Letters to the Editor - May 16, 2014

Support Willamina school bond

I was born and raised in the Grand Ronde/Willamina community, received a quality education from Willamina School District and stayed in the community to seek employment and raise my family. I want to thank all who supported the districts during my enrollment.

Now, it’s my turn to carry the torch by being involved in and supporting the community, keeping our school district strong and our community thriving. They go hand in hand, you know.

As school board members, we listened to the community and changed the bond proposal by removing the sports fields from it. But as a district, we still have many expenses beyond what can be covered by the day-to-day budget.

Our street going up to the school, which belongs to the district above the Fourth Place intersection, is deteriorating. Our sports fields still must be addressed, among other needs.

Please, support your school district and community, and join me in voting yes for the Strong Schools, Strong Community bond.

Clinton Coblentz



Vote for Brett Veatch

We are voting for Brett Veatch and urge you to do the same.

We have known and observed him in both personal conduct and professional performance for 25 years. We are impressed by his wisdom, knowledge base, and ability to accomplish complex tasks and resolve difficult issues.

He is committed to the future of Yamhill County. As an elected leader, he will have to make difficult decisions, and we can’t think of anybody better suited for the job. He offers experience in budgeting, is an expert in land use and, as a business professional, knows how to communicate and collaborate effectively.

Tim and Amber Brown



Voting for Mark Lawrence

We have been told, “All politics is local,” and I believe most politicians are the same. They walk the party line, uphold the status quo and, once elected, forget the promises that got them there.

That is why I’m voting for Mark Lawrence for circuit court judge.

He is not the typical lawyer: He is creative, unconventional when necessary and tenacious in his work. He has taken the road less traveled to support those he was entrusted to serve and protect. He has stood up for many in our county who needed an advocate. He has gone out of his way to serve countless others, and he clearly puts people first.

Jerry Moen



Supporting Bridges, Peralta

The May 20 election could determine two Yamhill County commissioners.

With 50 percent plus one vote, a candidate would win the election outright. Voters right now have a huge responsibility to ensure that Yamhill County has the most qualified commissioners serving us — ones with integrity, open-mindedness, knowledge, and understanding of the depth and breadth of county government. We want commissioners who are genuine listeners and faithful to serving the people and small businesses of our county.

I believe Debra Bridges and Sal Peralta are the most competent to move us forward and bring the best experience to attract new businesses and jobs to Yamhill County.

Liz Marlia-Stein



Voting for sheriff, Y-C schools

Law enforcement agencies, schools and families deserve maintenance and improvement. I encourage investment in Y-C School District kids and community. While a Yes vote will increase taxes, it will also support and educate the next generation.

Our sheriff’s office is blessed with balanced budgets, great community relations, sound judgment, good hiring practices and more. We need the right person to fill Jack Crabtree’s shoes, and that is Capt. Tim Svenson.

He is a 14-year veteran who has risen, for good reason, through the ranks in both the jail and patrol divisions. He now leads the patrol division, search and rescue, woods patrol, detectives, contract cities, Community Response Team and many other important sheriff’s office programs. His civic involvement gives better understanding of the communities he serves.

Please vote Yes for Y-C schools, and vote for Tim Svenson as our next sheriff.

David Blanchard



Wiles a tremendous addition

Whenever there is a vote for a judgeship, I get asked who is the best candidate. True to form, I’ve been asked who should be elected to the open position on the Yamhill County Circuit Court.

Ladd Wiles has my vote. In his 18 years as an attorney, he has held to the highest ethical standards and has been a highly effective prosecutor. He has the respect of his peers — Ladd garnered a 3-to-1 advantage in the straw poll of local attorneys. He has the respect of local law enforcement as shown by Sheriff Jack Crabtree’s endorsement.

Ladd will be a tremendous addition to the local court.

Jerry Hart



Sergeants for Tim Svenson

I’m writing on behalf of nine sergeants in the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office who endorse Capt. Tim Svenson for sheriff.

We have worked closely with him and know him to be highly qualified and genuinely dedicated to the sheriff’s office mission. He is a proven leader who continues to challenge staff to strive for excellence.

His position requires tough operational and budgetary decisions, and he has demonstrated he can make those decisions, benefitting the agency, staff and citizens. His door is open to all within the organization, and he listens.

We have the unique opportunity to know both the personal and professional sides of our colleague.

Personally, he is fair, approachable and supportive of his staff. Professionally, he is knowledgeable and absolutely committed to excellence. He has demonstrated that by striving to improve himself and others.

He fosters professional relationships with agencies within the law enforcement community, and with other agencies in the criminal justice profession. These relationships work to reduce offender recidivism rates, seek help for mental health clients and streamline responses during emergencies.

If voters learn about all the candidates and compare their qualifications, we are confident they will join us in electing Capt. Tim Svenson as our next sheriff.

Brian Young


Editor’s Note: Co-signers to Sgt. Young’s letter were YCSO sergeants Brandon Bowdle, Chris Ray, Jeremy Ruby, Josh Eckroth, Mike Saunders, Todd Whitlow, Russ Vandewettering and Woody Little.


Starrett has our vote

We are supporting Mary Starrett for Yamhill County commissioner and hope our friends and neighbors will join us.

Starrett has our vote for many reasons, not the least of which is her commitment to hold the line on government spending. Her endorsement by the Taxpayer Association of Oregon says it all.

Frank and Adele Celentano



Voting for Stan Primozich

As part of my job at Channel 17 in Salem, I routinely interview public officials and political candidates as they respond to questions about themselves and about their personal thoughts toward important civic issues.

I recently interviewed Stan Primozich, a candidate for Yamhill County commissioner, and it quickly became clear that he has the necessary experience and commitment to fill that important and challenging position.

His responses and statements reflected his deep concern for the livability and future growth of our county. They were based on sound business practices and a respect for wise use of funds and resources. His communication style is open and easy to follow, and he expressed his desire to be a county commissioner who invites collaboration and cooperation to achieve solutions.

Join me in voting for Stan Primozich.

Veronica Nufer



Lawrence best for judgeship

As a former mayor and city council member in the West Valley, I strongly support Mark Lawrence for Yamhill County circuit court judge.

Lawrence has shown integrity, fairness and sound reason during his years as an attorney, which I know on a first-hand basis, having sat on the opposing side. I admire the conservative yet strong ethics shown by Judge Tichenor and feel that Mark Lawrence is the only candidate who demonstrates the same standards

Curtis Grubbs



Keep county conservative

Election season is upon us, and I hope you will vote in the May 20 primary.

As a sitting county commissioner, I’m asking for your support of candidate Mary Starrett for commissioner. Her skill set and private sector experience, with a heart toward service, would be invaluable to the county at this time.

Please help me keep Yamhill County on a conservative course into the future.

Allen Springer



Lawrence best choice

For more than 16 years I have trained with every police agency in Yamhill County and worked in court security, observing the professionalism of judges, district attorneys and defense attorneys.

Ladd Wiles and Mark Lawrence both demonstrate impeccable ethics in court. However, regarding training of police officers, I found that Mr. Lawrence works for justice in our court system regardless of the position he holds.

He taught search-and-seizure law to police officers while he was a defense attorney. He believes justice is best served when everyone in the system does the best job they can.

He updated us on the law and taught us how to get the evidence we wanted — legally. He told us, “I want you to do it right and keep your evidence. The system works right when you do and best serves justice.”

 He also told us not to be offended if he filed a motion to suppress an illegal search, but rather, as a professional, to learn from the experience and not make the same mistake again.

The broad experience, time invested in the justice system and his commitment to finding the truth, leads me to believe Mr. Lawrence is the best choice for circuit court judge in Yamhill County.

Richard (Rick) Noble



Veatch would be excellent

I recommend Brett Veatch for Yamhill County commissioner, Position No. 1. I have known and had a business relationship with him for 20 years and think he would be an excellent county commissioner.

 His business experience would bring a very positive asset to the board.

Matt Dunckel



Bridges always involved

Yamhill County Commission candidate Mary Starrett should be compared to Leap Year. She pops up every four years. There’s no sighting of her in the county except at election time. She ran for governor in 2006, commissioner in 2010 and now, once again, in 2014.

Debra Bridges, on the other hand, is involved in numerous community activities. In addition to helping crime victims and their families in our county every single day, she has been involved in Habitat for Humanity, CASA, St. Barnabas and the SMART Reading Program, to name a few. Debra and her husband, John, joke that they are professional charity auction attendees, supporting every worthy cause they can in our county.

Do you want to elect someone who pops up every four years looking for a job, or someone who already works every day for the people of our county?

Mary Starrett thinks, “It’s time to get to work.” Debra Bridges has been working all along.

Joyce Lowry





Last week we received a robo call from Mary Starrett, promising to fix immigration in Yamhill County. My husband thought it a strange declaration; since we could not think of one way that a county commissioner could change immigration. Ms. Starrett also has ads proclaiming she supports gun ownership, and that she will work to protect the personal liberties that government is taking away from taxpayers. These are fine guarantees, but none of them are the job of a county commissioner. The majority of the responsibilities of a commissioner are about the budget of the county. They have a huge and important charge to all of us to keep us safe, and keep our community livable. But, the items Ms. Starrett says that she will do are just not possible in this job. Now the question: does she not realize the work that a county commissioner does, or is she just making assertions to get votes?
Debra Bridges is promising to work tirelessly. She has been the director of Crime Victim Services in the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office for nine years. Her husband is an attorney and small business owner in Newberg, and they both have supported many causes and our county in various ways. She knows exactly what the job of a county commissioner of Yamhill County entails, and she would never make promises that she cannot keep just to get votes. My husband and I are supporting Debra Bridges for Yamhill County Commissioner, and I encourage everyone to do so as well.

Ginny Crabtree

Don Dix

In all this political furor, I'm looking forward to a quieter phone and not having to lug all that "Junk Mail" to the recycle bin! Wednesdays after elections should be a "paid holiday" for all voters just for having to endure and sort through all the partisan campaign B.S.!


Ah yes, how we look forward to a post-election decrease in junk mail!

However, an even greater source of irritation, in this voter's opinion, is the fouling of our landscape with miles and miles of big ugly roadside signs. I am all for free speech and the declaration of one's political leanings, I just wish it wasn't allowed to litter and visually pollute the countryside. I suppose some voters are influenced by signs, but there are also those of us who find them offensive.

I look forward to "election Wednesday" when we can return to a clear view of our beautiful Yamhill County farmland.........for a while anyway.


Does anyone else find it interesting that nine sergeants (who are at-will employees) have endorsed their boss, Tim Svenson, while a grand total of only two deputies (who are union employees) have done the same? It seems that all is not well with the Sheriff's Office from the perspective of the people who are actually out doing the work. One would think that if things were going along just fine, then more deputies would be willing to sign on as endorsers. I find the nearly-complete lack of support for the current Administration among the rank-and-file very interesting indeed.

Don Dix

Or maybe it's just as 'interesting' that NONE of the sergeants (11total) have endorsed another candidate (Sergeant Shipley is running and the other has abstained).

The deputies? We'll for one, you do realize unions don't appreciate members going public against a union endorsement, right?

And if the support of the deputies is so critical, where are the supporting words for 'your candidate' (whomever that may be) from those deputies?

It would appear the anonymous writer is attempting to raise an issue using one set of guidelines for one candidate, while dismissing those guidelines for another.

But that's just my observation, I could be wrong! ;)


Well I would think it's fairly risky for a deputy to openly oppose pretty much the entire Sergeants group, the Captain, and the Sheriff. So perhaps Casey and Shipley have pointedly refrained from placing deputies in that position. Or maybe Don is right and there are a bunch of shadowy union thugs threatening to break kneecaps if deputies oppose the union. Perhaps we should check on the two deputies who have done so and make sure they're ok.

No, I would think it far easier for a deputy to 'go with the flow' and sign on to endorse the Administration's candidate. And yet only two have done so. Seems like that is a statement in and of itself.

But while we are on the subject of using the same guidelines for everyone, how about we mention the paper's lack of consistency? Apparently two retired captains and a bunch of sergeants can write letters expressing support for their candidate, but when the chief of police at a local agency does the same, the paper refuses to publish it. Curious, isn't it?


In response to the assertion about us not accepting a letter from the chief of a local police agency: We have a longstanding policy of not accepting endorsement letters from members of a candidate's immediate family, and that particular police chief is the candidate's brother. If he would like to line up endorsements from other local chiefs, we'd be happy to print those.
Steve Bagwell, Managing Editor

Don Dix


Are you suggesting that the deputies could be punished if they oppose their superior's choices? Really! How do you come to such a conclusion? About the only case of that happening locally to my recollection is when Leslie Van Baricom (sp) of Onpoint read (not composed) a letter from the chamber supporting the school district during teacher contract negotiations a few years ago. Being a 'teacher's credit union', Onpoint fired her. But wait, that was union intimidation, wasn't it?

Glaringly absent (from your retort) was any response to the fact that 90% of the sergeants (available) support one candidate (apparently not yours). Possibly the reason for that doesn't fit well in your argument, but it does have a great deal of merit. I suppose they were intimidated too, eh?

From this view, comparing qualifications and character of the candidates is where the discussion should reside, but some people only wish to speak in negative, nit-picking tones against an opponent (or their allies).

Wednesday morning, we'll see if a negative campaign works as well as one without. My guess -- 'there'll be a new sheriff in town' -- but it won't be yours!



I have followed the sheriff’s election closely and have been around long enough to see past elections. The listing of two deputies, which interestingly enough is not even a part of any of these letters, is not uncommon. Clearly you have other motives and are attempting to “create” talking points in an attempt to discredit. Most informed voters will see through this ploy. I mean really? To suggest that “all is not well” is just plain dumb. Way to spin it. Obviously you are working for a campaign.

None of the past elections I can recall had deputies come out in support of a candidate, so your tactic to smear the validity of the letter from the sergeants is laughable. A group of supervisors coming out supporting a particular candidate is a huge endorsement. It shows they have the confidence in that person to be able to lead the department and recognize what that person has done to prepare. Are you telling me the sergeants are all misinformed and incapable of making a proper decision? Holy cow, how does the department run with them in place now…

Bottom line is you are attempting to create an issue where there is not one. Take your campaign strategy elsewhere.


And to follow up on the letter from the “chief of a local agency” writing a letter. You got your publication in another local paper and the points made were shot down a couple of weeks later in a response. If, as Chief Casey suggests in his letter, his brother could be hired as a chief, lets see him try. As I said I have been following this race, as I always do, closely. I have been around long enough to see several sheriff’s elections and this is an important choice for our county.


I'm not suggesting that deputies would be punished for supporting a different candidate, only stating that this would place them in a potentially bad position with their superiors. No one wants to work for a boss who's unhappy with them.

I know all three candidates, I'm not working for any of them. An employees union supported one particular candidate as well, but apparently that isn't as important as what the sergeants have to say. I thought it was an interesting point, but apparently you both are much better informed than I.


I too am watching the race most closely, and agree with you that this is an important decision for the citizens of the county. I seriously hope it'll be over one way or the other, or the other, after tomorrow.


You, anonymous, were the one to try and taint the letter from the sergeants and tried to make this a union argument by spinning this to a lack of support from the “rank and file.” You obviously have shown your hand, got caught and now back pedal to a moral high ground. You discounted what comes from the leadership of the department in an effort to downplay what was said (written). I would welcome the insight of the union members should they choose to speak, but at this point the only group willing to come forward are the sergeants, which are obviously not backing your guy.

Please do not use the “I am better informed than you” thing. I am a reader and I research. This information is out there and all you have to do is look, although I am sure it will not change your mind. You are the one who has resorted to a smear campaign which most understand is a ploy to take the focus off of the real issues. Hypotheticals and hyperbole have no place here. Come with facts.


Fact: Two deputies out of approximately 60 have chosen to endorse a particular candidate.

Fact: Nine sergeants out of 11 have endorsed a particular candidate.

Fact: The employees' union endorsed a particular candidate.

Fact: All three candidates had the opportunity to request that union endorsement. Only two bothered to do so. One received the endorsement.

I have made some inferences from these facts. You have done the same. Clearly we differ in the conclusions we draw.


Fact: Two deputies out of approximately 60 have chosen to endorse a particular candidate.

You’re right. Two did, but this in no way suggests the others support your guy (as you would want us to believe). I am sure there is a split within the department. That is something that has gone on since the dawn of elections and hardly an indicator of the health of an organization.

Fact: Nine sergeants out of 11 have endorsed a particular candidate.

Darn. Right again. Wait, one is a candidate and, according to Don Dix, one chose to abstain. That leaves the entire balance supporting Svenson.

Fact: The employees' union endorsed a particular candidate.

Kind of. It’s like the parent company saying go ahead and use our name, but to imply it is the feeling of the members is absurd. A more accurate way would have been to go to the union directly and go for support through a general membership vote, not by going to a council where the local only sits among many. Great, a Portland local supports him. What do they care about our county???

Fact: All three candidates had the opportunity to request that union endorsement. Only two bothered to do so. One received the endorsement.

Let me get this straight. You expect a person in an administrative position to go after a union endorsement? Sure way to show you will lack the ability to enforce rule violations. Administrators and unions make strange bedfellows. Looks like your guy is a pro union supporter.


I have made some inferences from these facts. You have done the same. Clearly we differ in the conclusions we draw.

We clearly have different conclusions. I don’t disrespect your passion of involvement, but do wish you do more research and fact checking. All of your examples are laden with subjective conclusions and that is something anybody can do.

Lets try this one:

Fact: “13 years” law enforcement experience, but only holds an intermediate certificate(s) (from the voter’s pamphlet). It took me two minutes to google “Oregon police certification” and find a chart showing the levels. So if I interpret the figures right, he should have his advanced based on years of service and education (again listed in voter’s pamphlet). If he has 8 as a deputy, where are the other 5? It lists Newberg so wouldn’t he be qualified for advanced. I’m no expert on that chart, as I just found it, but clearly an example of how things can be spun.



If those certifications were the determining factor in who should be the next Sheriff, then Tim Svenson would likely win. But they are not.

If certifications are the all-important factor, then why doesn't DPSST require more of them? It seems to me it would be in the agency's best interest to require more and more certifications if those pieces of paper are critical to knowing how to be a leader. After all, the more people taking the classes and applying for the certifications, the larger the state agency needs to be to supply the product the cops are demanding. Yet even the agency with some measure of self-interest involved doesn't require more than minimal number of certifications. I wonder why that is?

Certifications do not the best candidate make. Especially for a job like Sheriff. Instead I'd rather vote for a man whose integrity I know to be of extreme reliability. The boss doesn't need to know how to fill every role in an organization; he needs to know how to effectively lead others to fill their roles to the best of their ability.

And I'd be curious to know how many of those certifications and how much budget experience Detective Jack Crabtree had when he took over the Sheriff's Office. By all accounts he turned around the budget and squared away some of the problems that plagued the Sheriff's Office at that time. I suspect the answer might be rather interesting.

I'd attempt to explain the certification chart to you, but I'm not sure I understand it myself. Nor do I know any of the candidates' training record well enough to properly interpret the chart.


Certifications in and of themselves may not be the “all-important” factor in the making of a sheriff, but it does show the drive to the commitment to the community by continuing to strive to always improve and grow. And I am certain there are certain certification requirements with the department the higher you go.

You still generalize and paint this picture of certifications being unnecessary, but if that were the case the state would drop them. Instead they are in place to probably maintain the drive to improve an individual’s knowledge and abilities which only benefits us tax payers. For that matter I wouldn’t be surprised if the sergeants who do not endorse your guy are more qualified to be sheriff in their own right. Regardless, you seem to think your guy should get it because he has integrity and is reliable. I would think with all three being professionals they all have integrity and are reliable.

Onto the false argument of comparing your guy to the current sheriff. Again it took two minutes and a google search to find he was the detective division COMMANDER from 1997 to 2002. I am sure in that position it required oversight of budgetary issues and made recommendations. In essence he worked closely with the higher ups. You still want to make comparisons? Please don’t. I remember back to the Vazquez days and recall when Crabtree took over. He did turn the department around, but I doubt it was based luck and not preparation.

The points I make are because of the blind following of someone without really looking. Like I have said in the past this is not based on a name or because you know them. I don’t want that kind of high school drama being played with my money. We hold our elected officials accountable and trust they are positioning themselves well in advance of taking office. Why isn’t that the case with you?



Okay. If a piece of paper (or several) are what drive you to vote for a specific person, good on ya. I'm not sure what the size of the Sheriff's Office was from 1997-2002, but Detective Commander couldn't have been commander of more than 2 or 3 other detectives. And I think you're assuming a little too much to think he had much/any input into the budget during those years. The detectives "division" in an agency that size is just an extension of the patrol division. All the budget numbers for the detectives would most likely have been run as a part of the patrol budget. Unless you have facts to assert otherwise?

Hope you remembered to vote. I guess we'll see what the citizens of Yamhill County think by this time tomorrow.


Good God. Who is coaching you? You have definitely shown you are part of a campaign and miss the entire point of the certification comment. The point is the lack of preparation to get to the point of deserving a vote for the sheriff spot. To discount any leadership experience regardless of how many a person commands (which sounds like you have insider information on) is irresponsible of your campaign to project. Oh, I assume nothing. I am not a voter who is swayed by what a candidate claims. I read and research. I have enough life and work experience to know what being in a supervisor position entails and contrary to your claim, supervisors do have budgetary involvement. It makes sense because they are the ones to apply what is directed from the top and a smart person at the top listens to the input from below. This works in both the private and public sectors.

Again, you have played your hand and all see and realize you are part of a campaign. We know which one. You speak of budgets and divisions, which shows full well you are part of it. You have resorted to smearing others rather than showcasing the skills of your guy, but when you do, they are generalities and rhetoric and nothing substantive. A leader isn’t a leader because he is a nice guy and pets my dog. A leader prepares himself to take the lead and is the first to take the blame. I see nothing from your campaign to show this preparation exists and you resort to bashing to muddy the waters. Way to go. I know who I am not voting for.

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