Sherman County eNews #78


  1. County Court – Board of Commissioners

  2. Shared State and County Services Serve the Same Oregonians!

  3. Sherman County Court & Regional Coalitions

  4. Sherman County Court: Duties & Compensation

  5. Editorial. Let’s Ask Our Candidates for County Judge

 1. County Court – Board of Commissioners

Oregon.Flat.poleOregon Revised Statutes 202.010 “County court” defined. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the term “county court” includes board of county commissioners.

203.035 Power of county governing body or electors over matters of county concern.

(1) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, the governing body or the electors of a county may by ordinance exercise authority within the county over matters of county concern, to the fullest extent allowed by Constitutions and laws of the United States and of this state, as fully as if each particular power comprised in that general authority were specifically listed in ORS 203.030 to 203.075. [ for the Constitution of the State of Oregon]

(2) The power granted by this section is in addition to other grants of power to counties, shall not be construed to limit or qualify any such grant and shall be liberally construed, to the end that counties have all powers over matters of county concern that it is possible for them to have under the Constitutions and laws of the United States and of this state.

203.111 County governing body; legislative authority; quorum. Unless otherwise provided by county charter, a county court shall be the governing body and shall exercise general legislative authority over all matters of county concern and shall consist of the county judge and two county commissioners and a majority of those persons shall constitute a quorum. [1981 c.140 s.3 (enacted in lieu of 203.110)]

203.240 Organization, powers and duties of board.

(1) A board of county commissioners shall:
(a) Have the powers and duties and be otherwise subject to the laws applicable to county courts sitting for the transaction of county business.
(b) Unless provided otherwise by county charter or ordinance, consist of three county commissioners. A majority of the board is required to transact county business.

204.010 Terms of office of county officers. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the term of office of each officer mentioned in ORS 204.005 is four years.

204.020 When terms of office commence; filing certificate of election, oath and undertaking. (1) The term of office of each officer mentioned in ORS 204.005 shall commence on the first Monday of January next following election to office.

204.601 Number and appointment of deputies and other employees.

(1) The county court or board of county commissioners of each county shall fix the number of deputies and employees of county officers whose compensation is to be paid from county funds.
(2) All such deputies and employees shall be appointed by such county officer, and shall hold office during the pleasure of the appointing officer. [1953 c.306 s.9]

5.020 Juvenile court jurisdiction in certain counties. The county court of counties from which no transfer of jurisdiction is made under ORS 3.260 or 3.265 or other provisions of law shall have all juvenile court jurisdiction, authority, powers, functions and duties.

 2. Shared State and County Services Serve the Same Oregonians!

The State:

–general administrator

—state property manager

—state courts, patrol, prison

—child protection

—mental health hospital



—state parks.

Services Shared by County and State:


—assessment and taxation

—PERS [Public Employees Retirement System]


—county jails [Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility]

—community corrections [Tri-County Community Corrections]

—court security

—district attorney

—9-1-1 [Frontier Regional 911 Agency]

—juvenile services

—aging services [Community Action Program of East Central Oregon]

—alcohol/drug programs

—children and families

—developmental disabilities

—mental health services [Tri-County Mental Health / Center for Living]

—veterans’ services [Tri-County Veterans Services]

—public health [North Central Public Health District]

—environmental health


—economic/community development [Mid-Columbia Economic Development Dist.]


—roads [Oregon Department of Transportation, Sherman Count Road Dept.]

—housing [Mid-Columbia Housing Authority]

—Oregon Plan

—public forests

—federal land policy

—telecommunications [Frontier TeleNet, Sherman, Gilliam & Wheeler]

—county fair [Sherman County Fair]




—property management


—county law library

—sheriff patrol

—medical examiner

—animal control

—solid waste


—capital projects

—county forests, parks


~Association of Oregon Counties 

3. Sherman County Court & Regional Coalitions

pencil.sharpRegional coalitions, formed by contracts between two or more counties or counties and the state, centralize and economize the receiving and administering of state-and federally-funded programs that are shared between the counties — including Sherman County. Commissioners at these meetings determine policy, direction, program priorities and outcomes.

A good example is the Mid-Columbia Center for Living / Tri-County Mental Health Board. This Board employs administrators and mental health professionals to provide services for Sherman, Hood River and Wasco Counties from offices in The Dalles, Hood River & Moro with state and federal funding for the three counties. State and federal funding streams are not distributed to single counties of our size, but to groups of counties by the efficient use of one administrative office and joint staff.

The same is true for other boards where county commissioners exercise leadership and opinions on behalf of Sherman County citizens and their interests. In some cases, this representation involves legislative action, visits to legislators and editors of major newspapers, prioritizing regional interests and making sure that Sherman County receives its share of services. Regional and statewide views are important to all of us — the bigger picture that affects us in a multitude of ways.

Our Commissioners and County Judge influence the policies, budgets, personnel and programs of REGIONAL boards, including but not limited to these:

  • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District
  • Mid-Columbia Community Action Council
  • Tri-County Corrections
  • Frontier TeleNet
  • Frontier Regional 911 Agency Dispatch Center
  • Tri-County Mental Health – Center for Living
  • North Central Public Health District
  • Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility / NORCOR (regional jail)
  • Lower John Day Regional Partnership
  • Lower John Day Area Commission on Transportation
  • Association of Oregon Counties

… in addition to local boards:

  • Sherman County Weed District
  • Sherman County Fair
  • Sherman County Public/School Library
  • Prevention Coalition
  • Senior & Community Center Advisory Committee
  • Local Public Safety Coordinating Council.

4. Sherman County Court: Duties & Compensation

pencil.sharpThe Sherman County Court (a county judge and two commissioners) considers a wide range of services, some shared with the state and some reserved for the county.

Members of the Sherman County Court are paid. Their work is substantially supported by the work of an Administrative Assistant, Finance Officer, Clerk, Treasurer, legal counsel and others, as well as personnel working for state and regional government entities that deliver services to Sherman County.

In addition to attending meetings of the County Court, they represent the county on state, regional and local boards in a mutual division of duties. These assignments are a routine part of their work for which they report at meetings of the County Court.

Compensation for Fiscal Year 2017/18 is determined by the budget committee.

The current compensation for the full-time County Judge position on a seven-step salary schedule is $7,530/month, the top salary for the county judge position of $7,240, plus longevity pay of $290/month.

The current compensation for the half-time position of County Commissioner, Position 1 on the seven-step salary schedule is $2,573/month. This is at the second of the seven steps for a commissioner and is a .50 FTE (full-time equivalency) position (20hrs/wk).

The current compensation for the half-time position of County Commissioner, Position 2 on the seven-step salary schedule is $3,127/month.  This is at the sixth of the seven steps for a commissioner and the same .50 FTE (20hrs/wk).

These officials are eligible for all county benefits, Public Employees Retirement System and health insurance based on FTE and mileage. Compensation for all county employees is calculated on the schedule according to their classification, FTE and longevity, some on a merit basis. More information is found here:

5. Editorial. Let’s Ask Our Candidates for County Judge

sherrycaricatureElection Day is coming up! We encourage Sherman County voters to ask the four candidates for the position of County Judge a few questions. It’s part of the process! We’re interviewing them for this position.

It’s our responsibility to know why these four candidates want this responsibility and what they have accomplished or hope to accomplish on our behalf.

Let’s ask the candidates! 

  • Joe Dabulskis
  • Larry Hoctor
  • Fred Justesen
  • Mike Smith

Why? What?

  • Why do you want this responsibility?
  • What do you hope to accomplish?
  • What inspired you to run for office?
  • If elected, would you participate in County College?

Qualifications for County Judge w/Juvenile & Probate Jurisdiction.

  • Let’s get acquainted. Tell us about yourself, your education, military and public service and family.
  • Describe your previous work experiences?
  • What one skill makes you the most qualified for this position?
  • Describe your qualifications for governance, planning and policy development.
  • Describe your participation in county activities.
  • What are your thoughts about Sherman County’s future?

County Goals and Long-range Plans.

  • What are the county’s primary obligations?
  • What are the county’s top three or four goals?
  • Is county government, as currently funded and staffed, sustainable?
  • How many people are employed by Sherman County government?
  • What is the population of the county? Is growth predicted?

Strategic Investment Program (SIP).

  • Please describe the Strategic Investment Program (SIP) (wind energy dollars) and changes we can expect in future revenue.
  • Does the County continue to reserve a percentage of wind farm revenue?
  • Name three or four SIP-funded projects. 

Jobs & Economic Development.

  • What are your ideas for economic development?
  • What is your position on private enterprise for economic development? 

County Government Competition with Private Enterprise.

  • What is your position on county competition with private enterprise?
  • Weed control?
  • Internet services?
  • Senior Center meals?
  • Housing lots and subsidies?
  • Telecommunication?

Funding, Maintaining & Preserving Public Parks.

  • What is your position on funding public parks? Park partnerships?
  • Sherman County’s DeMoss Springs Memorial Park?
  • S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philippi Park on the John Day River?
  • S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Giles L. French Park?
  • Cottonwood Canyon State Park?
  • Sherman County Fairgrounds Event Center.

Telecommunication: Sherman County’s Fiber.

  • Is Sherman County’s Fiber Project on schedule?
  • Who owns, manages and maintains the fiber?
  • How is it funded? County SIP dollars and/or State?
  • How much has been spent so far?
  • Are additional funds needed?
  • Do you view the Fiber Project as comparable to a government highway on which Internet Service Providers drive – to provide services?
  • How many Internet Service Providers use our fiber?
  • Is it competitive?
  • Are county government offices connected?
  • Is the school district connected?
  • Does the fiber serve everyone in the county? If so, how?
  • What, specifically, is in it for me?
  • How has the Fiber Project improved our economic development?

County Internet Network.

  • How many Sherman County residents subscribe to Rural Technology Group for internet service?
  • Who owns Rural Technology Group?
  • Does the county subsidize Rural Technology Group?

Sherman, Gilliam & Wheeler’s Frontier Regional 911 Dispatch Center in Condon.

  • Who proposed a 911 call center to be located in Sherman County?
  • What is the need?
  • Who would pay for it?
  • Would it be independently sustainable?

You’ll think of other questions! Ask them! Call the candidates! Ask! We’re in this together! One of them will represent and work for us!


Sherman County eNews #77


  1. Public Notice. Sherman County Court, April 4

  2. Time to send in your John Day Dam and related stories!

  3. Editorial. Official Government Email Addresses

  4. Never Too Late?

  5. Class: Growing Grit in the Gorge

  6. On a Lighter Note | Old & Obsolete Expressions

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

“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” —Samuel Adams (1749)

1. Public Notice. Sherman County Court Draft Agenda, April 4

Note the draft agenda for the Sherman County Court session scheduled for Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at 9:00 a.m.  This session will be held in the Hearings Room at the Sherman County Courthouse Addition, 500 Court Street, Moro, Oregon, 97039. The agenda, including updates, will be posted on the Sherman County Website at

~ Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant (541)-565-3416


 CoCourt.Agenda April 4 2018

2. Time to send in your John Day Dam and related stories!  It is time to put together the Spring 2018 issue of Sherman County: For The Record and your stories are urgently needed.  

         This year marks the 60th anniversary of the start of construction and 50th anniversary of the dedication of the John Day Dam.  We are planning to have the Spring 2018 issue of SC:For The Record devoted to the era of the construction of the John Day Dam, Biggs/Maryhill Bridge, and related road and railroad work.  Did you or your parents work on any of these?  Do you remember the changes in the area as a result of the added jobs?  Did you and/or your family move to Sherman County at the time?  Did you attend the opening of the bridge or other events?  We want your stories; you are an important part of Sherman County history.  If you have photographs that go with your story, we will be happy to scan the photos and return the originals to you.   

         Please, send your stories to Sherman County Historical Museum, P O Box 173, Moro, Oregon 97039 or via email to (with subject line “Story for FTR).  We occasionally have problems with our emails, if you send an email and do not receive an acknowledgement of receipt please check back with us, museum phone number 541-565-3232 or Gladys Wesley at 541-565-0598 

         We are always looking for stories related to Sherman County for future issues of SC:FTR.  Please, keep in mind that the stories do not have to be about ‘pioneer’ days and families.  Time marches on and for the young people of today the events of the 1950’s and 60’s are as much history as the late 1800’s were when the Historical Society was started in 1945.  

Thank you,

Gladys Wesley

SC:FTR Editor

3. EDITORIAL. Official Government Email Addresses

By now we should be annoyed every time we discover that yet another public servant has used a private e-mail address for official business – local, county, regional, state or federal. 

We believe elected and appointed government officials should be required to conduct public business on public email accounts using official email addresses. We’re familiar with these:,,,, and

Here’s why:

  • An official is easily identified as a representative of an official public agency.
  • The email message is a public record.
  • It’s a matter of public trust and transparency.
  • It facilitates management of public records.
  • It’s the right thing to do.

On the other hand, conducting public business using a personal email address:

  • suggests that the message is one of personal opinion or business;
  • may not make clear whether the official represents an official agency or self;
  • puts trust and transparency at risk;
  • may be used to block the public’s right to access information;
  • may raise legal questions.

Public or Private:

  • Emails including a quorum of elected officials discussing public business have been held to be illegal meetings under the law.
  • If an email is made or received in connection with the transaction of public business, it is a public record regardless of whether it is created or stored on a public or a private computer, mobile device, or email system.
  • As with paper records, the rules about what has to be retained, and for how long, are based on the content of the record.
  • On a state government website, we note that a local official communicated with the state official about a local government matter using a private email account. Was the local official representing local government or self?

Oregon’s E-mail Policy Manual for Local Government may be seen here: .

4. Never Too Late?

Today let’s discuss some answers to the following question: “When is it too late for people to change?”

You know, there are a lot of people out there who believe that it’s never too late to change. There certainly is evidence out there that positive change can be achieved at any and every age, and in just about every human condition.

You have probably seen this happen, over and over again. There simply is no upper limit to the age at which people can decide to grow and change. But there’s a catch to believing it’s never too late, and here is the other side of the coin.

If you believe that no matter when you start out you will never be too late, it can lead to chronic procrastination. Change becomes something that’s always down the road, always in the future, always something you are going to do someday. But you know, there is one thing that waiting until tomorrow will make you too late for, and that’s the fullness of life today.

Just think about it. Every time you make a positive change in your life, it leads you to doors of opportunity and well-being that you couldn’t even see before you made the change. It also enables you to make other changes more quickly and easily. And it’s not just you who is reaping the benefits – it is everyone with whom you come into contact.

So you see, while it may never be too late to begin, the sooner you begin the greater your opportunities, the greater your possibilities. ~The Pacific Institute

 5. Class: Growing Grit in the Gorge

If this isn’t a class on Southern Cooking, then what is it?  “Growing Grit” is a new class offered through the Community Education Program at Columbia Gorge Community College this spring in which Gorge residents of diverse backgrounds and goals will learn to tap into and grow qualities of determination, patience, resilience, persistence, and perhaps even their feral nature as they aspire toward a heartfelt wholesome aspiration!  “No matter how active and engaged people are here in the Gorge, many speak of deeply held longings or heartfelt aspirations that they would like to pursue but they may lack some of the skills, inspiration, or motivation,” says Suzanne Burd, community education coordinator at CGCC.

The instructor Ellen Donoghue, PhD draws on the psychology of passion and determination, her own social science research on well-being and resiliency in developing countries and the PNW, as well as personal growth “grit” experiences as a competitive dog musher in the PNW and Alaska, and backcountry guide and enthusiast, Burd explains.   She adds, “Ellen teaches that each of us has experiences in which we exhibit aspects of grit, even if we do not always recognize some of them as such. The “Growing Grit” course explores how we use moments in the everyday flow of life to broaden and deepen our sense of inner strengths such as confidence and determination into areas where we aspire toward wholesome heartfelt longings, whatever they may be!”

Growing Grit! will be at the HR Campus, Thursday evenings, April 5th – May 3rd, 6-7:30pm, $79.  Registration is required by April 3rd.  For details and registration, call CGCC student services at (541) 506-6011 or visit

6. On a Lighter Note | Old & Obsolete Expressions

smile cartoonMergatroyd! Do you remember that word? Would you believe that spell checker did not recognize the word Mergatroyd? Heavens to Mergatroyd!

The other day a not so elderly (I say 75) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy and he looked ather quizzically and said “What the heck is a Jalopy?” He never heard of the word jalopy!

She knew she was old….. but not that old. Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after
you read this and chuckle.

About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology.

These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.”

Back in the olden days we had a lot of ‘moxie.’ We put on our best ‘bib and tucker‘ to’ straighten up and fly right’.

Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley!  We were ‘in like Flynn’ and ‘living the life of Riley,” and no one could accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A., of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers…and saddle stitched pants.

Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, Well, I’ll be ‘a monkey’s uncle! or This is a ‘fine kettle of fish! we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent, as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues, pens and our keyboards.

Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind.  We blink, and they’re gone.

Where have all those great phrases gone?  Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Wake up and smell the roses.

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing. “Carter’s Little Liver Pills” are gone too!

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeable times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory.  It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging. Leaves us to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth…

See ya later, alligator! Okidoki

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

boy.puzzledVolunteers pick up tons of trash from Oregon beaches

Welcome to Eastern Oregon

Videos: Eastern Oregon Visitors Association

Focusing on School Safety After Parkland

Commentary: Parkland-Style Shootings Are Devastating but Highly Unusual

Prager U. | Blacks in Power Don’t Empower Blacks

Words | Yes, Yep & Yup, Aye Aye

The Great Inflation Mystery

H.R. 1625: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018

Senate Sends 2,232-Page Omnibus Spending Bill to Trump