No to DeTro
Okanogan County needs a new District 3 commissioner.
Jim DeTro has been an Okanogan County commissioner for eight years and is running for another four years. This is why you should not vote for him.
In 2016, after two of his compatriot county commissioners were defeated, he said that he would not run again. But, then he changed his mind because no other Republican registered.
Although DeTro is the commissioners’ chairman, he is seldom involved except in his perfunctory role of calling for a vote or declaring a motion approved. His personal interest comments about wolves are inflammatory and divisive. His website is questionable at best. He is willing to create a confrontation but not provide a solution during commissioners’ meetings. Earlier this year, his District 3 had water and sewer rights’ discussions, but he did not respond or contribute to these interests.
In 2016, Jim and his ATV friends rode from his District 3 to Winthrop, in violation of county, federal agency and Winthrop ordinances. His ride was despite judicial rulings that mandated the country do a more thorough review than Jim wants to ride his ATV anywhere. His comment in Winthrop was the equivalent of — well, we contributed money to the Winthrop economy eating lunch there, so you should ignore the fact that we broke the law.
Do you want an elected official who disregards the law? Is this a person who you want representing us in county government? My answer is no! Commissioner candidate Salley Bull is an experienced community advocate, responsive and inclusive. She is the best choice for our vote.
Sharon Sumpter, Winthrop
Hawley for sheriff
As I sit here and put into words the reasons I support Tony Hawley for Okanogan County sheriff, it becomes very clear there are so many. My husband and I started 16 years ago helping, supporting and campaigning for Frank Rogers, and again in 2010 when he faced challenger Dave Yarnell. We were proud to be involved and share that accomplishment of him serving the last 16 years. When he told us he would be announcing his retirement and after getting over that shock we immediately knew without a doubt we would put that passion of support behind Tony Hawley for our next sheriff.
Tony brings with him not only 23 years of service for the sheriff’s office but also four years of service for our country as a U.S. Marine. He has worked in corrections, patrol, and currently is a sergeant. He has specialized training that includes training new deputies, accident reconstruction, impaired driving recognition and safe school programs along with much more including a four-year degree and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.
With all that being said there is so much more to Tony. He is always the first deputy in and the last deputy out, always making sure his deputies are safe and doing their jobs and the public is safe. He cares about the people of this county on the job and off the job. He is a great father, friend, community supporter and is a school board member. He is approachable, caring and a greatly respected member of this county, all law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s office. His passion he holds for all of these qualities is greater than I have ever seen.
Tony does his job and does it well, with integrity and respect. He has great visions for the sheriff’s office. He is aware of budget constraints being an issue but will work hard for this county on improving and making communities safe in all aspects of law enforcement. Vote Tony Hawley as your next sheriff and be proud with us knowing the best was supported by you and is serving our county as sheriff.
Kristi S. Walker, Omak
Health care misinformation
Last week’s Methow Valley News carried two op-eds side by side, both written by Dons. Don Nelson’s editorial honored National Newspaper Week, and discussed the mission of newspapers to “gather and deliver credible information . . . with high standards for accuracy, timeliness, fairness, reliability, completeness and appropriate context.” Don Stevens’ article discussed inflation in the health care industry and identified the cause as the shift in power to insurance companies to set prices, and the inflated margins, overhead, administrative and drug costs that have resulted.
The Affordable Care Act has provided a Band-Aid, not a long-term solution, because insurance industry and drug company profits still drive health care. Some on the left have floated the idea of Medicare for all, as a way out of this steadily worsening situation, by giving the government the power to set prices. On the same day as I read the two Dons’ words, USA Today published an op-ed by President Trump (a third Don) attacking the concept of Medicare for all. He did so with his usual mix of fear-mongering and outright lies, conjuring up the same canards as the Republicans have used since 2008: socialism and death panels. I was astonished that USA Today would print it without a disclaimer or an opposing piece that provided some factual context. I thought the same standards with regard to credibility and accuracy applied to op-eds as to journalism generally.
Evidently, if you are the president in our increasingly totalitarian nation, you can force a national newspaper to print fake news, even on the eve of National Newspaper Week.
Marian Exall, Winthrop and Bellingham
As many of you know, my family has called Okanogan County our home since the first settlers came in the 1800s. Generations of pride and commitment to taking care of our community are some of the things that make this county and its small towns great.
Some of you have gotten to know me throughout the years working for Food Services of America as a truck driver. I started my work in public service with the Tonasket Fire Department in 1993. I then continued my volunteer work with the Okanogan Fire Department and the Omak Fire Department. I am currently the Okanogan fire chief and I have served in that position since 2014.
I started my career in law enforcement with the Omak Police Department in 2006, where I currently serve as a patrol officer. After 25 years in emergency services, and seeing many unimaginable things, there are certain public servants who stick out to you. One of these people is Sergeant Tony Hawley, who is currently running to be our sheriff.
Over the past several years as a police officer and as fire chief, I have responded to countless critical incidents where Tony was present. I have always found comfort in knowing that Tony was either leading the way, beside me, or watching over me commanding an incident. I have always been able to count on Tony for reasoning and advice and positive corrections, as have other young cops fighting to learn their way in an ever-changing job.
Tony is very humble, gives credit where credit is due, and does not grandstand for simply doing his job. Tony is always approachable and he listens with compassion. Tony has worked in all aspects of the position he is running for. Tony is a great instructor and mentor as my SWAT commander.
These are just a few of the reasons why Tony Hawley should be our next sheriff. I look forward to continuing my commitment to public service as fire chief and as a senior patrolman with the Omak Police Department with Tony as our next sheriff. When casting your vote on Nov. 6, vote with confidence and vote for Tony Hawley.
Jerod Gavin, Okanogan
Vote for Bull
It was the Three Devils Road closure that brought to light the glaring conflicts of interest within our county government. Through public records, we learned that previous road closures/vacations were being approved in spite of public testimony to their usefulness. When decisions like this affect your way of life, it is time to pay attention.
Two-term Commissioner Jim DeTro voted to go with the Hearings Examiner’s decision not to vacate Three Devils, but that was after the deal was sealed — two votes to vacate already. He then admonished us for being arrogant, rude and despicable.
In August 2013, Jon Wyss, government analyst for the Gebbers/Gamble Corporations, was hired as a consultant to county government to research the county’s finances in the County Auditor and Department of Public Works. DeTro was chairman of the board. In September 2013, at the hearing to vacate Hooker Creek Road, Wyss participated as county consultant and representative of the petitioners (Gebbers/Gamble). DeTro voted in favor of vacating Hooker Creek Road.
Other things that happened during DeTro’s tenure: placing golf courses in the Open Space Tax Classification (reserved for agriculture), giving priority to paving the road to the Gamble Sands Golf Course over other roads already planned for, and contracting out of union negotiations for $90,000.
Commissioners wield a lot of power, with the courts reluctant to review their decisions. Judge Hotchkiss told us that our remedy is at the ballot box.
I say we can do better. Independent candidate Salley Bull of Oroville is capable and ready to serve. If you haven’t met her yet, please make a point of it. Go to her website www.vote4sal.com and/or give her a call. It is time for a change.
Ruth Hall, Malott
Diamond is best choice
Dr. Ann Diamond is running as an Independent for the diverse and large Washington legislative District 12, Position 1. As an Independent, she will not be affiliated with a party platform and is more able to represent the varied interests of our district. She can more readily promote legislation that best represents the people of the district, both Republican, Democrat and the rest. Her medical expertise in problem-solving workable solutions will benefit us as individuals, communities and our economy.
Ann has met individuals, community groups, business and agriculture interests and government since she decided to run in January. She has canvassed from the Canadian border to the district’s southern edge of the Grand Coulee area, greater Wenatchee and Leavenworth. She has been on the road more than she has been at home for the last nine months. She has listened to us, and she knows what will benefit our area. Most importantly, she knows what matters to us.
Ann’s platform includes state improvements to affordable health care, because it is unjust that medical costs can bankrupt families. She believes the state can deliver more opportunities for skilled workers and a livable wage. She will work to ensure the state Legislature conducts business on time and with transparency. She will work to rekindle compromise in the state Legislature — a common-sense solution that represents the widest interests for us all. For more information, go to www.diamond4house.com.
Please vote for Ann Diamond and a new approach to government that benefits us all.
Stephanie Brands, Winthrop
Vets on weekends?
As a part-time resident of Winthrop for over 25 years, it’s not often, but I have needed veterinarian assistance on the weekend twice now. Each time I have been told by various people from Winthrop to Twisp that “there’s nobody open on the weekends” and “they don’t call you back. Good luck!” Unfortunately, I know that to be true.
I understand that there are at least four veterinarians in the valley. Now, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who may be highly frustrated with this. I have a suggestion for you valley veterinarians: Why don’t you all meet for lunch and hammer out a Saturday schedule that rotates between you all. Maybe be open from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays, then be available by cell phone the rest of the weekend? Post the schedule with phone numbers on your office doors. What a nice idea for residents and travelers alike who may need some help with their pets.
Hopefully, you will take this into consideration and provide this service to the valley. Don’t be a hole-in-the-wall town that doesn’t provide veterinarian services on the weekends, that’s just crazy.
Holly Powers, Winthrop/Arlington