get arrested again and be released (matrixed out) with another court date, because there was no space for a nonviolent offender. Once they finally completed the court process and were found guilty (if they received jail time to be served in the county's jail, they were put on a list) and it was very common they would actually spend very little, if any, actual time in jail.

It was also common probation would be part of the sentence, but without jail space, if they failed to comply with the probation officer, a warrant could be issued, but just like the court problem, they eventually were arrested and released with a court date. Again, insult to injury after a statutory amount of time, the actual sentence expired and they ultimately were never held accountable.

So, the victim was left without justice and we wasted the money on arrest, prosecution, court and parole and probation. System failure! Public safety? Bad guy wins; we lose!

Jack Jones

Culver

A small price to pay for added safety

Our current Jefferson County ballot includes a levy for our jail. When this was built over 20 years ago, our crime in the county went down noticeably. Before there was "room" for someone to serve time, they had to wait until there was space available, or they were given a reduced serve time because of small space available. It was called "catch and release," and usually more crime occurred because criminals knew there was little or no time to serve for their convicted crimes.

We have been fortunate to have had other counties help pay for our jail costs, but everyone knew that the day would come we would have to foot our own bill. That time has come, and we need to step up to the plate and vote for a small increase in our tax to pay for jail costs. I urge you to vote yes for the jail levy.

Karen Esvelt

Madras

Richards provides faith in future

When I returned to my native habitat from the valley a few years back, I was worried about finding the next generation to care about our community.

I found one in Kevin Richards. Wow. Just wow.

Voters in the 509-J School District would be very well served by this impressive young man. I am impressed mightily by his educational background, his professional experience and his profound commitment to the well-being of our school district.

Kevin Richards is a product of 509-J. He wants the same quality education for his growing family. We should be so lucky to have someone like Kevin who is willing to devote his time and energy to our educational system in a community he loves and chose to raise a family.

If people like Kevin Richards are willing to step forward and commit themselves for our next generations, he has earned my vote and my enthusiastic support.

I urge you to join me in supporting Kevin Richards for a position on the 509-J School Board.

Marla Rae

Gateway

Miller's range of experience makes her best candidate

Your ballots have arrived and this election is equally as important to our community as any other. Please, dig out your ballot and vote as soon as possible. Your participation matters.

This election, I will be voting for Carina Miller for 509-J School Board, Position No. 5. I have been in various meetings with Carina over the years, and based on my experiences with her, I feel that she will be a vital voice on our school board for many kids that are underrepresented.

She has classroom experience as a Head Start teacher and has worked with some of our most vulnerable children through her work at Warm Springs Child Protective Services. I believe these roles have given her an intimate understanding of challenges faced by not only the children of Warm Springs, but the many children in our school district with learning differences and family dynamics that make our education system so essential to their success.

I believe that Carina will be an amazing advocate for all children and, perhaps equally as important, the teachers in our district. Listening and reacting to their daily challenges should be a primary focus of our school board, as well.

In addition to her prior employment experience, another of Carina's strength is that she does not shy away from respectful debate and discussion when strong, experienced folks say something that she disagrees with, and I believe that would be a tremendous asset to our school board. This is an essential skill when serving a school district where processes are deeply rooted, and where many issues are up for debate, discussion and even passionate disagreement on the part of the constituents served.

Although she is a mother, her child is years away from attending school and I believe this gives her a unique ability to be much more objective when confronting the many challenging issues our school board will face in the next few years.

While Ms. Miller's opponents for Position 5 have long resumes and connections to certain subsets of our community, I believe Carina's energy, her ability to listen, her local experience in the education and care of children, and her commitment to all the children and families in our school district will be an outstanding benefit to the kids of Jefferson County. I encourage you to vote for Carina Miller for Jefferson County School Board, Position No. 5.

Michele Gemelas

Madras

Kevin Richards: Strong background

I'm writing to voice my support of Kevin Richards for 509-J School Board. Kevin was a state FFA officer, 2000 graduate of MHS and currently has children enrolled in 509-J. He furthered his education with a B.S. degree in economics from Oregon State University and received a master's degree in Economics and Public Policy from Georgetown University.

The broad education he has received, along with the experience of growing up in this diverse community, has led him down a successful career path spanning both private and public spector. This career path has landed Kevin in Washington D.C., Vietnam, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, and now back to Madras to his family farm.

The above experiences make Kevin highly qualified to become a 509-J School Board member. Please join me in voting for Kevin Richards.

JoAnn Norton

Madras

Ex-coach/teacher backs Richards

As I voice my support for one of the candidates for school board positions, I would first like to commend the Madras Pioneer for so much information on each candidate. Reading through that data, I feel that Kevin Richards comes through with a superior education and work experience background to be of benefit to serving on the board.

His college education and work experiences in the area of economics I see as a huge plus in dealing with financial matters that come before a school board. The fact that his public school education was done from first grade through high school in Madras, although not a major concern, can still be a plus.

In addition to his background, I have a closer knowledge of the man he has become. Kevin came into the high school in Madras while I was still teaching and coaching. As one of his wrestling coaches, I had an opportunity to see him in a more personal setting. Kevin was always a hard worker, dedicated to the sport, as well as his academics. He was an excellent role model to his classmates and teammates. He was thoughtful, a good listener and worked very well with others.

Others running for the same position may be worthy candidates, but I cannot support them when I feel Kevin is the very best qualified to oversee the functioning of Jefferson County School District 509-J. I hope you concur and vote for Kevin as I will.

Chuck Alexander

Madras

MHS graduate is uniquely qualified for board

I met Kevin shortly after he returned from D.C. and was immediately struck by how committed he was to his family and this community. Spend any time at all with Kevin and you will instantly see the joy he has for his children and his desire to raise respectful, intelligent, and compassionate boys.

Kevin routinely visits his children's schools and demonstrates the sort of parent advocacy that I strive to install in all the parents I work with. Not only is Kevin dedicated to his family, he is also passionate about Jefferson County, as well.

Kevin made the most of his 509-J education and went on to acquire advanced degrees from prestigious universities. Despite the many opportunities available to him, Kevin chose to bring his family back to Madras and raise his sons in the same community that helped to raise him.

Kevin believes in this community and has shown that a strong education here can set the foundation for a prosperous future. Kevin's ownership of his family farm has given him a unique understanding of the challenges faced by Jefferson Counties' rural and highly diversified population. I have heard from his employees that Kevin is a fair and respectful employer who cares about them and their families.

In short, Kevin would make a wonderful addition to the 509-J School Board. I highly recommend voting for him, as I know that he will bring the same passion and commitment that he brings to his children and family to yours, as well.

Esme Orozco

Madras


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