Sherman County eNews #224

CONTENT

  1. Sherman County Court Notice & Agenda, Aug. 2

  2. Sherman County Fair: Two-Man Ranch Sorting Contests

  3. ‘Frontier’ directors approve contract renewals, will negotiate costs of AOC services, Motorola contract

  4. UNAPPROVED Minutes of Frontier Digital Network Board of Directors Meeting, July 21

  5. UNAPPROVED Minutes of Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Meeting, July 21

  6. Let Your Mind Off Its Leash

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


“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)


1. Sherman County Court Notice & Agenda, Aug. 2

The Sherman County Court will be in session on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, at  10:00 a.m. in the Circuit Courtroom at the Sherman County Courthouse, 500 Court Street, Moro, Oregon, 97039. The agenda, including updates, will be posted on the Sherman County Website at www.co.sherman.or.us.

SCCourt.8.2.17


2. Sherman County Fair: Two-Man Ranch Sorting Contests, Aug. 25

Two-Man Ranch Sorting Contests

Friday, August 25 7:00 pm

horse.cattlesorting

Sherman County Fairgrounds

Classes

 Open: Anybody of any level.

 Pro/Novice: One open rider & one rider that has NOT won money in sorting event

 Family: spouse, child, grandchild, aunt, uncle, sibling.

 Draw pot: put your name in & we’ll draw your partner.

Entry Fee: $40 per team

4 Ride limit per class. Must change one rider per entry.

 CTPA Rules

 1 go round with top 10% to finals.

 Added Money & Prizes

Registration & Questions:

Carrie Kaseberg

carrie@wheatacresranch.com

541-442-5521


3. ‘Frontier’ directors approve contract renewals, will negotiate costs of AOC services, Motorola contract 

Posted with permission of The Times-Journal, July 27, 2017:

Directors and others associated and contracting with and interested in the business of the Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet met last Friday morning, July 21, at the courthouse in Condon.  Directors of the entities include Gilliam County Judge Steve Shaffer, chair, Sherman County Judge Gary Thompson and Wheeler County Judge Lynn Morley. 

After minutes and financial reports were approved by the directors, the discussion went to the matter of the resignation Jeanne Burch, who has been contracting with the two ORS 190 entities for secretarial duties. She had tendered her resignation at a June meeting, but directors did not act on the resignation.

Burch indicated that she was concerned about liability issues and the matter of insurance was discussed and if it could be offered to those working under contract with the entity. Judge Gary Thompson indicated that normally a contracted person is responsible for their own insurance, but there were no answers offered at the table other than the matter will be passed on to City County Insurance Services, the insurance company which insures all three counties.  Meanwhile, Burch will stay on as secretary for the two entities through the completion of the audit.

Judge Steve Shaffer read a letter that had been received from Les Ruark, unable to attend the meeting, indicating concern about the public’s knowledge, or lack of knowledge, of the matters to be decided and strongly encouraging the directors to withhold final action on the contracts and duties of contractors, the matter of the Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet merger, the matter of contract compensation increases, the audit contract and any decisions regarding the proposal from the Association of Oregon Counties. 

Judge Morley responded to the letter stating that “We have to move forward, I’ve read the ORS and public meetings laws. We’re doing nothing wrong.”

Judge Thompson responded saying, “It’s disruptive.” 

Judge Shaffer responded saying, “The contracts are legitimate; there have been no changes of scope and they’re doing what we’ve asked.”

Regarding contract renewals, it was noted that the Frontier Digital Network/Frontier Telenet contracts with Day Wireless renew automatically, but dates of the renewals, but no one could say what dates the contracts renewed.

The contract with general manager/lobbyist Rob Myers ended in June with his retirement, but subsequently during the meeting, directors agreed to hire Myers back on an hourly basis as needed, at $40 per hour. 

Also subsequently in the meeting, directors approved the contract renewal with Mike Smith, doing business as Connections, LLC, as marketing director with a $500 a month increase in monthly contract payments, bringing that monthly total to $6,750. Directors also officially approved renewing the contract with Jeannie Burch for secretarial services with an increase of $800 per month, bringing that total to $1,800 per month, pending the resolution of the insurance coverage issue.

Continuing the discussion regarding assistance from Association of Oregon Counties in guiding the leadership of the two Frontier entities on matters of structure, public engagement, governance, communications and other public body matters, directors questioned the costs associated with the AOC proposal and the need for the assistance. AOC’s cost for the assistance would be $17,000 for the 15-20 interviews and studies to be done over a three-month period. 

Judge Morley questioned if the assistance “is really necessary.” 

Directors agreed to negotiate a lower price for the service. 

Also struck by the price of a new four-year Service Update Agreement with Motorola for digital switch components, directors agreed to negotiate further with Motorola before signing the contract. A four-year contract just concluding has called for payments of $190,000 a year. The new contract calls for payments of $230,000 per year. A deadline to sign the new contract is Aug. 31. 

Regarding the pending merger of Frontier Digital Network with Frontier Telenet, the by-laws of the entities had not been referred to determine if a merger or dissolution process was already spelled out. But it was suggested at the meeting by legal counsel Will Carey that, rather than a merger, Frontier Digital Network be dissolved and its assets be transferred to Frontier Telenet. 

Developed originally for specific purposes, the functions of Frontier Digital

Network and Frontier Telenet are more closely the same, eliminating the need for two separate entities.  While Mike Smith suggested that the change would not need to be approved by each of the three county courts, it was subsequently agreed that the change would need to be ratified by Gilliam, Wheeler and Sherman county courts.

In other matters, Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet directors:

— agreed to look into developing a website, which is expected to cost under $10,000.

— heard Judge Morley report that the state legislature had approved the change in Wheeler County’s plan to expand broadband in the county using the existing wireless system.

— heard Mike Smith report that an agreement had been signed with the landowner where a new tower will be installed to better serve Cottonwood Canyon State Park area, but talks continue on the size of the tower needed.

— approved a letter of engagement and contract with the Oster Professional Group for audit preparation, which is already in progress.

— agreed to send out a request for proposals for the project to install fiber line from Wasco to Rufus on behalf of Sherman County, pending legal counsel approval.

— approved a contract with the Burns-Paiute Tribe for services of Frontier Telenet and request for alternative options for connection.

— heard that Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet records have been moved from the home of Rob Myers to the courthouse.

— approved a cap of $5,000 on spending for Mike Smith, marketing director, without prior authorization of the board chair, and up to $10,000 with board chair approval.

— approved allowing Light Speed Network to collocate broadband connections at Frontier Telenet facility at Slatt substation near Arlington, pending approval of legal counsel and the land owner where the facility is located.

— heard Judge Gary Thompson ask that board members speak with Sherman County commissioners Tom McCoy and Joe Dabulskis “to educate them” the functions and importance of the two Frontier entities. 

Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet directors will meet again in public session Friday, August 18, 9 a.m. at the courthouse in Condon.


4. UNAPPROVED Minutes of Frontier Digital Network Board of Directors Meeting, July 21

FRONTIER DIGITAL NETWORK

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

JULY 21, 2017

MINUTES

         The regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Frontier Digital Network was called to order by Chairman Judge Steve Shaffer at 9:16 AM.  This meeting held in the Courtroom of the Gilliam County Courthouse in Condon, Oregon.

         Directors Present:  Judge Steve Shaffer, Judge Gary Thompson and Judge Lynn Morley. Also Present:  Mac Stinchfield, Todd Cox, Steve Wynn, Elizabeth Farrar, Kathryn Greiner, Rachel Weinstein, Will Carey, Mike Smith, Rob Myers and Jeanne Burch.

         Public Input/Comment:  None

         Directors’ Changes or Additions to Agenda:  Merger Conversation between Frontier Digitial Network and Frontier Telenet.

         Minutes:  Minutes of June 16, 2017 meeting reviewed.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve minutes as presented.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Financial Statement:  Moved by Gary Thompson, seconded by Lynn Morley to approve Financial Statement for June 2017.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         The resignation of Jeanne Burch:  Board has not accepted resignation.  Jeanne stated she is still concerned about liability and Steve Shaffer reported that he has been trying to contact City County Insurance to inquire about the coverage for contractors.  This item tabled until further information is received.  Jeanne is willing to stay on until this matter is resolved and fiscal year audit is complete.

         Review of Existing Contracts and Duties of Contractors.  Mike Smith is working with Rob Myers to review the existing contracts and renewal requirements.

         Cottonwood Tower Contract:  This item is a Frontier Telenet Agenda Item.  No action in this meeting.

         Wheeler County Wireless Project:  This item is a Frontier Telenet Agenda Item.  No action in this meeting.

         Association of Oregon Counties (AOC)  Assistance Contract:  Judge Shaffer reported he has received communication from Greg Wolf, who works for AOC, regarding assisting in organizing Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet.  Contract quote is for $17,000.00 and Steve Shaffer feels this is very high.  Steve Shaffer asked for direction from Board.  Gary Thompson believes it is way too high considering the size of these organizations.  Lynn Morley stated he does not think it is  necessary to spend this kind of money on this type of project.  Steve Shaffer asked for direction and it was decided this item will be discussed in the Frontier TeleNet meeting.

Website and Other Social Media:  Mike Smith reported he has been trying to find a web site developer.  Elizabeth Farrar is too busy with other projects to do this one.  Mike asked the board to give him direction on how they wish him to proceed.  The board directed that Mike should get three quotes and bring back to the next Frontier Digital Network or Frontier TeleNet Board Meeting.

         SUA II Motorola Service Contract Proposal:  This contract is for the digital switch and components.  There is a substantial increase.  Mike Smith stated he needs more time to get this in place.  Day Wireless stated there is a substantial increase in cost and pointed out that maintenance services are on top of this cost.  It was also noted that this was negotiated down to $230,000.00 from $300,000.00.  This offer will expire on August 31, 2017.

         Discussion and Approval on possible contractors compensation increases.  This item will be discussed in Frontier Telenet Board Meeting.

         Audit Contract and Engagement Letter:  Jeanne Burch reported that the Oster Professional Services contract for fiscal year auditing had gone astray and that a signed contract and engagement agreement needs to be sent to Oster.  Moved by Gary Thompson, seconded by Lynn Morley to approve Oster Professional Services engagement letter and audit contract for Fiscal Year 2016-2017.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Public Input/Comment-None

         Next Meeting:  August 18, 2017 in Sherman County at 9 AM.

         There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 10:05 AM

Respectfully Submitted:

Jeanne E. Burch

Frontier Digital Network Staff


5.UNAPPROVED Minutes of Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Meeting, July 21 

FRONTIER TELENET

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

JULY 21, 2017

MINUTES

         The regular meeting of the Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Meeting was called to order by Judge Steve Shaffer at 10:06 AM.  This meeting held in the Courtroom of the Gilliam County Courthouse in Condon, Oregon.

         Board of Directors Present:  Judge Steve Shaffer, Judge Gary Thompson and Judge Lynn Morley

         Also Present:  Todd Cox and Steve Wynn, Day Wireless Systems, Mac Stinchfield, Times- Journal Newspaper, Kathryn Greiner, City of Condon, Rachel Weinstein, Giliam County Community Development, Will Carey, Legal Counsel, Elizabeth Farrar, Rob Myers, Mike Smith and Jeanne Burch.

         Directors’ Changes or Additions to Agenda:  None

         Minutes:  Minutes for June 16, 2017 and June 29, 2017 (Special Meeting) reviewed by Directors.  Steve Shaffer noted his name is misspelled once in the June 29, 2017 minutes.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve minutes of June 16, 2017 and June 29, 2017 minutes with correction.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Financials:  June Financial Statement reviewed.  Mike Smith discussed pricing structure and bandwidth expense.  Mike Smith and Rob Myers will be meeting to review contracts and pricing.  Moved by Gary Thompson, seconded by Lynn Morley to approve June Financial Statement as presented.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Resignation of Jeanne Burch:  Jeanne Burch stated she is still very concerned about liability insurance for contracted services.  Steve Shaffer has been trying to reach City County Insurance about this issue and will contact agent, John Anderson of Wheatland Insurance.  This item tabled until information is received.

         Review of Existing Contracts, Contractors and Duties of Contractors.  A lengthy discussion held on contracting goals and what is needed in the contract renewals.  It was agreed that marketing is very important.  A question had been raised by outside entities if the $52,000.00 in additional revenue has been achieved by marketing director.  The following was reported:  Burns Tribe an additional $60,000.00.  $265,000.00 from the State of Oregon for the digital switch.  Presently negotiating e-rate renewal and Harney and Lake Counties are in negotiation for services.  Goals of $52,000.00 met as over $325,000.00 have been brought in as of now.

        

         Letter from Les Ruark:  Mr. Ruark requested the following letter be read into the record:

“For the Record.

“20 July 2017

“Steve Shaffer, Chair

“Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors

“Condon, Oregon

“Steve:

         “For the record, I respectfully request there be no final action taken Friday by Frontier TeleNet’s board on agenda items 7, 8, definitely 17, and 18 (the latter item pending the specifics to be determined of the proposed AOC assessment and its resulting MOU).

         “To move forward on either of these significant and substantive matters (certainly and especially items 7 and 17) without first having provided the record-building agenda support material for each (of which none has been readily made available to date, that I’m aware of), and in turn providing a fair and truly meaningful opportunity for interested persons (aka the public) to access this record and subsequently weigh in on it, would be to unduly, purposefully, and unnecessarily, leave meaningful solicitation and serious consideration of public comment by the wayside.

         “With regard to the AOC proposal to conduct an assessment of Frontier TeleNet’s past and current work, and facilitate the forging of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reflecting how to proceed with the results of that assessment, as I’ve previously indicated, I certainly support putting this collective effort in place and as quickly as possible.

         “Nonetheless, as I’m viewing the effort as it stands today, there should not be formal action taken Friday in this matter—if that’s what’s contemplated—until such a proposed agreement has actually been committed to writing and disseminated to all interested parties, with adequate opportunity afforded them to react to and comment on it, and, that comment is then seriously considered at a subsequent board meeting.

         “To my knowledge, all that’s been referred to to date, as a proposed agreement, is an informal outline of the major elements of what could be involved, that’s been shared by AOC with (essentially) a limited number of the interested parties involved.   There’s been no definitive proposed agreement (an AOC “contract” as the agenda refers to this matter) placed on the table Friday that I’m aware of—as had been anticipated, or at least as I understood would occur.

         “Frankly, it’s surprising and disappointing there’s been no agenda support material prepared by now for Friday’s meeting, reflecting the serious attempt that’s needed here to proceed with arriving at an agreement that puts in place the assessment and MOU.

         “Preparation of such “asm” could likely have precluded the need there now is for having to have yet another meeting to achieve the appropriate and needed steps to get this effort underway. Whatever, it is what it is.

         “Please have this comment incorporated into the record of the board’s meeting Friday. Since I will be working wheat harvest operations, I’m unable to attend Friday’s meeting.

         “Thank you.

         “Sincerely,

“Les Ruark

“@gmail.com

“(541) 454-2511”

 

         Director Lynn Morley objected strongly to this letter and requirements and stated that Frontier TeleNet must go on with their business.

         Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve contracts with Connections LLC and Jeanne E Burch. Jeanne Burch stated her renewal would be contingent on solving insurance questions.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Update on Frontier TeleNet/Frontier Digital Network Merger.  Legal Counsel Will Carey reported on how the merger of Frontier TeleNet/Frontier Digital Network will take place.  Will Carey recommended that Frontier Digital Network be terminated.  Each County will need to pass an ordinance and all Frontier Digital Network assets will go to Frontier TeleNet.  After ordinances are passed by each county, a copy of these ordinances needs to be filed with the Oregon Secretary of State within thirty days.  All entities that Frontier Digital Network has contracts with will need to be notified.

         Cottonwood Tower Update:  Mike Smith reported this project is going very well.  A land use permit has been approved and tower height has been solved with additional money becoming available.  A cell phone company is showing interest in locating on the tower.  Signed contracts will be coming soon.

         Wheeler County Wireless Project Update:  Mike Smith reported the State of Oregon has approved the changes to the Wheeler County Wireless Project.  Wheeler County has interim financing in place and Lynn Morley and Mike Smith toured the County and progress coming along very well.

         Light Speed Network (LSN) Request for Arlington-Slatt Usage:  Mike Smith gave an update of the needs for Arlington Slatt site and needs of Mr. Krebs and Arlington Co-Op TV.  Will Carey will look at lease.  Mike Smith stated he is opening conversations with other providers in the Mid-Columbia area.  Day Wireless sees no problems with drawings submitted on LSN needs.  CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Service) security issues discussed and Mike Smith suggested background checks for technicians are essential.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve co-location at Arlington Slatt location pending approval of legal counsel and landowner.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Assistance Contract:  The Directors agreed that the quote for AOC Assistance at $17,000.00 was too high for a small organization.  Steve Shaffer will discuss with AOC to see if there can be a lower rate.

         Website and Other Social Media and/or present public needs:  Mike Smith is pursuing this project and will bring quotes back to Board.

         SUAII Motorola Service Contract:  This item discussed in Frontier Digital Meeting.

         Sherman County Fiber Optic RFP for Wasco to Rufus:  It was announced that funding is now available.  Moved by Steve Shaffer, seconded by Lynn Morley to send out RFP for Wasco to Rufus Build with the approval of legal counsel.  Advertising to be done in Times-Journal, East Oregonian and The Dalles Chronicle.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.  Mac Stinchfield informed directors that every legal ad in smaller papers goes to a Statewide Network.

         Frontier 911 Burns Tribe Contract Request for Frontier TeleNet and alternative options for connections:  Mike Smith reported that just a few changes to the contract have been made and Frontier Regional 911 has signed and sent to the Burns Tribe.  Once the contract is signed, by both parties, the project must be done within 90 days.  A discussion  held on adding their agencies.  It was suggested that Frontier TeleNet talk to Harney County and see if Burns Tribe could co-locate equipment at the Harney County Courthouse.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve the Frontier 911 Contract with the alternative option of connection to Motorola Solution.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Discussion/Possible Vote and Approval of Compensation Increases:  Moved by Steve Shaffer, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve $40.00 per hour for Rob Myers as part of the transition from Rob Myers to Mike Smith.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.  Moved by Gary Thompson, seconded by Lynn Morley to increase Mike Smith to $6,750.00 per month and Jeanne E. Burch to $1,800.00 per month.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Audit Engagement Letter:  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Gary Thompson to approve the audit contract and engagement letter from Oster Professional Services for the fiscal year 2016-2017.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Other Items:  Mike Smith asked for direction if maintenance needs to be done.  Moved by Lynn Morley to approve up to $5,000.00 maintenance needs without prior authorization.  Maintenance needs between $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 need Board Chairman approval.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

         Gary Thompson requested that Mike Smith consult with Sherman County Commissioners McCoy and Dabulskis regarding Frontier TeleNet issues. 

         Steve Shaffer also stated that Frontier TeleNet is the last mile organization and not a middle mile organization. 

         Steve Shaffer also stated he is working with Zayo and other entities in the area regarding connectivity.  

         Will Carey suggested a Commissioner Orientation for all three counties would be a good idea so that Commissioners can understand what Frontier TeleNet does.

         A discussion held about cities in the three counties having a seat on the Frontier TeleNet Board.

         Steve Shaffer stated he feels we are not doing a  good job of getting information out about who Frontier TeleNet is and what they do.

         Public Input/Comment:  None

         Next Meeting:  August 18, 2017 at 10 AM in Sherman County.

         There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 12:45 P.M.

Respectfully Submitted:

Jeanne E. Burch,

Frontier TeleNet Staff


6. Let Your Mind Off Its Leash

As we here in the Northern Hemisphere bask in those lazy days of summer, a lot of us find that sunshine promotes some lively daydreaming. It’s a little like letting your mind “off the leash” to wander where it will. This valuable time to think can give us the opportunity for what Lou liked to call “ah-ha!” moments.

How many times have you suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, found yourself saying, “Yes! Now that makes sense! Why didn’t I realize this before?” Insights seem to come at the strangest times for some of us. They come in the shower, in the carwash, out for an evening walk, or standing in line for your morning espresso – in short, anywhere!

It seems that our insights come when we have given our minds time to think, without forcing answers on the conscious level. How many times have you given yourself a problem to solve, handed it off to your subconscious mind, and then let go of conscious control? Does this not sound “normal” to you? Well, believe it or not, given enough time, the answers you need come through, complete with all the details.

There is great value in giving yourself time to think, for active reflection is the launching pad for change and growth. Those few moments of quiet reflection allow us to drain away the stress of the day, and also focus in on what is truly important in our lives.

Give yourself time to think, time to focus your thoughts on what you truly want in your life. Let go of the conscious demands of the day, and wait for those insights that will surely come – maybe even at the end of your “leash!” ~The Pacific Institute


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

 

bird.crow.flyVacation Adventures in Oregon State Parks circa 1957

NY Times: Down the Mighty Columbia River, Where a Power Struggle Looms

Archaeologists find key to tracking ancient wheat in frozen Bronze Age box

Why Replace Obamacare with Anything?

US, El Salvador Team Up to Target MS-13 Gang Members

American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

10 Ways To Stand Up For Yourself 

North Carolina Just Made Drug Testing MANDATORY For ALL Welfare Recipients

The Petroleum Truth Report: Permian Reserves May Be Much Smaller Than You Think

Breitbart: Trump Awards Medal of Valor to Police in Congressional Baseball Practice Shooting

A solar eclipse is coming to America. Here’s what you’ll see where you live.

Gov. Kate Brown authorizes National Guard deployment for eclipse


 

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