Christie: OTEC Board nomination process is secretive, elitist

To the Editor:

I recently listened to a program host ridiculing controlled elections in the old Soviet Union by saying they had to throw a party and serve food at the polling stations to get anyone to vote. As an observer of OTEC’s election process over the years, I must say that the charade is similar, except that OTEC also bribes members to vote with a $500 prize drawing. The bribes are understandable, given the usual slate of incumbents and the obstacles OTEC has erected to keep candidates from running.

OTEC’s four-month election period begins quietly with the appointment of a secretive, elite “nominating committee,” whose task is to determine if you are “qualified” to run. They could actively reach out to members to find potential candidates, but little if any effort is expended for that. Sometimes a director retires early so that an insider can be appointed, giving them incumbency status and a leg up in the next election. The result is that often the only choices on the ballot are incumbents. In one case where another well-qualified candidate was in the race, important experience was left out of his Ruralite profile.

The bylaws allow additional nominations not less than 60 days prior to the annual meeting if a member can get over the next hurdle, which is to collect 50 member signatures by petition before the end of the time period. Several years back, there was a candidate who was told that nominations were closed even though the nomination period was not over. He then had to go out to find 50 members to sign a nominating petition to get on the ballot.

This year, if you were unhappy with the incumbent candidates finally announced by OTEC in the March Ruralite, you might have wanted to try and get 50 signatures to get on the ballot. Too bad — you would have been out of luck, because the signed petitions had to be submitted by Feb. 20, several days before the candidates were even announced in Ruralite, and write-ins and nominations from the floor are not allowed. Cooperative democracy in action!

Christopher Christie

Baker City

Wick: Controlling noxious weeds is extremely important

To the Editor:

I am writing to encourage all voters to support Measure 3240. As a resident and property owner, I care deeply about the visual beauty of Wallowa County. The Weed Levy is extremely important to support if you believe as I do. Without weed control, our view corridors will change.

I have been involved with noxious weed control in Wallowa County for a number of years, aiming to eradicate musk thistle, Scotch thistle and leafy spurge. The program is not only beneficial to property owners currently fighting these weeds but also to adjoining landowners, not to mention anyone just out for a drive to enjoy the beauty of Wallowa County.

Keep Wallowa County beautiful by supporting Measure 3240.

Ken Wick


Roberts: ‘I have gone to prepare a place for you’

To the Editor:

Easter season is a beautiful time of year as we give all the praise and glory to our loving and merciful heavenly father for giving his only begotten son (John 3:16) to this dying and sinful world as our redeemer and savior.

Jesus Christ our savior in doing his father’s will was crucified for all our sins so that we may have eternal life, then he rose from the dead, conquering death as our risen savior, and now sits at the right hand of his father in heaven, giving us his promise of John 14:2-3: “I have gone to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” What a reunion that will be, and what an awesome God we serve!

May our loving heavenly father bless each of you this Easter season is my prayer.

Janice Roberts

La Grande