LETTER TO THE EDITOR: April Aamodt

To the Editor,

Gilliam County voters timing is everything. I have been studying budget law and the recall ballots will be mailed out this next week which does not give time for the county to adopt a budget and approve tax appropriations due to budget law timelines. That being said, I am not willing to put all my eggs in one basket.

If two county court members are recalled there will not be a quorum to continue county business. The Governor of Oregon will appoint an interim county judge, that person will have to accept the appointment and be sworn in. That individual will have to be brought up to speed on the programs currently in place to make knowledgeable decision(s). We do not know when this decision will be made by Governor Kotek. I have emailed her office, and the appropriate representative has not contacted me back as of the completion of this letter.

Per budget law the Significance of July 1st states, “appropriations are limited to a single fiscal year. That means all spending authority of a local government ends on June 30. A local government does not have legal authority to spend or encumber money for the new fiscal year until the budget is adopted and appropriated. If expenditures are made without appropriation authority, the officials who allow or authorize such expenditures might be held personally responsible for the repayment of the money.” As the elected official would you take that chance? Therefore, I am not willing to take that chance. All services that the county provides will not continue if there is not an adopted budget by a quorum of the county court including law enforcement, transportation, victim’s services, senior services, libraries ect. Employees face the possibility of being furloughed.

I stood up along with others to encourage the county court to rescind or compromise on their decision concerning Order No. 2023-01 so as not to change the form of government without a vote of the people. They have rescinded part of the order and the Gilliam County Judge will still carry judicial functions over probate cases. I am personally in agreement with juvenile matters being heard in the Gilliam County Circuit Court.

My concern is that recalls were never intended to be used as a weapon. Do we really need to do this? Are we discouraging people from volunteering? Gilliam County is already known as the “recall county.” There are consequences for actions and the possibility of halting county jobs and services is something I am not willing to vote for. The voters will be heard in May during the primary and the current county judge will not be running again.

I am not representing an elected official or candidate. I have been on the Arlington City Council, presently on the North Gilliam County Health District, 26 years as a 4-H leader, Gilliam County Fair Superintendent, Arlington School Board Chairperson, Arlington Drama Coach, lead Mormon Cricket Prevention Specialist, and my job for the past 23 years has been the victims advocate for Gilliam County. I do love Gilliam County and the people in it!

I have purchased my own orange signs that you will see throughout the county asking that people VOTE NO ON THE RECALL!

Moving forward,

April Aamodt, Arlington

 

Reader Comments(0)

 
 
Rendered 04/14/2024 11:09