Sherman County eNews #20


  1. Dear Mom and Dad: Cool It

  2. Notice. Sherman County School District Board of Directors Meeting, Jan. 29

  3. Notice. Sherman County Court Special & Executive Session, Jan. 30

  4. USDA Farm Service Agency Offices to Re-open, Jan. 24

  5. Beginning Genealogy Class at Discovery Center, Feb. 9

  6. Are You Doing What You Can to Prevent Cervical Cancer?

  7. Recipe for Strength and Resiliency

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

“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

1. Dear Mom and Dad: Cool It

pen.markerBy Karissa Niehoff and Peter Weber

If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Oregon, this message is primarily for you.

When you attend an athletic event that involves yourson or daughter, cheer to your heart’s content, enjoy the camaraderie that high school sports offer and have fun. But when it comes to verbally criticizing game officials or coaches, cool it.

Make no mistake about it. Your passion is admired, and your support of the hometown team is needed. But so is your self-control. Yelling, screaming and berating the officials humiliates your child, annoys those sitting around you, embarrasses your child’s school and is the primary reason Oregon has an alarming shortage of high school officials.

It’s true. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Sports Officials, more than 75 percent of all high school officials say “adult behavior” is the primary reason they quit. And 80 percent of all young officials hang up their stripes after just two years of whistle blowing.

Why? They don’t need your abuse.

Plus, there’s a ripple effect. There are more officials over 60 than under 30 in many areas. And as older, experienced officials retire, there aren’t enough younger ones to replace them. If there are no officials, there are no games. The shortage of licensed high school officials is severe enough in some areas that athletic events are being postponed or cancelled—especially at the freshman and junior varsity levels.

Research confirms that participation in high school sports and activities instills a sense of pride in school and community, teaches lifelong lessons like the value of teamwork and self-discipline and facilitates the physical and emotional development of those who participate. So, if the games go away because there aren’t enough men and women to officiate them, the loss will be infinitely greater than just an “L” on the scoreboard. It will be putting a dent in your community’s future.

If you would like to be a part of the solution to the shortage of high school officials, you can sign up to become a licensed official at Otherwise, adult role models at high school athletic events here in Oregon are always welcome.

(Editor’s note: Karissa Niehoff is Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Peter Weber is Executive Director of the Oregon School Activities Association.) ~Posted by permission of OSAA.

2. Notice. Sherman County School District Board of Directors Meeting, Jan. 29

Logo.Sherman High SchoolThe Sherman County School District Board of Directors will hold a Special Board Meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. This meeting will be held in the meeting room of the Sherman County School/Public Library. Agenda topics will include:

    • Review and Consideration of Proposed Revisions to Board Policy BBB – Board Elections. Board Consideration of Change to Nomination Process for Candidates for Election to the Sherman County School District Board of Directors.
      • Review and Consideration of Advice from District Legal Counsel.
      • Review and Consideration of Timelines for 2019 Elections.
      • Review and Consideration of Proposed Resolution 2018-19 02.

3. Notice. Sherman County Court Special & Executive Session, Jan. 30

ShermanCoLogoThe Sherman County Court will hold a Special Session at 10:00 a.m. on January 30, 2019, in the County Courthouse in the Commissioners Meeting Room, 500 Court Street, Moro Oregon 97039. The Court will meet in Executive Session starting at 10:00 a.m., in accordance with ORS 192.660 (2) (i) Personnel for the purpose of holding interviews for the appointment of the vacant Sherman County Commissioner position. Following the Executive Session, the Court will announce their decision in public session, with the swearing in of the newly appointed Commissioner at 2:30 p.m.

4. USDA Farm Service Agency Offices to Re-open, Jan. 24 

USDA announced Tuesday that all Farm Service Agency offices across the country will reopen Jan. 24 to provide additional services during the remainder of the government shutdown.

About half of all FSA offices were reopened on Jan. 17 for three days to provide limited services related to existing loans and tax documents. Those offices will continue to do so through Jan. 23.

All FSA offices will be open Monday through Friday from Jan. 28 through Feb. 8. After that they will be open three days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays if needed to provide additional services.

Producers should call their local office to make an appointment.

FSA will offer services related to the following:

  • Market Facilitation Program.
  • Marketing Assistance Loans.
  • Release of collateral warehouse receipts.
  • Direct and Guaranteed Farm Operating Loans, and Emergency Loans.
  • Service existing Conservation Reserve Program contracts.
  • Sugar Price Support Loans.
  • Dairy Margin Protection Program.
  • Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage.
  • Livestock Forage Disaster.
  • Emergency Assistance Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program.
  • Livestock Indemnity Program.
  • Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
  • Tree Assistance Program.
  • Remaining Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program payments for applications already processed.

5. Beginning Genealogy Class at Discovery Center, Feb. 9 

A beginning Genealogy class will be held on February 9, 2019, at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center starting at 10:30 a. m. in the downstairs classroom.

The class will cover organization, where to start your research, genealogy forms, best beginning strategies and record importance.

The class will be presented by Georga Foster. The class is free and open to all ages. The public is welcome.  A $1.00 donation to cover room rental fee is appreciated.

6. Are You Doing What You Can to Prevent Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States and each year, more than 4,000 women die from it. All women are at risk for cervical cancer and the main cause of this cancer is the human papillomavirus (HPV). These facts are helpful in understanding the impact of cervical cancer but more can be done.

Women can reduce their risk for cervical cancer with regular screening tests starting at age 21. Two screening tests can help prevent cervical cancer or find it early:

  • The Pap test (or Pap smear) screens for abnormal cells that may develop into cancer.
  • The HPV test screens for the HPV virus that causes these cell changes.

When found and treated early, cervical cancer is curable. The HPV vaccine can prevent most cervical cancers caused by HPV. Talk to your doctor about the recommended screening tests and HPV vaccine. This is your chance to do more to prevent cervical cancer.

Learn about screening services through CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP)

7. Recipe for Strength and Resiliency

An interesting topic of discussion came up the other day. A group of folks was talking about how some people perceive the economic ups and downs of late, and one of them said, “You know, the poor already know how to handle adversity. They deal with it every day. It is those who are suddenly hit with a job or property loss, those who have never had this happen to them before, who need the help.”

One of the most remarkable attributes of human beings is our ability to “come back” after a loss or failure. Like the words of the old song (written in 1936, during the Great Depression – and just as valid today): we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again. We can look at defeat as a new opportunity, a chance to grow and learn, and see the world as “new again.” However, if we aren’t challenged with defeat on occasion, we can forget how to be resilient.

So, the question becomes, “How do I get some of this resiliency?” Here are a couple of suggestions. Tonight, or when you have a few minutes to spare, write down 10 things that really went well in your life. It doesn’t matter when they happened in your life. After you have them written down, remember them, one by one. Feel how good it felt to succeed, to be a part of something truly wonderful. Go ahead and wrap yourself in those good feelings. As you do this, you are raising and reinforcing your self-esteem.

Next, take some time and write down 10 things that didn’t go so well. The point is not to tear down that additional self-esteem you just built. You want to remember how well you recovered. Yes, it was bad, maybe even awful, but you came out the other side, and you came out stronger and more confident. That’s building resiliency.

Teach this to your children, your parents, perhaps a friend or co-worker in need of a little assistance. And come to think of it, today would be a good day to start. ~The Pacific Institute

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

bird.owl.limb State bottle redemption rate reaches 90 percent

Tax Breaks: Oregon’s 2019-21 Tax Expenditure Report

Watch Your Words. Acronyms Easier to Remember

F/A-18 Cockpit View

Comparison of Health Benefits Offered to State Employees and Teachers

Map. Forest Ownership In The United States



Sherman County eNews #19


  1. Sherman County School Basketball Schedule Update, Jan. 24

  2. Notice. Biggs Service District Board Meeting, Jan. 30

  3. Notice. Gilliam, Sherman & Wheeler County Courts, Jan. 25

  4. Notice. Frontier TeleNet Board Meeting, Jan. 25

  5. The Times-Journal Has a New E-Mail Address

  6. Read All About It! John Day Dam, Highways, Railroads & Towns

  7. History Tidbits. Wanted: Sherman County Stories and Records

  8. How About Those Resolutions?

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

“Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

1. Sherman County School Basketball Schedule Update, Jan. 24

sport.BXboy2There was a minor error on the A Boys start time for the January 24 Arlington Junior High game that is coming up tomorrow. The A Boys will play at 4:00 at Arlington Elementary School.

~Jeanie Pehlke, Confidential Secretary
Sherman County School District
541.565.3500  |  541.565.3319 (Fax)

2. Notice. Biggs Service District Board Meeting, Jan. 30

The Biggs Service District will hold a public meeting on January 30th at 9:00 am in the Commissioners Meeting room at the Sherman County Courthouse, 500 Court Street in Moro, Oregon 97039 to discuss items relating to the Biggs Service District Audits, Water System Project, and to the District.

3. Notice. Gilliam, Sherman & Wheeler County Courts, Jan. 25

Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler County Courts

January 25, 2018 at 10:00 am

Jeanne Burch Building, 401 Fourth Street, Meeting Room, Fossil, OR 97830


1.0 Call to Order

2.0 Introductions

3.0 Amendments to the Agenda

4.0 Building Codes Inspecting Services Update

5.0 Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) 2.0 Boundary Changes – Tom McCoy

6.0 Frontier Telenet Update

7.0 Set next meeting date

8.0 Adjourn

4. Notice. Frontier TeleNet Board Meeting, Jan. 25

Frontier Telenet directors and advisers will meet following the Tri-County Court meeting on Friday, Jan. 25, 1 p.m. at the Jeanne Burch Building in Fossil. Both meetings are open to the public. ~The Times-Journal

5. The Times-Journal Has a New E-Mail Address

pencil.sharpThe Times-Journal now has a NEW E-mail address:

Please use this new email for all ‘e-correspondence’ with the newspaper.

6. In Case You Missed It: John Day Dam, Highways, Railroads & Towns

Sherman County: For The Record landed in members’ mailboxes in December. It’s a Sherman County Historical Society publication dedicated to preserving local history in stories, records and photographs. Imagine… Volume 36… 36 years of stories!

This volume features the John Day Dam and Sherman County on the 60th anniversary of the start of construction, relocation of highways, towns and railroads and the creation of Lake Umatilla.

Gladys Wesley, editor, compiled excerpts from the Sherman County Journal during the John Day Dam construction, 1958-1968, that are illustrated with 30 photographs contributed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others.

Peggy Bird Allen, Cindy Kaseberg Brown, Linda Macnab Krafsic, Shirley Watkins Blaylock and Nancy Grogan Bailey answered the call for stories about families and change during that period. George Fox, Sr.’s story about the inundation by the John Day Dam pool of the hamlet of Early on the John Day River is reprinted from the February 13, 1968, Sherman County Journal. Jennifer Macnab contributed “City Mouse, Country Mouse.” These are illustrated by photographs contributed by the authors or from the Sherman County Historical Museum collection.

Year-round, the Sherman County Historical Society seeks historical stories to publish in their “For The Record” series. Please mail your family and event stories to SCHS, P.O. Box 173, Moro, Oregon 97039 or contact Gladys Wesley, editor, at 541-565-3232.

7. History Tidbits. Wanted: Sherman County Stories and Records

time.hourglass1Read all about it in Sherman County: For The Record… local stories about families, places, organizations and events by local authors!

The Sherman County Historical Society invites you to share your Sherman County stories or records that came your way from earlier times in the county. Contact the Sherman County Historical Society, P.O. Box 173, Moro, Oregon 97039 or contact editor Gladys Wesley at 541-565-3232.

Information from diaries, letters, autograph albums, records and stories are welcome!  Consider recording your interviews of local story tellers – ask what they know or heard tell of brick yards, rodeos, movie theaters, the Grant-Maryhill ferry, fishing on the rivers or county events. Develop a short story around a series of photographs of a family or community event.

See a content summary for Sherman County: For The Record 1983-2018:  or

8. How About Those Resolutions?

For those who make New Year’s Resolutions, this is about the time that those resolutions tend to fall by the wayside. Rarely do resolutions make their way beyond a week or two – life and old habits tend to get in the way.

Part of the reason for this is that “resolutions” typically lack one extremely critical ingredient – commitment. The desire is there, and usually the need is there. But resolutions have a tendency to be “have to” as if we are pushing ourselves to do something that we really don’t want to do. And when we feel pushed, we push back. Our creativity goes into overdrive to get us out of what we “have to” do.

The past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about taking control of ourselves, and as much of the world around us that we can. We’ve talked about how we look at the world and our lives, if we are optimists or pessimists. We have also talked about taking personal accountability for our decisions and actions.

What we’ve been talking about is setting goals for what we want for the future. Here is where resolutions and goals part company. Goals are a commitment we make to ourselves to get where we want to go. And when we make our goals statements of fact, and fill them with action and emotion and purpose, we are creating an irresistible, magnetic draw to our future.

So, if you’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, and they are showing signs of fading into oblivion, go back to them and take a closer look. Do you see words and phrases like, “really would like to,” or “wouldn’t it be nice if I could,” or maybe even the word “should” with anything? (FYI, “should” is just another word for “have to.”) These are fuzzy words and they create fuzzy pictures.

Take each resolution and consign the fuzzy language to the trash heap. Put in words that drive a picture with a healthy dose of positive emotion. See yourself in this new picture, succeeding at whatever it is that you want to change in you. And if you don’t mind the suggestion, cross out the word “Resolution” and write in “Goals.” ~The Pacific Institute

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

Bird.Black.EnvelopeInstead Bless. We Will Declare.

World Map of Shipping Traffic Density

Shearing season on an Oregon sheep farm

Commentary. How Enriching the 1% Widens the Racial Wealth Divide

Commentary. Panic is on the Agenda at Davos – But it’s too Little too Late


Sherman County eNews #18


  1. Total Eclipse of the Supermoon, Jan. 20

  2. What’s Coming Up at Sherman County Public/School Library

  3. Reprinted: An Illustrated History of Central Oregon Embracing Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler,  Crook.  Lake and Klamath Counties State of Oregon. 1905

  4. Many Genes Influence Addiction

  5. Employer-Provided Benefits by Industry, Region, and Firm Size in Oregon

  6. Setting the Path to Your Future

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

1. Total Eclipse of the Supermoon, Jan. 20

StarPurpleArtTOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUPERMOON: There’s a total eclipse this weekend–and it’s going to be super. On Sunday evening, Jan. 20th, at 8:41 pm PST (11:41 pm EST) the shadow of our planet will engulf the full Moon, transforming the grey lunar disk into a coppery-red orb. Totality lasts for more than an hour. See

2. What’s Coming Up at Sherman County Public/School Library

The Library is open SCHOOL Hours
8am-4pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8am-7pm Tuesday and Thursday
10am-4pm Saturday.
REMINDER: if Sherman County School chooses to delay or close due to inclement weather the Library will follow suit.

Community Preschool Storytime – Every Tuesday at 10am
Join us for Preschool Storytime and crafts. Ages 0-6.

WEDNESDAY after school in the library.
Grades 6-12.
When it’s over, catch the 5:00 activity bus

January’s Book Club- Thursday, January 24 at 6pm.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

Crafts in Stacks Alcohol Ink Pendants – January 26 at 2pm
Come play with ink!
Alcohol ink is a unique medium. Vibrant colors move and blend to create beautiful shapes and shades. Have you always wanted to try alcohol inks? Now is your chance, everyone will make a pendant to use for a necklace or a key chain. We will also get to play with different types of papers and textures as we learn how inks react to different surfaces.
Ages firmly 12 and up

3. Reprinted: An Illustrated History of Central Oregon Embracing Wasco,  Sherman,  Gilliam,  Wheeler,  Crook,  Lake and Klamath Counties State of Oregon. 1905

An Illustrated History of Central Oregon Embracing Wasco Sherman Gilliam Wheeler Crook Lake and Klamath Counties State of Oregon. 1905, was reprinted in 2018 by Facsimile Publisher, Hardcover, New, $72.68. Online at

4. Many Genes Influence Addiction

“There are many ways that genes could cause one person to be more vulnerable to addiction than another. Just because you are prone to addiction doesn’t mean you’re going to become addicted. Itjust means you’ve got to be careful.” ~Dr. Glen Hanson

Scientists will never find just one single addiction gene. Like most other diseases, addiction vulnerability is a very complex trait. Many factors determine the likelihood that someone will become an addict, including both inherited and environmental factors.

Because addiction is a complex disease, finding addiction genes can be a tricky process. Multiple genes and environmental factors can add up to make an individual susceptible, or they may cancel each other out. Not every addict will carry the same gene, and not everyone who carries an addiction gene will exhibit the trait.

However, multiple lines of research show that addiction is influenced by genes.  For more information or resources contact the Sherman County Prevention Office at 541-565-5036.

Knowledge is Power.  When  we KNOW better we can DO better.  ~ Sherman County Prevention Coalition

5. Employer-Provided Benefits by Industry, Region, and Firm Size in Oregon

Three-fourths of private employers in Oregon offered one or more health, retirement, leave, pay, or other benefits to employees. Benefit offerings differed across industries, regions, and employer size classes in Oregon. These findings are based on a survey of more than 12,000 private employers conducted between June and August 2018, and published in the new report Employer-Provided Benefits: Offerings, Enrollment, and Rising Costs. 

Health Benefits. More than half (59%) of all private employers offered health benefits to employees. In the wholesale trade and information sectors, three-fourths of employers offered health benefits to full-time employees. Smaller shares of employers offered health benefits to part-time employees. Industries most likely to offer health benefits for part-time employees included employers in private education services (21%), health care and social assistance (18%), and professional and technical services (17%).

Employers providing health benefits reported an average monthly premium of $828 for individual plans, and an average of $1,291 for family medical insurance. Companies’ contributions averaged 88 percent of individual premiums, and 62 percent of family plan premiums. Almost three-fourths (73%) of employers with health benefits reported an increase in the total cost of their health plan over the past year. When asked how providing health benefits affected their business or workforce, two-thirds of employers with these offerings cited their high cost.

Retirement Offerings. Half of all private employers offered retirement benefits to full-time employees, while nearly one-fourth (23%) provided retirement benefits to part-time workers. Sectors with the largest share of employers extending health benefits included health care and social assistance, and professional and technical services. The most common retirement benefit offered by private employers was a defined contribution (401, 403, or 457) plan. Two out of three employers (68%) with these plans offered some type of contribution matching.

Many employers with retirement benefits (29%) reported little or no effect of their offerings on their business or workforce. Another 22 percent noted the positive recruitment and retention effects of their retirement benefits. One-fifth (21%) of employers with retirement benefits also cited the high cost.

Leave, Pay, Fringe, and Other Benefits. A variety of leave and pay options were among the most commonly offered benefits by employers for full-time workers. These included paid holidays (54%), annual pay raises (51%), and unpaid leave (50%). Unpaid leave and annual pay raises were also among the most broadly offered leave and pay benefits for part-time employees (36% for each). With the unemployment rate at or near a record low in Oregon for the past two years, many employers may be giving annual raises as another labor recruitment and retention strategy. 

Employer Size and Location. Across the board, a larger share of the biggest employers (50+ employees in Oregon) provided health, retirement, and the most common pay and leave benefits. Nine out of 10 large employers offered health benefits, compared with one-third (33%) of the smallest firms (with 2 to 9 employees). More than three-fourths (77%) of large employers offered retirement benefits, while one-fourth (25%) of small employers did. Meanwhile, the share of mid-sized employers (10 to 49 employees) generally reflected the benefit offerings for all size categories combined.

At least half of all companies in Portland and the Willamette Valley offered health, retirement, and each of the most common leave and pay benefits in June 2018. Following them, the areas with employers most likely to offer benefits included Central Oregon and Southern Oregon. The Bend metropolitan area falls within Central Oregon, and Southern Oregon consists of the Medford and Grants Pass metros. Wholly non-metropolitan areas – the Columbia Gorge and Basin, the Oregon Coast, and Eastern Oregon – had the fewest employers offering the most common benefits.

Additional Information.  More information about employer-provided benefits in Oregon – including interactive graphs, the full report, and a related podcast – can be found on the Benefits page at

6. Setting the Path to Your Future

Since the beginning of the year, we have encouraged you to examine the way you look at the world, and make some decisions about how you want to be. So, let’s continue the discussion with a little goal-setting to see us through uncertain times.

If you have decided that your locus of control comes from within you (and we hope you have), then you know you have the power to change your life. You do not need to be battered by the “storm” of bad news coming your way.

If you have decided that you want to believe the future is one of great possibilities, then you know you have given yourself the freedom to choose a path for yourself.

If you have decided that you would really prefer to be an optimist, then you are ready to take each situation as it comes, confident in the knowledge that life will improve, that setbacks are only temporary, and you want a happy, fulfilled life.

If you have chosen to take personal accountability, then you are ready to look the world in the eye and say, “These are my decisions and I stand by them. I am ready to take the consequences for my actions and decisions.”

So, what comes next? Figure out where you are, so that you understand Current Reality. Decide where you want to be, with a powerful Vision that includes Technicolor and 3-D, CGI visuals, as well as earthshaking SurroundSound. Give yourself an irresistible picture that draws you! Then start setting goals to get you to your Vision. Break down the path to your Vision into smaller pieces, goals that you can see without causing you to back off from your ultimate Goal. Focus on what you want, and shut out the distractions that cause you to lose your focus. If your purpose is just, achievement is within your grasp.

And one more piece: Keep your self-talk – that constant stream of conversation you have with yourself – positive and reinforcing. Your self-talk will keep the pictures you have of your future front and center in your mind. The great part about all of this is that it works not only for individuals, but for teams, departments, organizations, countries, and the entire world. ~The Pacific Institute

7. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do Seeking, Sharing Info on Ancestry’s Oregon Genealogy Message Board

Iron Age Chariot Burial Site Found – Complete with Horse and Ride

Total Eclipse of the Supermoon, January 20 

Townhall: Factor or Fiction. Retired Border Agent Sets the Record Straight

Opinion: In Oregon, it’s government by and for unions


Sherman County eNews #17


  1. Sherman County Wrestling Club T-Shirts

  2. Oregon Heritage Grants Open for Applications

  3. Mitten Tree Thank You

  4. Notice. Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Work Session, Jan. 22

  5. Notice. Tri-County Courts Meeting, Jan. 25

  6. Oregon Raceway Park Seeks Course Marshals & Security & Working Personnel

  7. Performing Arts Initiative Business Consortium

  8. The Freedom of Accountability

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

1. Sherman County Wrestling Club T-Shirts

The Sherman County wrestling club will be ordering t-shirts again! To order a Sherman County wrestling shirt, please get a hold of Jeremy Lanthorn and with the size before Friday, January 25th. Shirts will be $20.00 each. Contact Jeremy Lanthorn, or 541-993-2446.

2. Oregon Heritage Grants Open for Applications 

time.hourglass1Four Oregon Heritage Grants are now open for applications:

  • Museum Grant – Deadline is May 1, 2019
  • Historic Cemeteries Grant – Deadline is May 1, 2019
  • Diamonds in the Rough Grant – Deadline is May 15, 2019
  • Preserving Oregon – Letter of Intent due April 17, 2019

Information for All Grants

  • Information on all grants can be found by visiting here or contact Kuri Gill at or (503) 986-0685.
  • Instructions for using the online grants system can be found here.
  • Free grant workshop on March 19, 10am-11:30am,  725 Summer St NE, Rm 124A Contact Kuri Gill at or (503) 986-068 to register.
  • Free webinar on March 15, 2:30pm-4p, register here.
  • For more information about Oregon Heritage programs visit

3. Mitten Tree Thank You

mittens1Thank you, Sherman County Community members, School District staff, and students for turning Sherman County Public/School Library’s Mitten Tree into a beautiful giving tree. Our school and community donated 13 hats, 26 pairs of gloves and mittens, 9 scarves, 3 pairs of socks, and 34 blankets to the Sherman County Food Bank. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated! A special thanks to Trent Harrison for picking up the Mitten Tree donations for us. ~Marylou Martin, Sherman County Public/School Library

4. Notice. Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Work Session, Jan. 22

Frontier Telenet’s minutes & agendas web page has been updated to include the agenda for the upcoming Board work session to be held on January 22, 2019 in Moro. To access the agenda directly click the following link:

[Editorial Note: The agenda states that the board will not deliberate toward or make any final decisions or take any final action at this meeting. Frontier TeleNet legal counsel Jim Deason and chairman Lynn Morley, Wheeler County Judge, will lead discussion and make reports. Topics include a general background of the Frontier TeleNet organization, active projects, regulatory reporting requirements, federal E-rate funds, an executive session and discussion of projects: 2016 Sherman Fiber Project, 2018 Frontier 9-1-1 Burns-Paiute Tribe Project and daily administrative requirements.]

5. Notice. Tri-County Courts Meeting, Jan. 25

Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler County Courts

January 25, 2018 at 10:00 am

Jeanne Burch Building

401 Fourth Street, Meeting Room

Fossil, OR 97830


1.0 Call to Order

2.0 Introductions

3.0 Amendments to the Agenda

4.0 Building Codes Inspecting Services Update

5.0 Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) 2.0 Boundary Changes – Tom McCoy

6.0 Frontier Telenet Update

7.0 Set next meeting date

8.0 Adjourn

6. Oregon Raceway Park Seeks Course Marshals & Security & Working Personnel

Oregon Raceway Park has a wide variety of openings for the 2019 season! Watch the races and get paid for it, too.

Course Marshal: Candidates must be 18 years of age, able to climb ladders, have the ability to be outdoors (sometimes in harsh conditions), have good verbal communication skills and be able to react calmly and quickly to emergency situations.  

Security: Crowd control, have guests sign liability release waiver and issue a colored wrist band as they arrive and enter ORP premises.  Day and night shifts available. 

Working Personnel: This is for all other duties that need to be done at ORP on a regular basis. 

Orientation Day: Is mandatory and will be held March 16, 2019 from 9am-5pm at 93811 Blagg Lane, Grass Valley, OR 97029.

If interested in any of the positions please contact Brenda Pikl: 541-333-2452                                                                                                                    or   

7. Performing Arts Initiative Business Consortium

Join us for an informative event 5pm Wednesday February 6 at Naked Winery, corner of 2nd and Oak Streets, Hood River.

You may have heard of our recent PAI Business Consortium Kick-off event, held in December. This will be another opportunity to network with Gorge businesses who are involved in and appreciate the performing arts.

We will also share a more in-depth look at the recent NCAR survey which listed Hood River as one of the top 10 “Arts Vibrant Small Communities” in the United States, and a new presentation “8 Reasons to Support the Arts” with specific information on how business can benefit from supporting the arts in our Gorge community.

Please RSVP by Feb. 4, to John Hardham, or 503-701-0435.

8. The Freedom of Accountability

We’ve talked a lot about mindsets, attitudes and beliefs these past several days. You should have been able to draw connections to how you are viewing the continuing stream of news as well as how you view your current situation. There is another piece to address: personal accountability.

A decade or so ago, we saw many of the institutions we thought of as being “solid” and “well-managed” collapse under the weight of some less-than-effective decision making. A lot of people lost a lot of money, and saw their retirement nest eggs shrink, if not disappear altogether. People lost their jobs, and while the employment news has been encouraging, some are still out of work. There has been a fair amount of finger-pointing and laying of blame, as well as a reluctance to accept responsibility for those decisions – on both sides of the coin, so to speak.

Should banks and lending institutions have offered unsecured loans, based on a real estate market boom that had nearly run its course? Probably not. Should individuals have taken out those loans, based on the hope that property values would continue to rise, knowing that they did not have the means to repay the loans? Probably not. But does that mean we need to back up our dreams or discard them altogether?

Definitely not. We all need dreams, because we do move toward and become like what we think about. And, those dreams need to be turned into goals to achieve. But we also need to remember that sometimes, the answer is, “No . . . for now.” In the example above, the goal of owning your own home is a noble goal, and one worthy of achieving. Just remember that some goals take a little longer to achieve.

The old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” has become, “If at first you don’t succeed, fix the blame fast.” Until each of us takes accountability for our own decisions, we labor under the weight of blame and pessimism. We effectively deny ourselves the freedom to move forward, and that has no place in a world with challenges to solve. ~The Pacific Institute

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

bird.talkCommentary: Do We Need Our Country Anymore?

Space Weather & Your Cell Phone

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

1989 – American Indian Activist Russell Means testifies at Senate Hearing

OSU’s Noller to step down as department head, concentrate on hemp

‘OPB Politics Now’: Oregon Legislative Preview


Sherman County eNews #16






The Church is More than a Building
On Wednesday morning I drove by the old Methodist church in Grass Valley and was struck by its winter splendor. The noises of this church and its regular services have been silent for seventy years, and though it is an extremely popular photo stop the reality is that one day this building will pass away.

I wish this could only be said of the structures, but it’s true of the people to. Some pass into eternity and the fullness of joy in the presence of our Lord. Others go away through moving, church migration, and even sadly because they simply walk away.

But the church is more than a building. The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:19-22, “…you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (NASB)

The church is the body of Christ, and Jesus is its corner stone. He is the One on whom it is built and who frames up its very structure. God sovereignly worked through the prophets and apostles to lay its foundation, and He continues to work through those He calls to Himself through salvation by trusting in His Son to be its very building blocks in which His Spirit dwells and actively works. Then one day we are promised that the fullness of His church will be presented to His Son (Jesus) as His perfect bride.

These old buildings will pass away. Our bodies age and so do we. But one thing we are assured of is that Christ’s church won’t. Don’t forsake the building, but more than seek Him and enjoy His people.

Joe Burgess
Pastor, Kent Baptist Church

2. CLASSIFIEDS (new or corrected)


THANK YOU, Sherman County Community members, School District staff, and students for turning Sherman County Public/School Library’s Mitten Tree into a beautiful giving tree. Our school and community donated 13 hats, 26 pairs of gloves and mittens, 9 scarves, 3 pairs of socks, and 34 blankets to the Sherman County Food Bank. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated! A special thanks to Trent Harrison for picking up the Mitten Tree donations for us. ~Marylou Martin, Sherman County Public/School Library.




“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” — Unknown

SUPPORT FOR BRENNAH MILLER. Brennah Miller is a young wife and mother, an electrician and a cancer patient.

  • Opportunities to support the Miller Family are located at local businesses in Grass Valley, Moro, Wasco and Rufus.
  • Brennah Miller Account, Bank of Eastern Oregon, P.O. Box 444, Moro, Oregon 97039.


CLEANER. Needing cleaner on Sundays for 6 to 8 hrs. a week.  Cleaning is located out of Wasco. If interested, please call Joan.  360-999-8088  1/25 

SEASONAL HABITAT RESTORATION TECHNICIAN. Lower Deschutes Cooperative Weed Management Area/Sherman County Weed District is currently seeking job applicants for full time employment as a seasonal habitat restoration technician. Technicians will be hired to work approximately 35 weeks beginning March 2019 through October 2019. Please contact Dan Son at for more information.  Thank You.  3/1 

BUS DRIVERS. Help Mid-Columbia Bus Co. drive Condon and Sherman County students to success! | $13.30 an hour | 401 K | No CDL required to apply | Sign on bonus up to $350 | Flexible Schedule | Dental | Vision | Accident/Critical Care Insurance | Paid Training. Schedule your interview today and start making a difference tomorrow!!!  ~Amberlena Shaffer, Recruiter | Office: 541-567-0551 | Cell: 541-303-5093 | 2/22 

FUEL DELIVERY DRIVER. MCP is seeking applicants to join our team as a Petroleum Delivery Driver. This FT position is based in Moro. The role of the Delivery Drivers is to safely transport petroleum products and render outstanding customer service to our patrons. The deliveries will range from commercial/industrial accounts and home heating oil to bulk and packaged lubricants. Product knowledge is a plus. On Site training will be provided. Please contact Human Resources at 541-565-3737 for questions. 1/25


LOCAL HANDYMAN’S SERVICES. Handyman, General Contractor & Equipment Operator. Large and small projects, indoors or out. Please call Kevin at 541-993-4282 | KCK, Inc. | Licensed, bonded and insured. CCB #135768. References available. 3/15 


THE TIMES-JOURNAL! The Times-Journal – a weekly serving Wheeler, Gilliam & Sherman counties, P.O. Box 746, Condon, OR 97823 | Ph. 541-384-2421 | Fax 541-384-2411  $37.50/year; $47.50 for beyond the region. 1/25


WRESTLING T-SHIRTS. Sherman county wrestling club is ordering t-shirts again! If you want a new shirt or just a Sherman county wrestling shirt, please get a hold of me and let me know the size. I plan to finalize the order and send it off on Friday 1/25. Shirts will be $20.00 each. Let me know how many and what size you want to order: Jeremy Lanthorn  541-993-2446  1/25

HANDCRAFTED FURNITURE & GIFTS. Considerately handcrafted one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor furniture and gifts created from re-purposed wine & whiskey barrels, old barn wood and other local reclaimed materials. Special orders available.  ~The Wood Butcher | Wasco, Oregon | 541-993-4282 | | Facebook | 3/15






FUEL DELIVERY DRIVER. MCP is seeking applicants to join our team as a Petroleum Delivery Driver. This FT position is based in Moro. The role of the Delivery Drivers is to safely transport petroleum products and render outstanding customer service to our patrons. The deliveries will range from commercial/industrial accounts and home heating oil to bulk and packaged lubricants. Product knowledge is a plus. On Site training will be provided. Please contact Human Resources at 541-565-3737 for questions. 1/25 

3. CALENDAR (new or corrected)

Sherman County School District Calendar

American flag1JANUARY

18 Sherman County Housing Grant Review Committee 11 Courthouse

19 19th Annual Eagle Watch 9-3 The Dalles Dam Visitor Center

19 Sherman Athletic Foundation Crab & Oyster Feed 3-8 Wasco

19 North Central Livestock Assoc. Annual Meeting 5 Jefferson County Fairgrounds


21 Sherman County Republican Central Committee 6 Burnet Building, Moro

22 Frontier TeleNet Work Session 10 Sherman County Courthouse

23 Gilliam County Court 1 Condon

23 Tri-County Courts 10 Fossil

24 Sherman County Book Club 6 Sherman Public/School Library

25 Tri-County Court Meeting 10 Burch Building, Fossil (updated)

25 Frontier TeleNet Board Meeting 1 Burch Building, Fossil

26 19th Annual Eagle Watch at The Dalles Dam Visitor Center 9-3

26 22nd Annual Robert Burns Supper 2 Condon

29 Lower John Day Working Group 10-2 Condon

31 Farm to School Regional Gathering (Gorge Grown Food Network) 4-6 Mosier Community School


2 NW Nonprofit Leaders Annual Conference, Corvallis

4 Grass Valley City Council 7

5 Moro City Council 7

6 Sherman County Court 9

6 All County Prayer Meeting Rufus Baptist Church social 6:30, prayer 7:00-8:30

7 Sherman County Fair Board 7

8 Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) Board Meeting 10-1


12 Tri-County Mental Health Board of Directors 11-2 The Dalles

12 North Central Public Health District Board of Directors 3 The Dalles

13 Sherman County Senior Center Advisory Committee 12:30

13 Rufus City Council 7


15 Frontier TeleNet TBA

15 Gathering of Regional Historical Organizations 5-7 St. Peter’s Landmark, The Dalles

15 North Central Livestock Association 6:30 The Riverside, Maupin


19 Wasco City Council 7

20 Sherman County Court 9

21 Sherman County Board of Property Tax Appeals 9


23 OSU Small Farms Conference



6 All County Prayer Meeting Moro Presbyterian Church social 6:30, prayer 7:00-8:30

7 Sherman County Fair Board 7

8 Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) Board Meeting 10-1


12 Tri-County Mental Health Board of Directors 11-2 The Dalles

12 North Central Public Health District Board of Directors 3 The Dalles

13 Sherman County Senior Center Advisory Committee 12:30

13 Rufus City Council 7

15 Frontier TeleNet 10 TBA


19 Wasco City Council 7


Sherman County eNews #15


  1. Notice. Frontier TeleNet Meeting, Jan. 16

  2. Frontier TeleNet Management & Turn-Around Proposal Approved

  3. Richard Macnab 1949-2019

  4. Gathering of Historical Organizations in & around Wasco County, Feb. 15

  5. Wasco County Original Courthouse 2019 Regional History Forum Series

  6. How Do You See Your World?

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

1. Notice. Frontier TeleNet Board Meeting w/Sherman County Court, Jan. 16 

Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors Meeting

2 p.m. Sherman County Courthouse

Frontier Telenet’s minutes & agendas web page has been updated to include the agenda for the meeting on January 16, 2019 to consider the proposed Sherman County loan.

2. Frontier TeleNet Management & Turn-Around Proposal Approved

The Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors, at their January 11, 2019, meeting, agreed to move ahead with a management and turn-around plan as proposed by Gilliam County Judge Farrar.

Stakeholders will be interested in the January 17th Times-Journal report of the January 11th board meeting.

“MEETING DATE: January 11, 2019

“FROM: Elizabeth Farrar, Gilliam County Judge & Frontier Telenet Board Member

“TITLE OF AGENDA ITEM: Short-Term Management Plan & Interim Turnaround Consultant Proposal

SUMMARY: Frontier Telenet is at a crossroads. The organization finds itself in a serious financial shortfall and without the consultants it has historically relied on to manage the system’s day-to-day needs. This briefing lays out a potential way forward. It approaches the problem in three phases: Phase 1 (Immediate Needs – 6-8 weeks), Phase 2 (Turnaround – 6-9 months), Phase 3 (2020 and beyond).


The FTN Board’s central goal must be to ensure the reliability of the emergency communications system we are entrusted to manage. Our current contract with Day Wireless provides the technical expertise needed to keep the system up and fully functioning during this transition. Day Wireless will continue to receive real-time alerts when incidences arise that could affect the functionality and reliability of the system, and back-up systems and replacement parts are already in place to enable Day Wireless technicians to respond quickly when needed.

However, there may be times when emergency expenditures are needed or replacements to the replacement parts need to be purchased. The FTN Board needs to define the process for approving those expenditures in-between our regular meetings. 

“Recommendation 1: I am recommending the Board designate one member, as well as one alternate, who is authorized to approve emergency expenditures and replacement parts up to $10,000 in-between the Board’s regular meetings. Any expenditures over $10,000 would need to come before the full Board for approval. Before his departure, Marketing Consultant Mike Smith provided a list of pending projects. I asked Day Wireless to review those projects and prioritize them as high (needs attention in January/February), medium (can wait until after February), and low (longer-term). On the list, there were four projects they rated as high priority that are not directly connected to the Wheeler County Wireless Project (which Judge Morley is already overseeing): Gilliam County Courthouse Link, Juniper 700 Backup Batteries, Klondike Avangrid Connection, Spray School Dorm Connection. 

“Recommendation 2: I am recommending the Board designate one member to manage each of these projects and report back to the Board. The full Board will continue to make approvals for legal agreements, purchases, etc. related to these projects as needed. 

“PHASE 2: TURNAROUND (Duration: 6-9 months)

The FTN system is complex, and a complete turnaround of the organization requires a sustained time commitment and more technical expertise than the Board is able to provide on its own. Therefore, I am recommending FTN begin an immediate search for a qualified Interim Turnaround Manager, skilled in organizational restructuring and turnarounds, to assist the Board in putting FTN on a path to financial sustainability.

“The Interim Turnaround Manager would be tasked with implementing the recommendations contained in AOC’s Fall 2017 County Solutions assessment. Specifically:

(1) Conduct a comprehensive systems audit. The audit should include an asset map with the status of leases and agreements that support the current system, identification of needed upgrades, current customers and accounts, and marketable assets.

(2) Work with the FTN Board to establish a vision for the organization. The vision should identify the appropriate role for FTN in a changing regional technology landscape.

(3) Develop a business plan. As AOC’s report states, the business plan: “should build on the asset map, and be based on the vision to establish what kind of service is needed. The plan should outline the system upgrades that are needed and a strategy for how to pay for them. The plan should also develop a strategy to sequence new investments in the region and ensure expectations of service do not exceed the capacity of the systems to deliver them…To build ownership in the business plan, it should be developed in a transparent manner with opportunities for engagement with stakeholders.”

(4) Develop a marketing plan for those components identified in the systems audit as marketable assets with an eye toward the overall health and financial sustainability of the system.

(5) Make recommendations to the FTN Board for changes in the governance of the FTN organization to better align with FTN’s newly defined mission, improve transparency, increase stakeholder engagement, and promote sound fiscal management.

(6) Assist the FTN Board in identifying a fiscally prudent, long-term solution for managing the FTN system and, if necessary, hiring qualified staff.

(7) Develop and implement a plan to transition existing clients off of FTN’s network, as needed, to align with FTN’s redefined mission and business plan.

(8) Support the new FTN Board’s efforts to improve transparency and encourage public engagement in the decision-making of the organization.

(9) Provide management of the infrastructure system; working closely with FTN’s Board and vendors to ensure the critical communications system remains reliable and functional through this transition. 

“Recommendation 3: I am recommending the Board designate one member to serve as the turnaround point person. The designee would work with FTN Counsel to finalize a Scope of Work document for Board approval in late-January and to recruit at least 3 consultant candidates for the Board’s consideration in mid-late February. 


This phase will largely be shaped by the work product and recommendations that come from Phase 2.”

3. Richard Macnab 1949-2019

flower.rose.starRichard ‘Dick’ Macnab passed away unexpectedly Sunday, January 6, 2019, in Hood River, Oregon. Dick was playing basketball Sunday, as he has a couple of times a week for many years, and between games went for some water and collapsed. He was born December 19, 1949, to Pete and Janet (Kaseberg) Macnab, and was 69 years of age at the time of his death. Services are planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, January 26, at the Wasco School Event Center, 903 Barnett Street in Wasco. Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center, Celilo Chapel, 204 E. 4th Street, The Dalles. A note of condolence can be left for the family on-line, http://www.AndersonsTributeCenter.

4. Gathering of Historical Organizations in & around Wasco County, Feb. 15







We all have a common interest in the history of this area.  Let’s get to know each other and share information with each other in an informal setting.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019, 5-7 p.m.




Appetizers, coffee, tea and water will be served and we will have a cake to celebrate Oregon’s Birthday!  Each organization may share a brief update for their upcoming year. (Try not to exceed 5 minutes).  Bring along brochures, etc. to exchange. Let’s make connections and work together to keep the history of our area alive!  RSVP by Feb. 12th to Jean at or 541-296-5785 or 541-980-7453.  Please leave a message if no answer.

5. Wasco County Original Courthouse 2019 Regional History Forum Series




Programs begin at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the 1859 courthouse, 410 West 2nd Place, The Dalles behind the Chamber of Commerce / Visitors’ Center

Saturday, February 2

World War I, Part 1:  Stonehenge and the Great War

Washington State Park Ranger Mark Harris developed this PowerPoint for the 2018 centennial of the war and armistice.  He covers Sam Hill’s Stonehenge, the war’s beginnings, new technology used in the war, how uniforms differed between combatants, the role of women in the war effort, the trenches, the fall of empires and continuing effects of one of the deadliest conflicts in human history.

Saturday, February 9

World War I, Part 2:  Living History and Music of the War

Ranger Mark Harris returns in full uniform and unpacks his old kit bag of items

 a soldier carried into World War I.  His first person “living history” presentation rounds out the story of the war that ended with the Treaty of Versailles 100 years ago.  Members of the Cascade Singers will offer some songs of World War I.

Saturday, February 16

Japanese Families in the Mosier Area Prior to 1942

Dave Wilson, Mayerdale history researcher, presented a program worth repeating at Wasco County Historical Society’s annual meeting in 2014.  Historic photos and family stories reveal a vibrant Japanese community on what is now the Mayerdale Estate and nearby properties prior to the World War II internment.

Saturday, February 23

The Town Above Celilo Falls:  Launching Site for the Upper River

Local historian John Brookhouse has family connections to the long-ago town that served as entry point to the upper Columbia River above Celilo Falls.  He has added to the maps and photos from last summer’s Wasco County Historical Society program and they’ve been enlarged for projection on the big screen.

Admission is free for the February programs. Donations gladly accepted! – Downstairs monitor for those unable to climb stairs. Coffee and cookies will be served. Become a member of Original Courthouse – help preserve local history!

6. How Do You See Your World?

Whether you know of him or not, a debt of gratitude is owed to the research into optimism and pessimism made by Dr. Martin Seligman. A past president of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Seligman is the author of numerous books on the subjects of optimism and pessimism and how they affect the way we look at our world and interact with it.

How do you find out if you are an optimist or pessimist? Ask yourself the question: How do I think when bad things happen to me? A pessimist lets the bad thing contaminate everything in their life: home, work, relationships – the works. It is called “globalizing.” An optimist, on the other hand, isolates the bad. “It’s just this one piece that’s not so good; everything else is OK.”

The other thing a pessimist does is “eternalize” the bad thing. “It’s awful now, and it’s going to be this way forever. Nothing is ever going to go right again.” An optimist puts a time-frame on it. “Yes, it’s going to be painful for a while, but I’ll get through it. Things will change for the better.” Pessimists have a tendency to take accountability for the entire mess they are in, whether it was entirely their fault or not, while optimists take accountability for what they caused, and realize that there were other factors involved.

Now, let’s turn it around. How do you think when good things happen? A pessimist calls it a one-time thing, believes it won’t last, and minimizes their part in the success. The optimist? An optimist lets the good things color everything they do, believes that it will last forever, and takes credit for their part in the success – “I caused it.” ~The Pacific Institute

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

Scam in Moro….

Blog: Question Everything

Incredibly Detailed Map Of The World’s Religions

Editorial: Improve Oregon’s public records law


Sherman County eNews #14

Editorial. The Appointment of a Sherman County Commissioner 

The Sherman County Republican Central Committee gave public notice of a vacancy for a Sherman County commissioner position and will meet on January 21st to interview and consider candidates for nomination. Pursuant to ORS 236.217, a slate of three to five qualified persons will be nominated for appointment by the Sherman County Court. Those interested in running for this position should contact Sherman County Republican Chair Chris Moore. 541-565-3516 or

Let’s think about the qualified, interested candidate!  

Are you the right person for the job?

Do you know what you’re getting into?

Could you be the one to make a difference?


Why do I want to become a county commissioner?

Check the answers that apply to you.

___ Concern over a particular issue

___ Opportunity to advance my career

___ Others are urging me to run

___ Use the skills that made me successful

___ Meet more people of influence

___ Achieve a level of prestige

___ Supplement my income

___ Stepping stone to higher office

___ Address problems facing the county

___ Desire to build a better future for my county

___ Provide a voice to constituents

___ Not satisfied with the current county government

___ Desire to make some needed changes

___ Gain a level of control in the community

___ Have prior experience in government.

We all benefit from informed, prepared and qualified candidates with an interest in contributing to the county community… for the right reasons. Yes, commissioners are compensated for their work, but it is not just a job. It’s a commitment to doing the best possible with the resources at hand to serve the most people in the county.

Ask yourself, “Why do I want to become a county commissioner?” Discuss it with your family to give them an idea of the responsibilities involved. Decide whether you have the time to do a good job for the county.

To be ready for the challenges:

  • Have a vision for the county’s future
  • Keep an open mind
  • Maintain high ethical standards
  • Know the issues
  • Know your constituents and the people who will work with you
  • Focus on what is best for the county
  • Be honest with the public, the media, and other officials
  • Have confidence in your qualifications
  • Separate your emotions from your responsibilities.

Here’s the Oregon Revised Statute:

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]

Let’s take a look at Sherman County’s government website.

Here is information about commissioners:

“Sherman County’s Board of Commissioners is made up of two elected Commissioners and the Sherman County Court Judge. Commissioners are elected to four-year terms. The County Judge serves a six-year term.

“In addition to its semi-weekly County Court meetings, the Board of Commissioners also performs as the Biggs Service District Board of Directors and serves on a variety of other local and regional boards and committees. See “Board/Committee Assignments” for the full list of Commissioner assignments.”

Let’s think about Regional Coalitions. 

Regional 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. 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 policies, budgets, personnel and programs of REGIONAL boards that provide services to Sherman County, including these:

  • Association of Oregon Counties
  • Community Renewable Energy Association
  • Eastern Oregon Rural Alliance
  • Frontier Regional 9-1-1 Dispatch Agency
  • Frontier TeleNet
  • Lower John Day Regional Partnership
  • Lower John Day Area Commission on Transportation
  • Mid-Columbia Community Action Council
  • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District
  • North Central Public Health District
  • Northern Oregon Regional Corrections / NORCOR (regional jail) 
  • Tri-County Communications
  • Tri-County Community Corrections
  • Tri-County Mental Health – Center for Living
  • Northern Oregon Regional Corrections / NORCOR (regional jail) 

… in addition to some LOCAL boards:

  • Biggs Service District
  • Early Learning Hub, liaison
  • Local Public Safety Coordinating Council
  • Sherman County Ambulance Service Plan Advisory Committee, liaison
  • Sherman County Board of Property Appeals
  • Sherman County Budget Committee
  • Sherman County Community Advisory Committee
  • Sherman County Fair Board
  • Sherman County Prevention Coalition
  • Sherman County Public/School Library Board
  • Sherman County Road Department Advisory Board, liaison
  • Sherman County School District, liaison
  • Sherman County Senior & Community Center Advisory Committee
  • Sherman County Soil & Water Conservation District, liaison
  • Sherman County Wasteshed, representative
  • Sherman County Watershed Coalition, representative
  • Sherman County Weed District Advisory Board

Then … County College, The Association of Oregon Counties & OSU

The Association of Oregon Counties: “The County College program began in 2006 in partnership with the Oregon State University Extension Service, and for four years, ran every year. Since the 2009 class, it has run every other year in odd years.

“Designed primarily for new commissioners and high-level staff, the program offers a comprehensive overview of the responsibilities and authorities of a county, and a county commissioner or judge, including legal, government ethics, public meetings and records, parliamentary procedure and much more. The class also covers the primary service areas of community & economic development, finance, human services, infrastructure & public works and public safety, in addition to sessions on leadership and management (risk management, communications, emergency management, personal and courthouse security, etc.). The strong partnership between counties and the Oregon State University Extension Service is also explored. With a class size of between 20 to 30 members, one of the most valuable benefits is the networking that takes place and the relationships that are built.”

See dates for County College classes here:

Last, but not least, the National Association of Counties (NACo).

A Research Brief by Research Director, Jacqueline J. Byers, November 2008, offers helpful information, excerpted here: 

“What do County Commissioners do all Day?

“County governments were originally created as administrative divisions of the states. Each state government in the country has designed, through its constitution and statutes, the authorities and powers that counties may exercise…

“Traditional state mandated services performed by counties include:

– General governmental administration

– Recording of deeds

– Property tax assessment and collection

– Law enforcement and corrections

– Judicial administration

– Poor relief (public welfare)

– Road, bridge and airport maintenance

– Recreation and parks…

“… Increasing population growth, and rising property taxes as a source of revenue, fueled county expansion into new formerly urban service delivery areas, such as:

  • Planning
  • Zoning
  • Solid Waste Collection
  • Mass transit
  • Communications
  • Parking
  • Sanitation
  • Transportation
  • Utilities (including water, electricity, cable television and gas) …

“How are counties managed? The governing officials in each county are elected either by district or at large by popular vote of the citizens…

“What does it take to be a county commissioner? In most states, the law requires that the candidate must have resided in the county for a set period of time, usually at least 12 months, and be at least 21 years of age. Another requirement in many states is that the individual has not been convicted of any crimes…

“What kind of experience is best for a county commissioner? County commissioners come from all walks of life. They can be teachers, nurses, lawyers, doctors, business people, farmers and homemakers. Recently, candidates have become younger and younger, including college students. There is no best experience for elected office, but any experience that may have provided knowledge about finance, budgeting, communications, law and personnel is beneficial…

“How does a county commissioner learn to do the job? Many states now make training available to newly elected officials. Many state universities have governmental training institutes that officials can attend. Some states require newly elected officials to attend training for a required period; others offer certification for training completion. If the state does not require or provide training, it can be obtained through national organizations, such as NACo, which sponsors “Newly Elected Official Training Institutes” at two of its national conferences, or from many state associations of counties, which often conduct “Training Sessions for Newly Elected Officials.”  [See Association of Oregon Counties]

“What does a county commissioner do all day? For most county commissioners, the position is a part time job… But the reality is that as an elected official you are on duty and on call for 24 hours a day. The most important thing that a commissioner does is stay in touch with constituents. Daily, a commissioner speaks with citizens about what they want…

“To effectively carry out the role of commissioner requires making decisions. To make good decisions, a commissioner needs good information. Gathering the necessary data and statistics requires time by the commissioner or staff. Meetings are a major part of every commissioner’s role. Regularly scheduled commission meetings, special sessions, and public hearings are a part of the job. Attending community functions such as neighborhood meetings, business openings, school activities, strawberry socials and club meetings is also required. Conducting meetings with citizens, as a means of informing them about issues, is another activity. A state-of-the-district meeting is conducted periodically by many commissioners. Establishing a working relationship with the media takes time and trust on both sides…

“Last, but not least, working closely with other members of the county commission to build coalitions… Building teams and creating support with fellow commissioners is how any elected official gets the job done. A majority is needed in every vote. Many counties have … officers that are responsible for other aspects of county government administration. These officers vary from state to state, but can include the sheriff, the coroner, the probate judge, clerk of court, auditor or treasurer, judges, tax collector or assessor and the recorder. Establishing a good working relationship with them and appreciating the responsibilities of each of these elected officials can make the job easier since in most instances the county commission must provide the funds for each of these offices…

“What issues are currently facing commissioners? Routinely, commissioners are faced with the task of raising sufficient revenue to run the government and provide the services expected by their constituents. Taxes and fees are the most common way that governments raise revenue and increases are not generally popular with citizens. An effective commissioner educates citizens about the need for increases to continue service delivery as they expect and to maintain the quality of life in the county. Mandates … from other levels of government are an ongoing concern for elected officials…

“Why do people want to be a commissioner anyway? Generally, what spurs people to become involved in local politics is a specific issue. Once they have become involved and learned how to work in the local political process they often discover that they have something to offer the community, and are interested in its future.

“An effective county commissioner can leave a legacy of good works and make an impact on people’s lives. It is the closest level of government to the people and one that provides the greatest challenge and creates leaders for the future.”