Attend the Jefferson County commissioner meeting regarding greater Idaho

The meeting will be in person and on Zoom. In-person is at 66 SE “D” Street, Madras, which is the County Annex / County Administrative Building across from City Hall. The room can take at least 8 members of the public with social distancing, on a first-come, first-serve basis. We don’t expect that many to show up.

Time: Feb 17, 2021 08:00 AM Pacific Time
UPDATE: The County commissioners will discuss other issues, then take citizen comments (even from Zoom) at 9am, and then discuss other issues, then take a presentation from Move Oregon’s Border from 10-10:15. If you would like to comment, do so at 9am.

Join Zoom Meeting (Jefferson County)

Meeting ID: 968 6681 3383 Passcode: 381849

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You can tell the county commissioners why you favor moving the border.

At the end of your comments, ask your county commissioners to request that the government of Idaho publish an report on how Idaho state government departments would handle the relocation of the border, and a report on a comparison of how rural county governments are funded in Idaho and Oregon.

In Jefferson County, there are special questions because we expect that part of the county would remain in Oregon.

Proposed location of the Oregon/Idaho border in Jefferson County follows the edges of the reservation and the national forest

This map shows the results of the Trump vs Hillary election in 2016 in Jefferson County. Any election map that shows precinct data will show that the west edge of Jefferson County votes like Oregon, and the rest of Jefferson County votes like Idaho.
So we are predicting that if the border moves, that Idaho would want everything east of this line, and Oregon would want everything west of this line. So this is the line that we are currently proposing to both state legislatures. But we’d like the input of the Board of Commissioners on this topic.

This map shows the election results from our ballot initiative. The only precincts that voted against the measure aren’t supposed to join greater Idaho anyway. It’s not really a partisan issue though, because Warm Springs and Camp Sherman might welcome the border relocation if Warm Springs gets to stay in Oregon because without eastern  and southern Oregon counties, Oregon  would be a more liberal state that is more giving toward Native Americans. The ballot question didn’t explain that these areas could remain in Oregon though, so I think that’s why our  ballot measure  didn’t do well in these two precincts.

How Commissioners can help

We plan to ask the legislatures in January to pass a resolution to start negotiations to move the border, so we’d like Jefferson County to provide input this year on several questions, and we’d like to know what kind of process you would envision for answering these questions this year.

  1. Does the proposed location for the new border make sense to Jefferson County, or should adjustments be recommended? If most of Jefferson County will join Idaho, does Warm Springs want to remain in Oregon? How about Camp Sherman? 
  2. Is placing Wickiup Reservoir within Idaho’s territory adequate to alleviate concerns about control over irrigation water, or does Jefferson County need to lobby Oregon to place the national forest of Jefferson County within the control of Idaho?  Is Oregon likely to wish to maintain control of national forest for environmental reasons, or is state influence irrelevant in national forests?
  3. Idaho already has a county named Jefferson County. What name would Jefferson County choose in the new state?

The rest of the questions we have for the commissioners don’t need to be answered until sometime next year at the earliest, because they are about how Idaho should adjust county boundaries when it finally accepts territory from Oregon.

  1. If Warm Springs and Camp Sherman were to remain in Oregon, Oregon would have to decide what county to join them to. Deschutes County has the funding to be a good county to join.  But Wasco County already has a portion of Warm Springs reservation and is contiguous with Warm Springs.  Which county would Warm Springs request to join?
  2. If the map proposed by Move Oregon’s Border is adopted, eastern Wasco County would need to join a county. Would Jefferson County wish to accept this territory? What would be the financial pros and cons?
  3. If the map proposed by Move Oregon’s Border is adopted, Redmond, Terrebonne, and Eagle Crest would need to become a county or join a county.  Would Jefferson County be willing to accept this high-income territory that has a higher population than Jefferson County itself? Should Jefferson County lobby Idaho to place this territory within Jefferson County?  Would the increase in taxes justify the spending required to scale up the size of county departments? US BEA estimates the population of Jefferson County at 21k, and this area seems to have a population of about 43k. We estimate the per capita personal income of this area is at least 60% greater than that of Jefferson County. As for voting patterns, this area votes much more conservative than Jefferson County, even if Warm Springs and Camp Sherman are not included in the comparison.
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