Sherman County eNews #237


pencil.sharpEditorial: Let’s Ask the Candidates for Sherman County Judge

The campaign signs are up! It’s time for Sherman County voters to ask Joe Dabulskis and Mike Smith, candidates for the position of County Judge, a few questions. It’s the responsible thing to do!

NOTE: Sherman County eNews is not inviting and will not publish candidates’ answers to these questions. That is not the intent. You ask the candidates! They may answer in person or in campaign materials.  eNews will accept news releases and letters to the editor submitted according to eNews policies:

  • NEWS RELEASES. Please submit event and information news, meeting notices and calendar dates by using the Submit News page. Include who, what, where, when, how & why with contact or source information. As appropriate, follow up with news of event results. Links are welcome. No posters or flyers. Keep it relevant, no longer than 350 words.
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. We encourage letters to the Editor that focus on ideas and opinions about public issues and events rather than personalities or private matters. We reserve the right to change policies at any time and to reject or edit any Letter to the Editor.
    1. Keep it short, no longer than 350 words.
    2. Keep it simple with one or two clear points. No attachments.
    3. Keep it fresh with no more than one letter per writer per month.
    4. Keep it civilized, in good taste and free from libel.
    5. Keep it relevant; focus on a local event, previous letter or issues of general concern – not personalities.
    6. Letters must be signed, name and town. Anonymous letters will not be posted.
    7. Please submit Letters to the Editor by using the Submit News page. 

Just ask!

QUALIFICATIONS for County Judge w/Juvenile Jurisdiction.

  • Let’s get acquainted. Tell me about yourself, your principles and values, education, employment and military and public service.
  • Why do you want this responsibility?
  • What have you accomplished in your current position or positions?
  • What one quality or skill makes you the most qualified for the position of county judge with juvenile jurisdiction?
  • Describe your qualifications for governance, planning and policy development.
  • Describe your qualifications for serving as juvenile judge.
  • Describe your participation in county activities.
  • What do you like best about serving on a team, committee or board of commissioners?
  • What are your thoughts about Sherman County’s future?


  • Has the county court ever made use of regularly scheduled long-range planning sessions to avoid bouncing from one reactionary decision to another?
  • Your thoughts on planning?
  • What are the county’s top three or four priorities? How were they determined?
  • Is county government, as currently funded and staffed, sustainable?
  • What can the county government do better?
  • How many people are employed by Sherman County government?
  • What is the population of the county? Is growth predicted?


  • 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. 


  • What are your ideas for economic development?
  • How has the Sherman County Fiber Project improved our economic development?
  • What is your position on local government competition with private enterprise – internet services, weed control, housing, senior center meals and news services, for example?


  • Does Sherman County’s Fiber belong to Sherman County or is it part of Frontier TeleNet? Who owns, manages and maintains it?
  • How is it funded? How much has been spent? Are additional funds needed?
  • How many Internet Service Providers use Sherman County’s fiber?
  • Are county government offices connected?
  • Are the Sherman County School and Sherman County Public/School Library connected to Sherman County fiber?
  • Will the fiber serve everyone in the county? Explain.
  • How has the Fiber Project improved our economic development?
  • What, specifically, is in it for me?


Frontier TeleNet, a Chapter 190 organization, has been a very successful Wheeler, Sherman and Gilliam communications service partnership. Three county judges serve on the board and contract for the services of Jeanne Burch, Day Wireless, Rob Myers, Connections, LLC aka Mike Smith, and Management Resources LLC aka Dan Devlin.

  • What are the counties going to do about the administration of Frontier TeleNet? It’s clear that Day Wireless, a contracting firm, is calling the shots; it’s equally clear that this is not an appropriate long-range management plan.
  • What actions have Frontier TeleNet board members taken in response to the recommendations made in the 2017 management and operations assessment?
  • When will Frontier TeleNet’s new website provide current information and 2018 board meeting minutes?
  • Federal E-Rate dollars follow Internet Service Providers that serve schools and libraries. What is the status of the $900,000 reportedly owed to Frontier TeleNet?


  • How was Rural Technology Group selected to provide internet service?
  • How many Sherman County residents subscribe?
  • Does the county subsidize Rural Technology Group?


Frontier Regional 911 Agency is a very successful four-county emergency dispatch organization. Board members are four county sheriffs and four county representatives. Frontier TeleNet provides its emergency communications system.

  • A 911 call center in Sherman County has been proposed. What is the need?


  • What is your position on funding public parks? 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? Facilities? Communication towers?
    • Sherman County Fairgrounds Proposed Event Center.
  • What is your position on weed control for local, county, state and federal lands and private contracts?

You’ll think of others! Call the candidates! Joe Dabulskis 541-442-5548 | Mike Smith 541-306-1202. Ask!