The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, November 22, 2017, Image 1

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– PAGE A10
Blue Mountain
Grant County’s newspaper since 1868
W edNesday , N ovember 22, 2017
• N o . 47
• 18 P ages
• $1.00
for a public
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
new high-speed internet option is moving for-
ward for parts of Grant County.
The John Day City Council unanimously
approved an ordinance Nov. 15 ratifying cre-
ation of the Grant County Digital Network Coalition,
an intergovernmental agency to manage a new publicly
owned broadband network in Grant County.
“This is great,” Mayor Ron Lundbom said. “It’s
been a long time coming.”
Upon approval by the Oregon
Secretary of State, the coalition
will become active Jan. 1, John
Day City Manager Nick Green
Green expected the Seneca
City Council to adopt a similar
ordinance that night and for the
Grant County Court to do so on
Nov. 22. Each party to the agree-
ment will appoint a member to
represent their jurisdiction on the
coalition’s board of directors.
Prairie City and Canyon City
opted to not join the coalition,
Green said.
“We won’t extend service to
those two communities,” he said,
adding that the communities join-
ing the coalition will have a great-
er share of the system’s revenue
but also take on more risk.
The backbone of the network in Grant County will
be a high-capacity fiber cable installed from Burns to
the John Day Valley. The state legislature provided
$1.8 million for the project, which according to an esti-
mate by OFS Optics was sufficient to run the line from
Burns to John Day, Green told the Eagle.
One of the route’s hurdles involves obtaining rights-
of-way through Forest Service land. The task force
working on the proposal has negotiated with Oregon
Fiber is more expensive on the
capital side but much lower cost
on operations and maintenance.”
Nick Green
John Day city manager
Police committee votes to
close Palmer investigation
Licensing agency staff recommended no further action
By Sean Hart
Blue Mountain Eagle
Oregon’s police licensing
agency is closing an investi-
gation into citizen complaints
about Grant County Sheriff
Glenn Palmer.
The Police Policy Commit-
tee of the licensing agency, the
Department of Public Safety
Standards and Training, vot-
ed unanimously Nov. 16 to
affirm the rec-
of DPSST staff
that no further
action be taken
on the com-
plaints against
Palmer. Mal-
heur County
Sheriff Brian
Wolfe and an-
other voting member recused
DPSST Professional Stan-
dards Coordinator/Investiga-
tor Katrina Robson told the
committee DPSST received
“numerous citizen complaints
alleging misconduct” by
Palmer. The agency forward-
ed the complaints to the Or-
egon Department of Justice,
which concluded its criminal
investigation in October with
no charges filed, stating the
“investigation simply has not
revealed concrete evidence of
criminal conduct.”
Robson said the DPSST
waited to review the com-
plaints until the criminal in-
vestigation was completed.
She said the committee needed
to determine the next steps and
that DPSST staff recommend-
ed taking no further action
because, without criminal con-
duct, there was no “objectively
reasonable” basis to initiate
proceedings to suspend or re-
voke Palmer’s police licenses.
“A majority of the allega-
tions contained in the com-
plaints are related to Sheriff
Palmer’s management opera-
tion of the Grant County Sher-
iff’s Office, matters that are
outside of the board’s and the
DPSST’s jurisdiction,” Rob-
son said. “After reviewing
the remaining allegations and
considering the findings of the
DOJ’s criminal investigation,
staff does not believe that an
would uncover any additional
information related to Sheriff
Palmer’s conduct.”
See PALMER, Page A18
Council mulls 911
dispatch options
By Richard Hanners
Blue Mountain Eagle
The John Day City Coun-
cil at its Nov. 14 meeting
unanimously voted to accept
$420,000 in state funding to
keep its local 911 dispatch
center operating for two
more years.
It also unanimously au-
thorized City Manager Nick
Green to organize an inter-
agency task force to dissolve
the current dispatch center
and to negotiate a transition
plan for a new 911 jurisdic-
tional plan to become opera-
tional by 2020.
During discussion about
the failure of the local option
tax election, Green said the
county didn’t have the best
taxing tools to address the
911 funding deficit, and the
special option tax appeared
to violate a basic principle of
tax fairness.
“It was hard to explain
that to voters on social me-
John Day City
Councilman Paul
John Day City
Councilwoman Shannon
dia,” he said.
Voters also didn’t under-
stand that John Day paid
about $200,000 per year to
make up the annual funding
deficit for the countywide
dispatch center, Green said.
The city gradually took over
responsibility of the local
dispatch center as members
stopped coming to User
Board meetings and the tech-
nical oversight group “atro-
phied,” he said.
Chief Dispatcher Valerie
Maynard, who researched
See 911, Page A18
See Page A3