Miller has ethical backbone

Before casting your vote for judge of the Deschutes County Circuit Court, consider the following. During a debate between the candidates, Thomas “T.J.” Spear and Randy Miller, at a very conservative venue in Redmond, they were asked to rate the performance of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being a high rating and one being a low rating. Spear’s response was that a “canon of rules” for judicial candidates prohibits them from speaking on those types of issues. When pressed, Spear said he gives Holder a “two.” Miller refused to answer on ethical grounds, saying the “canons of judicial ethics prohibited him from revealing what his beliefs are.” Before I read this article in The Bulletin on April 15, I was on the fence between these two candidates. Ethics and a firm backbone should always win out in elections, particularly for judicial positions. Spear caved; Miller did not.

Ann Byers


Vote for Hummel

Some election choices are difficult. The choice for Deschutes County district attorney is not. The tenure of the current district attorney, Patrick Flaherty, has been abysmal. His poor decision making has cost taxpayers over $1.5 million in legal judgments and legal fees to settle lawsuits against him. While Flaherty was busy defending himself in these lawsuits the residents of Redmond were suffering from one of the highest theft rates in Oregon for cities its size.

The only thing left to consider is whether John Hummel, Flaherty’s opponent, is qualified for the job. Fortunately for Deschutes County, he is. Hummel practiced criminal trial law for 12 years and then worked training police officers, prosecutors and judges how to keep communities safe. He served on the Bend City Council for six years and always made sure all voices were heard before the council took action. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Hummel’s decisions, you always knew he had done his homework.

Rarely do we have such a clear choice in an election. Hummel is the right candidate for district attorney and I’m not the only one who knows this. He is endorsed by over 200 community leaders, including all of the mayors in Deschutes County. Join me in voting for Hummel for district attorney.

Maryann Deke


Support fire levy

We’ve all heard the phrase “government should do more with less,” and we can probably all agree with that, at least to some extent. When I started working for the Bend Fire Department in 1989, we were already doing “more with less.” In my opinion, we operated with embarrassingly unsafe policies, both for us and the public, such as staffing some fire stations and apparatus with one firefighter.

Our town has grown considerably, and although the fire department grew and improved with it, we haven’t kept pace with growth. We’re often unable to perform critical tasks on manpower-intensive incidents like vehicle crashes, fires and rescues. We do our honest best to provide top-level fire and EMS service in the face of shrinking budgets and ever-increasing calls for service, but we now find ourselves “doing less with less.”

Our response times to emergencies are increasing, which can and do result in disastrous consequences. This is something we as first responders don’t take lightly. Before you dismiss my comments as just another public employee looking out for himself, consider stopping by any Bend fire station or talk to fire crews when you see them around our community. Ask them questions and share your concerns. You’ll see these are bright, helpful people who have a true passion for perfection as well as pride and ownership in their profession. Please help us help you by voting yes on ballot measures 9-97 or 9-98 on May 20.

Mike Baxter


Spear exceeds in every endeavor

I am a 30-year resident of Bend. I have known Thomas “T.J.” Spear since he was a young man at the beach at his parents’ home in Seaside. Throughout Spear’s life he has exceeded in every endeavor he has participated in. On another personal level, I have observed Spear in court here in Bend and can personally vouch for his competence, professionalism and experience.

We need Spear as our next Deschutes County Circuit Court judge.

Kurt Larson