Baker City herald. (Baker City, Or.) 1990-current, October 15, 2020, Page 6, Image 6

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Limit: 75
as an
offi cial or
Limit: 100
2 issues
that you
think will
be vital for
the City
Council to
deal with
the next 2
Limit: 250
Discuss 2
goals you
would like
to pursue
if you’re
Limit: 250
My name is Shane M.
Alderson. I
am 40 years
old. I’m a
pher, and
have worked
as a backcountry guide and
a fi eld researcher for West
Virginia University. I have
lived in Baker City all my
Arvid Andersen, 67,
BS degree
in Forest
of Idaho,
professional forester with
private industry 21 years,
self-employed as consult-
ing forester 24 years,
resident of Baker City
since January 1990.
I was born and raised in
Baker City. I
left long enough
to get some
education and
to realize that
this is where
I wanted to raise my kids. I
have over 50 years of living in
this outstanding community. I
am the County’s Natural Re-
sources Coordinator. As such,
my responsibilities include
working, and partnering with,
state and federal agencies to
ensure our community has a
voice on public land manage-
ment. This a public service
that I take very seriously.
My name is Joanna Dixon.
I am 71 years
old and have
lived in Baker
City my entire
life. I previ-
ously worked at
Inland Empire
Periodicals (Leo Adler) where
I fi rst learned computer
operations and data process-
ing. I also worked at Pioneer
Bank then First Bank when
they took over Pioneer, where
I started as a teller, then
transferred to data processing
where I continued adding to
knowledge of computer opera-
tions and data processing. I
operated a ceramic shop for 4
years before fi nally retiring.
I’m Kerry McQuisten. I’m a 7th-
generation Baker Coun-
ty resident, raised on a
cattle ranch. After living
in Spain, Japan and the
Seattle area, I decided
it was time to come
home to Baker City. I
formed Black Lyon Publishing, LLC
here in 2007, and was once named
Baker County Entrepreneur of the
Year. I’m the mother of two beautiful
girls — one away in college, the other
in fourth grade. I also hold an Oregon
Private Investigator’s license.
In 1998 I started vol-
unteering with the Baker
County Sheriff’s Posse
and Search and Rescue.
These experiences led me to
become a First Aid and CPR
instructor and a Disaster
Services Volunteer for the
American Red Cross. Dur-
ing Hurricane Katrina in
2005, I helped to coordinate
services and emergency
communication. I have also
worked with Baker County
Emergency Management on
shelter preparedness and
disaster planning.
Baker City Council
member since 2017
Current Baker City Coun-
cilor (2) years; Current Baker
County Natural Resources
Advisory Committee Chair
(6) years; Current Baker City
Covid Relief Fund Committee
Chair; Past experiences on
the Baker County Planning
Commission and the Baker
City Parks Board
Police and fi re depart-
ment budgets will need to
be a main focus to overcome
the past couple of years.
Baker City has seen an
increase in crime, poverty,
and drug use. A global pan-
demic has exacerbated this
problem. More and more,
our residents are dealing
with the issues of property
abatement, higher rates of
theft, and visible drug abuse
on the streets. Resources to
local police are currently in-
suffi cient to allow offi cers to
do the job they strive to do.
Our fi re department must
continue training fi refi ght-
ers, paramedics, and EMTs,
while also maintaining an
aging fl eet of vehicles and
equipment. I’ll work with
the City Council and Baker
County Commissioners
to make budget increases
that will ensure a safe and
healthy community for us
Another important issue
that will need to be ad-
dressed is the success of
small local businesses. COV-
ID-19 has brought hardship
to local business owners
and our entire economy. It is
essential that we, as a City
Council, take every oppor-
tunity to ease this burden.
We must work hard to bring
back local events and the
tourist industry that has
supported our economy for
so long.
Maintain full commu-
nity support for Baker
City law, along with
Baker County Sheriff,
and Oregon State Police,
enforcement and Baker
City Fire Department.
We do not want to be like
Portland or Seattle! Con-
tinue to work with and
encourage Public Works
Department for upgrade
water delivery system
and wastewater disposal.
Search long-term reso-
lution of PERS.
City Manager: It is vitally
important that the Council
engage with the new city
manager to facilitate a good
working relationship that
focuses on community needs.
The Council is responsible for
health, safety, and economic
viability of the community.
The city manager is responsi-
ble for getting it done. There-
fore, building trust between
the manager, Council, and
community is critical to the
overall success that allows a
city to function.
• Community safety and
protection: Law enforcement
must be given ordinances
that can be enforced. This
does not mean new laws
must be written, rather, exist-
ing laws must be reviewed
and amended to better serve
today’s community needs.
The ambulance service and
fi re department must be able
to respond to emergencies
and prioritize the citizens of
Baker City. This is going to
require a new system to keep
the fi rst responder fl eet in top
working order without rais-
ing taxes or increasing fees.
The fi rst goal that I would
like to pursue as a City Coun-
cil member is to bring size-
appropriate industry back to
Baker City. Our county’s pov-
erty rate is currently above
15%. I believe that it is time
to take a proactive approach
in encouraging companies
to consider Baker City as a
prospective location. As bet-
ter jobs become available to
low-income families, we will
see our community prosper.
I believe that we can entice
manufacturing and natural
resource development that
will refl ect our small town
values, ethics, and respect for
our environment.
Secondly, I believe it is time
to recognize that tourism
and outdoor recreation is an
industry that Baker County
has yet to fully tap into. In
2006, an estimated 505,000
people visited the Wallowa-
Whitman National Forest.
That number has continued
to increase by 100,000 people
per year. This growth will
continue to come whether or
not Baker City is in a position
to capitalize on it. As a City
Council member, I will sup-
port Baker City Downtown
programs that promote tour-
ism and will help businesses
prepare for this inevitable
growth. I want to work with
Baker City Art Guild and
Oregon Parks and Recreation
to make Historic Baker City
an inviting destination for
both tourist and outdoor
recreation enthusiasts.
Continue to partner
with Wallowa-Whitman
National Forest and
Whitman Ranger District
to launch a full-fl edged
operation to restore forest
health and reduce exces-
sive fuel loads in Baker
City Watershed.
As a public servant, my
goals are to listen to and
serve the community to pro-
vide the best available protec-
tion, safety, maintenance, and
enhancement of the unique
environment, lifestyle, and
customs and culture of our
City. This includes upgrading
and maintaining our streets,
improving enforcement of our
current codes and ordinances,
promoting our local business-
es, and continuing to work
with our partners to protect
the municipal water supply.
Thank you for your consid-
eration. I am always happy to
stop and visit with folks and
listen to new ideas and needs.
I look forward to continuing
to serve you.
I was appointed Precinct
Committee Person for Baker
County Republican Central
Committee in September
2018 and then elected to that
position in May of 2020. I
was appointed treasurer in
January of 2020 and elected
to that position in February
of 2020.
I am not a politician, I am
an ordinary citizen that loves
the community that I have
spent my entire life living
in and want to work to keep
Baker City a great place to
live and raise a family.
We have to address the
drug and crime issues in our
city. There will, unfortunately,
always be crime, but not
to the extent that we have
now. One of the fi rst steps
to reduce crime is to reduce
the amount of drug activity.
Where there is drug usage,
there is an increase in crime
in order to support their
We also need to work on
affordable housing. People
cannot adequately provide for
their families with skyrocket-
ing housing costs, especially
if their only source of income
is minimum wage service
industry jobs. Being a tourist
destination and showing off
the wonders of our county is
all well and good, but that
only provides minimum wage
jobs. We need jobs where a
worker can support their
One of my goals would be
to review all contracts and
memoranda of understand-
ing to see where cost savings
can be made. We need to
make sure that the taxpayer
dollars are being spent in the
most effective way. Just as an
example, my monthly water/
sewer bill is now as much or
more than that bill was 15-20
years ago for 2 months.
I would like to work to
increase the numbers of jobs
in Baker City where a worker
is able to provide their family
with a good home, plenty of
food without having to resort
to EBT cards. Where they can
get medical care without rely-
ing on OHA for help.
Six of seven seats on Baker
City Council on Nov. 3 ballot
who were appointed by the
remaining councilors, are
The section of the Nov. 3
serving temporary terms that
general election ballot for the end Dec. 31.
Baker City Council is unusu-
Lynette Perry is the only
ally long.
councilor whose term contin-
Not only are six of the
ues into 2021. She was elected
seven City Council seats on
in 2018 to a 4-year term.
the ballot, but 13 candidates
Of the six other councilors,
are vying for a position.
two — Mayor Loran Joseph
Typically just four Council and Randy Schiewe — are not
seats are up for election every eligible to run for re-election
2 years. But two councilors
due to the term limits clause
resigned earlier this year and in the city charter.
their replacements, Larry
Morrison did not fi le as a
Morrison and Jason Spriet,
By Jayson Jacoby
Three other current coun-
cilors are on the ballot: Doni
Bruland, Arvid Andersen and
Among the top six candi-
dates in the Nov. 3 election,
the top three will serve 4-year
terms. The three others will
serve 2-year terms.
Two candidates who are on
the ballot — Annie Croucher
and James C. Thomas — did
not respond to multiple re-
quests, by email and phone, to
submit answers to the Baker
City Herald’s questionnaire.
I’ve served as an elected Precinct
Committee Person for the Baker
County Republicans for many years.
This is a volunteer offi ce, the most
grassroots level of any party, for
which I have helped register vot-
ers and point citizens toward their
elected offi cials for help. As a result of
this position, I’m comfortable with the
ins and outs of how all levels of gov-
ernment work in America, from state
statutes to local ordinances — to even
Robert’s Rules of Order for conducting
public meetings.
Community safety is clearly an
immediate issue. I can’t even count
how many citizens have reached out
to me expressing fear for their safety
and that of their children in our city
parks. We’re also seeing increased
theft, trap houses, and other drug-re-
lated crimes. Residents say they can
no longer leave anything that could
be carried off in their pickups, on their
porches, or even within their fenced
backyards. Two homes on my block
were recently burglarized. People
are incredibly frustrated when they
see criminals only cited and released
instead of jailed. Some of the reasons
for the shift we’re seeing inside the
city extend into county issues such as
a jail left half-empty, and state issues
such as decriminalizing behaviors
that were once serious crimes. This
present dynamic can leave city law
enforcement hamstrung. We need to
fi nd ways to support our police and
address this.
The second present issue is getting
a new city manager in place. I’m con-
cerned, as are many citizens, about
why we have an outgoing Council in-
terviewing and hiring a new manager
just 2 months before an entire newly
elected Council will be sworn in. The
new City Council will oversee the new
city manager, and that creates the po-
tential for the new manager and new
Council to be put at a disadvantage
should voters choose representatives
with different goals from this outgo-
ing Council. I would prefer to see the
hiring process put on hold until early
2021, and handled then.
Having a business development
background myself, I’m clear how
those efforts can quickly become a
smoke-and-mirrors, glad-handing
program in which the only item being
developed is the business developer’s
own bank account. I would like to
change how business development
is approached locally, with several
goals beneath that umbrella. The City
should never focus on an expensive
middleman to point potential busi-
nesses toward resources that, frankly,
entrepreneurs already know how to
fi nd! I’m typically against a munici-
pality directly involving itself in new
local business coalitions. I advocate
leaving the business of operating busi-
nesses and forming marketing coali-
tions to those business owners them-
selves. We have the Baker County
Chamber of Commerce, which exists
to support all member businesses, and
is the go-to place for businesses and
visitors to begin business research.
Let’s focus on minding the business
of the city with actual incentives such
as tax breaks, fee waives, quicker
permitting processes, low crime and
a solid infrastructure, which will all
attract businesses. That is the heart
of true business development. Quite
a bit of COVID money recently came
into the city. How about a grant
program for existing businesses to
market or expand themselves as they
see fi t? We want living-wage jobs;
let’s not absorb that money into local
government or hand it out to com-
munity organizations. Why are free
social media communications tools
underutilized when they could benefi t
residents? Why do website updates to
cheaply market the City as a whole
take years to complete rather than