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5/09/19, 8:20 PM

Ranch Matters attended yesterday’s (5/08/19) SRD Regular Meeting that was called to order by SRD Commissioner, Rich Hoffmann at 10:07 AM. The meeting started a little late due to Hoffmann being delayed.

After the Flag salute, Roll Call was held; all three (3 ) SRD Commissioners were present-Rich Hoffmann, John Williams and Mike Schlabach along with CRR Road Supervisor Jordan Jones.

Commissioner Hoffmann followed the AGENDA.


Commissioner Schlabach provided his Treasurer’s Report.

CRR Road Supervisor Jordan Jones provided his professional report regarding Road Department activities for the month of April.

OLD BUSINESS: Discussion regarding the budget, road improvements, various “buckets” of money available to the SRD, including a “contingency bucket” used for paying the 5K- GENERAL JUDGMENT AWARD to Plaintiff’s Portland attorney, Robert Birk regarding the Public Records Lawsuit filed in 2018 against CRR/SRD and SRD Commissioner John Williams. Commissioner Schlabach confirmed the Taxpayers paid the 5K and Hoffmann added,


NOTE: Taxpayers paid the freight for Commissioner Williams failure to obey Oregon’s Public Records Laws.

Hoffmann’s report regarding the Annexation of the Quail/Emergency Road included his frustration in not finding/retaining an attorney to assist with the process. Hoffmann stated, “I’m on lawyer number 4…” He added, “Not ready to call it quits, I got another phone call in to a Bend lawyer, can’t tell you what his name is…”

NOTE: At the March 13, 2019, SRD MEETING, Commissioner Williams stated Madras attorney Timothy Gassner was involved?

Hoffmann went on to say, “Sounds like we can annex it anytime we want…”
However, there is another hold up related to the BLM due to certain requirements not being completed, in part, over some missing pedestrian crossings…

Road Supervisor Jones provided a report on Evacuation Signs and Routes and Hoffmann explained how evacuation plans are determined and parties involved.

NEW BUSINESS: Discussion regarding two (2) Public Records Request submitted to the SRD on April 10, 2019. The Commissioners acknowledged the request made last month at this meeting and addressed each Request separately.

Request #1, was for the Signed Copy of the “Waiver of Conflict” regarding the acknowledged conflict between Madras attorney Tim Gassner and his wife, Jefferson County Counsel, Alexa Gassner, executed by the SRD in April 2018, by all three (3) SRD Commissioners.

Request #2, requested Payments to, or Billings by, Madras attorney Tim Gassner related to the CRR/SRD and its insurers, between the periods of October 2017 and April 10, 2019 for Tim Gassner.

Commissioner Schlabach provided the background regarding the Requests along with the associated costs to produce the records. According to Schlabach, he contacted the SRD attorney-Tim Gassner, then paid Tim Gassner $160.00 for just an estimate to get the records, using “taxpayers funds.” Schlabach added, “It will be necessary for one of us to go through all the payments…”. Schlabach volunteered and said his “guesstimated” time/costs to be about one hour at “65.00/Hour.”

Schlabach further stated, “I also paid a visit, to Jefferson County Clerk, to try to find, a signed copy of the Waiver, I was actually successful in doing that.” It took an hour and a half of my time to complete that-$100 Bucks there.”

PROBLEM: After the SRD Meeting, Ranch Matters drove to Madras and stopped by the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office. We spoke with County Clerk Kate Zemke regarding the above described Waiver that Schlabach stated he obtained from her Office. Ms. Zemke reviewed all of her CRR/SRD Records and could not locate the Waiver in question. She referred us to County Counsel or County Administrator for assistance and stated she would contact Schlabach.

Later, Ms. Zemke contacted Ranch Matters and confirmed the Clerk’s Office does not have the Waiver in question. Her Office never received it from the SRD for Filing or Recording purposes. She did talk to Schlabach and was told he-Schlabach “got the offices CONFUSED.” The Waiver was from Tim Gassner’s office and returned to Tim Gassner’s office-Never made it to the Clerk’s Office.


Lastly, there was a lively debate regarding a citizen vs. a media outlet requesting a waiver of fees. A decision will be made at a later date.

After hearing some resident’s input, the meeting wrapped up at approximately 11:04 AM.


Video Excerpt # 1: Flag Salute



Video Excerpt # 2: Roll Call, Treasurers Report…



Video Excerpt # 3: CRR Road Supervisor Jordan Jones Report



Video Excerpt # 4: OLD BUSINESS-“Buckets” of money… 5K paid to Plaintiff’s Attorney for Public Records Lawsuit Judgment…



Video Excerpt # 5: Budget Issues… Annexation of Quail/Emergency Road Update… Still can’t find an attorney to assist them?



Video Excerpt # 6: Evacuation Signs & Routes…



Video Excerpt # 7: NEW BUSINESS-Public Records Requests… Commissioner Schlabach’s report regarding costs involved to produce public records & his trip to Madras-JC Clerk’s Office??? Waiver of fees… Media issues…
Wrap up…



Watch for upcoming in-depth report explaining why the Public Records Lawsuit was filed and how Commissioner Williams failure to obey the Public Records Law cost the taxpayers 5K plus…

Ranch Matters Staff

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