I. LETTERS TO EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE
After four failed public safety levies and one sales tax,
in as many years, the public could be excused if it feels exhausted. What does the
public really think about public safety?
Proposed Public Safety Levies/Sales Tax.
The 2012 expiration of federal SRS payments to Josephine County (JO CO) Oregon,
used mostly for public safety services, resulted in four JO CO county tax levies and one
City of Grants Pass, Oregon sales tax as solutions. They all failed.
JUSTICE SYSTEM EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE
Justice System & Public Safety Services Study Design: 2015
- The Justice System & Public Safety Services
Problem/Issue: January 1 - November 7, 2015
- Draft April 22, 2016
1. May 15, 2012 JO CO-wide Primary Election Measure 17 -
43, Criminal Justice System Operations Four Year Local Option Tax (i.e., $1.99 per $1,000
of assessed value), failed 57 - 43 percent, Voter Turnout - Total 52.59%; 25,405 votes for
Measure 17 - 43/ 49,561 registered voters = 51%.
2. May 21, 2013 JO CO-wide Special Election Measure 17 -
49, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Three Year Local Option Tax (i.e., $1.48 per $1,000
of assessed value), failed 51 - 49 percent, Voter Turnout - Total 51.97%; 26,331 votes for
Measure 17 - 49/ 50,944 registered voters = 52%.
3. May 20, 2014 JO CO-wide Primary Election Measure 17 -
59, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Three Year Local Option Tax (i.e., $1.19 per $1,000
of assessed value), failed 53 - 48 percent, Voter Turnout - Total 56.51%; 27,991 votes for
Measure 17 - 59/ 50,655 registered voters = 55%.
4. May 19, 2015 JO CO-wide Special Election Measure 17-66,
For Patrol, Jail, Shelter of Abused Youth; Five Year Levy (i.e., $1.40 per $1,000 of
assessed value), failed 54 - 46 Percent, Voter Turnout - Total 50.65%; 25,824 votes for
Measure 17 - 59/ 51,143 registered voters = 51%.
5. November 3, 2015 Grants Pass City-wide Special Election
Measure 17-67 2 Percent Sales Tax for City Public Safety and Criminal Justice Services,
failed 78 - 22 Percent -
I. LETTERS TO EXPLORATORY
Letters to the Exploratory Committee represents all
communications (e.g., letters, email, notes, etc.) to the Committee that the sender wishes
to be web published.
March 13, 2016, Anthony
Mantle, Letter to Jon Whalen, Co-Author of Study Design.
- Letters-to-the-editor (LTTE) do not reflect survey
information about public opinion; they are public opinion as expressed by individual
citizens on the values of the individual public writers.
- The following approximate 800 LTTE published in The
Grants Pass Daily Courier (TGPDC) were researched and identified by the JS&PSS
Exploratory Committee. They represent a dedicated effort to read and collect all LTTE from
January 1, 2012 - November 7, 2015 as of December 1, 2015. However, they are not
considered comprehensive in the sense that they represent all LTTE published in the TGPDC
on the public safety issue. The Committees gut is that they represent 90% -
95% of all LTTE on Josephine Countys Justice System & Public Safety Services
(JS&PSS) Problem/Issue for the studys time frame.
- 2012. - 169 LTTE
- 2013. - 163 LTTE
- 2014. - 164 LTTE
- 2015. - 336
LTTE (January 1 - November 7, 2015)
- Total 832 LTTE
The following contacts can be reached as identified.
1. Nathan Davis, 309-657-8876 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Jon Whalen, 541-476-1595 or email@example.com.
3. Mike Walker, 541-471-8271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Brent S. Steel, OSU, 541-737-6133 or
5. Bruce Weber, OSU, 541-737-1442 or
- A simple overview analysis is that the number of LTTE for
the years, 2012, 2013, and 2014 are remarkably similar being over 160 LTTE, and within 5
LTTE of each other.
- At 336 LTTE, the year 2015 had twice as many LTTE as the
other years, but also had two tax measures on the ballot that year. Divide 336 LTTE
by two ballot measures and you get 168 (336/2 - 168), so close to the other years as to be
almost uncanny. Using this simple approach finds all 4 years and 5 sets of LTTE
addressing 5 ballots having the same remarkably similarity of being within 5 LTTE of each
- November 22, 2015 JS&PSS "Press Release
2015-1" After four failed public safety levies and one sales tax, in as many
years, the public could be excused if it feels exhausted. What does the public
really think about public safety?
- On November 7, 2015 Nathan Davis, a 2nd year
graduate student at Oregon State University (OSU), formally settled on tiering his
Master's of Public Policy (MPP) Essay research paper to the Josephine County (JO CO)
Justice System & Public Safety Services (JS&PSS) public safety issue. Nathan
is in the OSU School of Public Policy which is part of the OSU Rural Studies Program
- Davis stated, "The importance of government hearing
citizen voices is what attracted me to policy research and, inevitably, to this project in
Josephine County." He grew up in a rural Illinois county in which citizens often
felt overlooked by government. During Davis undergraduate studies and through
his work with various policy institutions, he learned the importance of research in
governmental action. At OSU he expanded his knowledge of policy research and the
role it can play in making government action more effective and more democratic. "This
project not only affords me the chance to utilize this knowledge, but it also allows me to
help create solutions for a practical policy problem," said Davis. His hope
is that through this project, citizen values will be revealed, enabling JO CO to make more
- OSU is Oregons land grant university, and it has
focused on rural issues since 1868 through its academic programs, agricultural experiment
stations, and extension service offices. In 2001, OSU created the RSP to serve the
needs of rural people and places. Brent S. Steel, Director and Professor, Public
Policy Graduate Program, School of Public Policy commented that, "The RSP program
is multi-disciplinary, teaches classes, conducts research, and provides extended education
with faculty from many colleges at OSU. It is housed within the Department of Applied
- What is the public safety issue? The issue is defined
in many ways by the public and is directly related to the reduction of federal payments to
JO CO since the 2000 Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Community Self-Determination Act,
especially after 2012.
- The JS&PSS Exploratory Committee (Committee) was
established by the Hugo Neighborhood Association & Historical Society in 2013 to
research the public safety issue. The Committee asked the question, "What
can we do to shed some light on the issues?" Two of its members, Mike
Walker and Jon Whalen, decided to document "listening" which wouldnt be
scientific in the sense of random sampling and targeted populations; it was just listening
to fellow citizens. This strategy fit with one of their Committees core
beliefs, "All Citizens, Voters, Votes, And Values, Are Legitimate, Pro &
Con." Their idea evolved and took the form of a "white paper" with
the general purpose of informing readers, including the Committees philosophy on the
matter. The paper is entitled, Justice System & Public Safety Services Study
Design: 2015 (Study Design) with the specific purpose of assisting
readers to understand our public safety issue. Whalen feels that the first step is
to understand and define the problem/issue. He commented, You cant find solutions
that last if you dont know the specific problems.
- Why support Study Design? Walker stated, "In
a nut shell it proposes a future Study which will be based on formal vetted inventories
and an impact methodology model which promotes informed decision-making through a unique
decision process, where the citizens identify the problems and potential solutions, and
are the decision-makers," This definition of citizens is much narrower than
the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
with its ruling that corporations are persons. Study Designs definition of
the public does not include corporations and major non-local special interests, nor
agencies, the government, or the media (e.g., reporter articles and editorial opinions in The
Grants Pass Daily Courier (TGPDC), endorsements of the TGPDC Editorial Board, etc.).
It does include news articles where the citizens opinions are quoted.
The idea is a Study focused on people, per "We the People" by whom and
for whom our Constitution was established." ~ Supreme Court Justice Stevens,
- The Study Design approach relies on
"people" citizens to provide insight about how to identify and manage problems,
and formulate their own goals and solutions for the future (e.g., voting, writing letters
to the editor and guest opinions in the TGPDC, writing arguments in voters
pamphlets, etc.). Whalen emphasized, "The importance to citizens of knowing
they are being heard, of being the decision-makers that decide their future, is
critical." For example, the Studys alternatives that will be
analyzed are the range of potential solutions the public, as a group, identified.
- The focus on citizens as the decision-makers will be the
core of Nathans MPP paper, which is recording and analyzing the publics
opinions, pro and con, across their range of values, through a "Content
Analysis" research method. Bruce Weber, Director, Rural Studies Program, Oregon
State University, concluded, "The Rural Studies Program seeks to engage students
and faculty at OSU in addressing problems and issues important to rural Oregonians. It is
really good to see Nathan involved in this project. The resolution of this issue is
critical to the well-being of the entire state."