Walker Response to Recall Petition


For more than a dozen years there has been a small group of disgruntled people who have tried to intimidate public officials and citizens from public participation in Josephine County meetings.  Their mode of operation has been name calling and making disparaging comments about private citizens who disagreed with them, verbally attack County employees, demonize elected officials and create a hostile environment in the Anne Basker Auditorium where the County Weekly Business Sessions are held.

Their filing of a potential recall against me is just the latest in a string of attempts to derail County government and prevent any progress toward resolution of the many problems our county is currently experiencing.  For months the Board of County Commissioners has endured a litany of verbal abuse, belligerence and rude behavior that impeded the ability of the Board of Commissioners to conduct legitimate business, according to law, the County Charter, and County ordinances, on behalf of all the residents of Josephine County.

It is the duty of the Chair of any board, including the Board of County Commissioners, to maintain decorum and provide for an opportunity for all citizens to participate in a public meeting.  Further, it is the responsibility of the Board of Commissioners to protect the County from any liability that may result from the careless or unsafe actions or behaviors of people in the audience.  I take this responsibility seriously on behalf of all the residents of Josephine County, not just a self-appointed group trying to bully the majority of good people who live and work in Josephine County.

Specific allegations against me regarding votes and decisions on issues in their complaint are not valid.   Actions cited are decisions that were made by the Board of Commissioners or the Josephine County Budget Committee.  I am only one member of each of these bodies and cannot, nor did I, make any of the decision unilaterally.  Some of the allegations are blatantly false.  For example that I “Refused to prioritize Public Safety over Public Works in the County Budget.”  The Budget Committee Decision was to not take money from our County Road Fund, used to repair roads, and transfer it to the Sheriff’s Department.  However, the Board of County Commissioners, including me, voted to transfer contingency funds and general fund money to the Sheriff’s Department budget, as requested by the Sheriff.

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  1. Matthew A. Eldridge says:

    Dear readers and Jo-Co residents,

    I want to own my vote . . . I did not vote for Walker when she ran because I wanted to see different people who did not have history of politics in local government. That said, I regret that choice, as Walker has acted in the best interest of our community. I may not agree with everything she might do, nor would I of Heck or Hare!

    This is politics in the ugliest fashion. This past primary in Jo-Co was ugly and now that we are going into the General Election, it is back. Where I didn’t vote for Walker, I WILL DEFEND HER! To be full disclosure, I am highly involved with Securing Our Safety and yet, it is not that purpose that I now support, rather, Walker has demonstrated leadership at a time Jo-Co has needed it the best.

    I am impressed that this story is first account . . . let’s have the reporting later but thanks for giving us the readers first hand understanding. I am sure I know some of the names behind this act, yet, it would not be prudent nor would it be wise to give any more attention then they already think they should have.

    Let’s get back to governing in a sensible manner. The last recall was valid, we needed to purge the BOC of a problem. This time, it is nothing but politics. You don’t have like Walker to stand behind her. I am sure there are people that don’t like me but would stand behind this statement–the same applies.

    Join me in STOP THE RECALL DEFEND REAL LEADERSHIP–this is not a PAC and I don’t authorize it to become one either :)

    Matthew A. Eldridge

    Freight Broker/Business Agency Owner

    Grants Pass/Josephine County, OR

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