By NWV Staff Writer
Almost a year ago, the newly sworn-in commissioners Cherryl Walker and Keith Heck decided to dramatically change the power of the government bureaucracy in Josephine County by resurrecting a package of proposed County ordinances that had been smoldering on the shelves in the office of Legal Counsel. These ordinances had the potential to transform Josephine County into a Planning Code Enforcement Police State. Walker and Heck did everything they legally could to prevent the people from voting on this. In spite of their efforts to prevent it, the ordinances quickly went to referendum. During the course of the referendum campaign a crusty old veteran of the D-Day invasion addressed the Board of Commissioners at their weekly business session and declared that Walker and Heck ought to be arrested, kept on bread and water for 30 days, tarred and feathered, and then be run out of town on a rail. When the election results were in, it was clear that Walker and Heck were completely out of touch with the constituents they were chosen to represent. Asked by Walker to approve the ordinances, nearly 50% of the voters turned out to vote. Thanks to Attorney Jack Swift, the Oregon Republican party, their chairman Art Robinson for their effort in defeating Walker’s Police State ordinances. Nearly 80% chose to vote “NO”. There immediately arose a loud call for a recall.
Voters are wondering what is the state of the recall activity? An elected representative can make an error of judgment. He or she can misinterpret the will of their constituents. They are human. To his credit, confronted with the election results, Heck acknowledged his mistake and recognized the will of the people. That is not the case with Cherryl Walker and therein lies a problem.
When the Board of Commissioners were first publicly challenged about the desirability of these ordinances, Commissioner Hare withdrew his initial support in deference to that public opposition. Walker and Heck instead lectured the crowd that they had been chosen to rule – that by virtue of election they had been given a mandate to exercise their will, even over public opposition. Cherryl Walker has never changed that position. This is an unacceptable and dangerous attitude for an elected official in a representative government.
Simply based on her lack of understanding of the position she holds, Cherryl Walker is incompetent and unfit to hold the job. Commissioner Walker wanted to transform Josephine County the same way President Barack Obama is transforming America…..Removing one freedom at a time. Of far greater public concern, however, is Walker’s utter lack of understanding of the duties of her position. Walker has not been chosen to rule the people. She was chosen to represent them. She is an agent of the people, not their ruler. An agent is responsible for his principals and being an agent entails a host of fiduciary duties and loyalties – something Walker would understand if she had spent more than six months in law school. An agent cannot be loyal and true if the agent lies about those principals she is supposed to represent.
In the course of the fight over the planning police ordinances, Walker consistently lied to the public. Challenged on the need for the ordinances, Walker claimed there were 50 public nuisance cases tied up in court litigation and some 300 in an enforcement backlog. She lied. Court records disclosed 2 active nuisance cases and department records disclosed not a single enforceable nuisance complaint for the entire year of 2012. Confronted with the facts, Walker claimed the opposition was lying. She claimed that fines under the ordinances were not payable to the departments issuing the complaints. She denied that fines for land use violations could run to twice the value of one’s property. Cherryl Walker did nothing but tell lie after lie about the entire scheme of regulation. She undertook the legislation without public consultation. She attempted to slide them into law by way of hiding them behind appealing titles without disclosing their terms to the public. Exposed, she lied again. The entire exercise was a breach of fiduciary duty on her part.
Cherryl Walker abused the public trust and her position. In the course of debate, she took sides as a commissioner, then took the podium and used County documents to argue as a citizen. She took County photographs from County files and used them in paid advertisements opposing the referendum. Moreover, she has repeatedly stated that her concern in the matter arises from a personal problem she has with a particular neighbor. She would saddle all of Josephine County property owners with a draconian regulation simply to solve her own personal problem rather than resolve her problem in court on her own.
Cherryl Walker cannot be trusted
In the face of overwhelming public opposition to her ordinances, Cherryl Walker isn’t even repentant. She has not withdrawn her position on having planning police. There is nothing to prevent her from attempting to enact these obnoxious ordinances once again next month. She could once again attempt to enact them by title only and who would know? All she has to do change the titles to fool the voters. Cherryl Walker has proven herself unfit for office. She has breached her fiduciary duties. She is perfectly capable and apparently willing to do so again. In the circumstances, recall would seems the only means for the voters to protect themselves.
NewsWithViews.com/southernoregon.htm has determined that a recall committee has been formed. It is being headed up by James Dittmer, Bruce Smith and its treasurer Jim Rafferty of Selma. They report that a campaign to gather signatures for a recall of Cherryl Walker will begin just as soon as the holidays are behind us and the weather improves. Dittmer, Smith and Rafferty were stalwarts in the referendum campaign and very effective in managing a vast grass roots effort. Anyone interested in helping the recall is encouraged to contact them or NewsWithViews. Josephine County cannot afford three more years of Cherryl Walker’s lies.
You can be a “Recall Cherryl Walker” volunteer by helping us with a financial donation or by lending your support to this volunteer effort by gathering signatures. Please call Bruce Smith at 541-659-0373, go to w4acg.com or send an e-mail to CSPP@w4acg.com to get involved.