Local attorney Christie A. Timko was sworn in as Grant County Justice of the Peace pro tem for 2019 after being approved by the county court Jan. 9.
Timko received her law degree from the University of Oregon in 1997. She has served as a prosecutor in Harney County, the district attorney in Grant County and the executive director of Grant-Harney County CASA.
Justice of the Peace Kathy Stinnett explained, with four local law enforcement officers related to her, it was important to avoid even the appearance of impropriety by having a pro tem judge handle some cases.
Cris Patnode, the justice of the peace in Gilliam County, and Vicky Clemens, the justice of the peace in Harney County, were approved as alternates.
In other county court news:
• The court approved a request by Grant County Regional Airport Manager Haley Walker for the county to partner with the Oregon Aviation Industries organization to promote rural air service.
The group is an aviation cluster group of the Oregon Business Council and the Oregon Business Plan that includes more than 400 aviation-related businesses in the state.
The group promotes rural air service in Oregon by utilizing government subsidies, avoiding expensive airport security screening and matching right-sized aircraft to demand.
Walker said the only cost to the county would be her time. ORAVI will create a marketing plan and present it to a commercial carrier that might offer air service in John Day, she said.
• The court approved a request from Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter to apply for a federal Office on Violence Against Women grant. Fifty grants up to $750,000 will be awarded, but submissions will be competitive. The exact amount the district attorney’s office will apply for will be determined closer to the Feb. 14 deadline, Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the grant could be used to pay for part or all of the costs for a Heart of Grant County executive director, a victim intervention specialist, training and travel expenses, community awareness and education projects, providing for emergency services and collaborating with the Heart of Grant County for a support advocate and the group’s proposed domestic abuse shelter project.
Carpenter also informed the court that Victim Assistance Director Andrea Officer had resigned to take another job, and Kimberly Neault, the victim intervention specialist, would fill that position.
• The court approved an emergency ordinance codifying the court’s decision in October regarding the Meadowbrook Quarry near Dale. The court had opposed a request by the Oregon Department of Transportation to designate the quarry as a significant aggregate site with a 1,500-foot buffer zone that would limit land uses near the site.
The court approved a designation that would not limit uses by the property owner, and ODOT appealed the court’s decision to the state Land Use Board of Appeals. Attorneys for ODOT and the county agreed that codifying the court’s decision in an ordinance was needed to move the matter forward.
• The court approved a stipend to pay for internet service at Commissioner Sam Palmer’s home. The court is moving to “paperless” management, and Palmer needed quality internet access. Palmer agreed not to take a stipend for serving as the county’s new public health administrator, a position recently mandated by the state.
• The court appointed new volunteers to 11 committees and boards.
Commissioner Palmer was appointed to the Local Community and the Regional advisory councils.
Robert Watt and Robert Bagett were reappointed to the Airport Commission, and Doug Ferguson was appointed to the commission. Ron Lundbom, who served as chairman for many years, has stepped down.
Robert Stewart was reappointed to the Budget Committee.
Kris Beal and Chris Cronin were reappointed to the College Advisory Board, and David Kebler was appointed to the board. Bruce Ward, who had served for a long time on the board, has stepped down.
Gail Enright could not be reappointed to the Extension & 4-H Service District Advisory Council, and no applications were received.
Jake Taylor and MT Anderson were reappointed to the Fair Board.
Donna Johnston and Dale Stennett were reappointed to the Mental Health Advisory Board.
No volunteers submitted applications for the Senior Citizens Advisory Council.
Sally Bartlett, Haley Walker and Rick Minster were reappointed to the South East Area Commission on Transportation, and Commissioner Jim Hamsher was appointed to the commission.
Rick Henslee, Shaun Robertson and Larry Burton were reappointed to the Wildlife Advisory Board.
With no actions for the Wolf Depredation Advisory Committee to handle for many years, the committee needed to be recreated for a recently documented case of a wolf attack on a calf. Commissioner Hamsher, Alec Oliver, Pat Holliday, James Driscoll and Rob Stewart were appointed to the committee.