Sherman County eNews #265


  1. Wasco County Historical Society Meeting & Program, Oct. 22

  2. Sherman County Medical Clinic’s Flu Shot Clinic, Oct. 11

  3. Frontier Telenet board moves to negotiations on personal services marketing contract

  4. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1. Wasco County Historical Society Meeting & Program, Oct. 22

dollars.coinsWasco County Historical Society invites the public to its annual meeting at noon Saturday, October 22nd, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, The Dalles. Rodger Nichols, journalist and historian, will present the program on “The Mint That Never Was.”  Luncheon reservations, $18 per person, must be made by the 15th to Jill Durow, 541-296-8400.

2. Sherman County Medical Clinic’s Flu Shot Clinic, Oct. 11

The Sherman County Medical Clinic is having their annual Flu Shot Clinic!

Tuesday, October 11th from 3:00pm – 6:00pm

For more information visit us online at

or call 541-565-3325.


3. Frontier Telenet board moves to negotiations on personal services marketing contract

~ By permission of The Times-Journal from the October 6, 2016, issue.  A weekly local newspaper covering Gilliam, Wheeler and Sherman counties provides news, town columns, a Sherman County column, editorials, letters to the editor, public and event notices, and advertising, a lot of “bang for the buck” for $35/year. It is owned by local folks, Macro Graphics of Condon, LLC, publishers McLaren “Mac” and Janet Stinchfield.

“Directors of Frontier Telenet met at the North Central ESD Building in Condon Wednesday, Sept. 28, to further the discussion and ultimately make a decision about hiring an executive director of marketing and agreeing on the job duties for the position. Directors included Judge Steve Shaffer of Gilliam County, Judge Gary Thompson of Sherman County and Judge Lynn Morley of Wheeler County around the table, and Supt. Robert Waltenburg for North Central ESD via a video connection from Dayville.

“Sherman County Commissioner Mike Smith was asked to update the board on the progress of fiber installation in Sherman County. He reported that the fiber cable has been connected to the digital switch at Erskine south of Moro, and should be ‘lit’ by Oct. 14. Fiber, Smith said, is ‘lit’ to the courthouse at Moro now, and the project of burying the fiber cable on to Grass Valley is progressing and should be completed to the Grass Valley City Hall “in about a week.”

“Smith indicated he would meet with the Grass Valley city council Monday, Oct. 3, to provide information about the fiber project and its capabilities.

“Judge Thompson acknowledged that Sherman County resident and Sherman County e-News editor Sherry Kaseberg had submitted a list of questions asking about Frontier Telenet, its operations, about the marketing director position and fiber projects the entity is working on, and noted that responses to her questions will be published in the next issue of the Sherman County newsletter, ‘The Reporter.’

“In submitting the questions, Kaseberg suggests that voters in the county ask the questions of the candidates for the Sherman County commissioner position and suggests, too, that “the county has not been transparent in the development of the fiber optic telecommunications system.” While not read aloud at the Frontier Telenet board meeting, they were made a part of the public record and include:

— What is the Fiber Project?

— When did the County Court decide to develop the fiber project?

— What are the county’s plans?

— Will additional employees be required for the fiber project?

— Is there a map of the project?

— How is it funded?

— Strategic Investment Program (SIP) dollars (county) and/or State?

— How much has been spent so far?

— Are additional funds needed?

— Is the work proceeding on schedule?

— Is the Fiber Project comparable to the government building a road or highway that everyone can drive on?

— Will this project serve everyone in the county? If so, how?

— What, specifically, is in it for me?

— Who owns the fiber?

— Who owns the system?

— Who will manage it?

— Who will maintain it?

— What will it cost to purchase fiber to distribute?

— Who will provide services?

— Will fiber use be competitive?

— Is it a monopoly?

— Is the school district connected?

— How is our County Internet Network doing?

— What is Rural Technology Group?

— How many Sherman County residents subscribe to Rural Technology Group for Internet service?

— How did Rural Technology Group win the Internet Services Provider?

— How is that working out?

“Discussions are continuing and moving forward in the matter of establishing a tower to accommodate internet service at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. Secured for the facility have been a hut, generator and power inverter and the plan now is to install a 60-foot tower rather than a 40-foot tower to better serve the canyon area and which will allow more opportunity for partnering with other entities and agencies.

“Sherman County Commissioner Mike Smith, who has been advising the fiber build in Sherman County and the Frontier Telenet board in its fiber deliberations, indicated that it is good to have the state partnerships in the local communications infrastructure creating the possibility of serving multiple agencies, and one of his goals is to have the state partner with Frontier Telenet in its digital switch at Erskine.

“The board talked about current and possible additional tower sites in Wheeler County to help provide communications and cell service capacities in Wheeler County. Frontier Telenet has a fully developed tower site on Keys Mountain and a radio system added to that location, costing approximately $300,000, would enhance service.

“Frontier Telenet has two other sites in Wheeler County and it was noted that an un-named company has expressed interest in installing a tower on Bald Mountain near Richmond.

“In continuing the discussion of the board’s request for proposals for a position new to Frontier Telenet, Judge Shaffer passed out a sheet to the directors present, with a sheet being e-mailed to Supt. Waltenburg, all seeing it for the first time, explaining Frontier Telenet’s need for a marketing director and delineating the duties of the position.

“Duties, in an abbreviated form, will include:

— Develop marketing strategies for short and long range issues, including pricing, potential customers and partners, recommending options to the board and implementing board directives.

— Identify a more diverse customer base.

— Maintain relations with customers and others in the industry and identify market opportunities.

— Provide short and long term forecasts.

— Determine and evaluate current and future market trends.

— Develop new uses for the existing system.

— Maintain database of marketing opportunities.

— Provide marketing information to the board.

— Achieve financial objectives by growing and diversifying the current customer base.

— Maintain professional and technical knowledge by attending workshops, reviewing professional publications, establishing personal networks.

— Contribute to the success of the network by accomplishing related results as needed.

— All other duties as assigned by the Frontier Telenet board.

“Skills and qualifications of the marketing director will include client relationships, managing processes, self-motivation, marketing plan, customer focus, marketing research, system value analysis, identify new customers.

“The board received one application for the position, but the application was not made available for review.

“Supt. Waltenburg noted that if Frontier Telenet is not just public safety now “if we’re in the internet business, we need to market.”

“Judge Shaffer made reference to the concerns that resident Les Ruark had submitted to the board at an earlier meeting, which suggested taking more time and making the process more public in deciding the necessity of the position and the qualifications of those who might apply, then asked for a motion to accept the proposal of the one applicant.

“After receiving a copy of the job duties, Supt. Waltenburg asked who the person would report to and what authority the person will have. After some discussion, it was suggested that the duties be reviewed by legal counsel, but without further action, Judge Morley made a motion to approve the job duties and offer the executive director of marketing position to the only applicant, Mike Smith. The motion was later amended to note that the application came from Connections, LLC rather than Mike Smith, though Mike Smith acknowledged that he is Connections, LLC, and that the board would move forward with negotiations with Connections, LLC on the duties and contract costs.

“Moving on to the board’s request for quotes to establish costs of the fiber building into Condon, it was determined that more clarification needs to be made in regards to the two phases that have been discussed at previous meetings. It was agreed that phase 1 would be to determine a cost for fiber buries in conduit from Arlington (or Cedar Springs) to Condon, and phase 2 would be from Condon to Fossil, either aerial or underground.

“It was pointed out that a draft of Frontier Telenet’s request for quotes had made it into the hands of at least two potential participating companies, and Kathryn Greiner, City of Condon administrator, requested a copy as well. No one accepted responsibility for the draft RFQs being distributed, but Judge Morley provided Greiner with a copy of the draft document.

“It is likely that the original draft RFQ document will be clarified before being officially sent out. It was suggested that companies have up to 30 days to respond to the request for quotes to provide costs for phase 1 and 2 of Frontier Telenet’s fiber build through Gilliam County.

“It was noted that the City of Condon had received four proposals from companies proposing fiber services to the city. They were reviewed by the city’s Fiber Committee and their consultants Monday evening this week. No announcements have been in that process.

“Judge Shaffer showed frustration in City Administrator Greiner’s interest in the Frontier Telenet board’s processes and adherence to public meeting requirements.

“ “Your goal seems to be to cause a fight,” Judge Shaffer said to Greiner, stating again Frontier Telenet’s goal, “to create opportunity for people to utilize the system to supply high speed internet to people in three counties.”

“There was no response to the accusation.

“A discussion was held, along with research into requirements of conducting a specific executive session, but none was found and the meeting adjourned. Frontier Telenet directors will meet again Monday, Oct. 17, 2 p.m. at the South Gilliam Fire Hall in Condon. The meetings are open to the public.”   

 4. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

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