It is not too difficult to draw “between the lines” inferences from the letter Frances Preston wrote to the editor of Blue Mountain Eagle in John Day, Oregon. Preston is noticeably agitated at the nonchalance of the Grant County Court with respect to attending the all important coordination assembly. It took a direct order by sheriff for court to be induced into cooperating. With the fire and flooding that devastated many, one would expect the court to show more empathy and compassion!
The Grant County Court Wednesday, Nov. 25, sent a letter to the Forest Service invoking coordination. In August, when citizens informed the court about coordination after attending a three-day workshop in Baker City, the court showed no interest. Only after the sheriff introduced a natural resource plan and invoked coordination did the court respond.
On Nov. 28, Fred Kelly Grant, a preeminent attorney on coordination, was in John Day to speak on the issue. Although the County Court members were invited to attend, not one of the men representing Grant County were present at the informative meeting.(lawyers and judges sometimes have to be forced to be in the same room….usually on court day)
Is it arrogance from the court that they know more than anyone else or simply disdain for the citizens they are supposed to represent? The tragedy of the Canyon Creek Complex fire destroying homes and shattering lives is more than enough to bear. Now the threat of flooding to Canyon City and John Day should have prompted the court in learning anything that will be beneficial in protecting the county now and in the future.
The creditability(more importantly, their lack of concern and manifest complacency) of the County Court was further tarnished by their absence at an important meeting that over 75 citizens from around the county saw fit to attend.