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If Jackson County has effectively managed the emergency, Why are we being restricted?

by Mr X and Bill Meyer

Simple Question,

What was the legislative intent of the words “shall be no larger than necessary to effectively manage the emergency?  Could it be to limit the power of the Governor?


Jackson County Commissioners missed a significant opportunity to positively effect the citizens of Jackson County by choosing not to send this letter to Governor Brown.

Governor Kate Brown

Office of the governor

900 Court Street NE,Suite 254

Salem, OR 97301-4047

Governor Brown,

The people we serve have never seen such a problematic landscape as now lies before them. Over the last several years health impacting, and economy destroying smoke filled the valleys of our region, and now the effects of the reaction to the “COVID 19 Pandemic” are crushing the last remaining segments of our economic life. Our duty and obligation of the Board of Commissioners is to protect our constituents in all ways. The balance of health and the economic well-being of our Jackson County citizens and businesses has been addressed proactively and reactively to the effects of this declared emergency. We have given careful thought and study to a planned reopening of our local economy and are ready to move forward with a carefully monitored strategic approach that addresses the concern of a potential increase in COVID-19 cases.

Based upon the realities of the data we have collected and continue to collect; our Board and staff have asserted unanimously that we have responded effectively to the emergency.

  • The collective positive cases since entering phase 2 on June 1, averages .05% increase, which is falls within the metrics the state has recommended.
  • Our staff has effectively traced cases within 24 hours at an impressive rate of 86-100% completion.
  • Percent of cases not traced to a known source is well below the recommended 30%; last measured 19%
  • Our Healthcare system has never been overwhelmed or inundated.

Upon consideration of the above information we studied further the language of ORS 401.165. This is the Statutory Authority for which the Governor has based the Executive Order 20-03 upon. We found in ORS 401.165 (5):

 “Any Proclamation of a State of Emergency must specify the geographical area covered by the proclamation. Such area SHALL be no larger than necessary to effectively respond to the emergency.”

Based upon the realities of this data, we find that as a function of law, Jackson County cannot be held subject to the Executive Order based upon the Oregon Revised Statute (401.165).
(  however we want to document and state our continued successful dedication in monitoring and controlling our cases locally—-). This addresses our respect for this pandemic, the need for local public health partnership, and the support of our State agencies, in assuring and supporting a positive outcome.

 So much of the recovery in this pandemic, demands the decision and autonomy of localities, especially as we also prepare local schools to begin plans to open this fall. The statewide mandates fail to address the uniqueness of local successes and progress out of the pandemic. We asked early on if the Counties would be autonomous in the process, and the Governor’s answer was a resounding, “yes”. We support that and hope our plans moving forward will be a model for other counties to gain momentum for success, as well.

Here is a link to Jackson County’s Website  


Jackson County is and has been responding effectively to the emergency.