Scott Schaier for sheriff

For the last 5 years, my professional work went inside the operations and culture of the Bend Fire and Police departments. My role is to encourage wellness, educate on psychological issues and resilience and, when counseling is indicated, refer staff to local clinicians.

Officer wellness is critical for the whole of the community. Those who improve mindfulness and resilience develop greater capacity to function professionally and personally.

There are myriad ways wellness programs display positive impacts. Improving officers’ capacity to sleep dramatically impacts their capacity to respond to diverse challenges on duty. Individuals experiencing personal crises received helpful resources, increased their resiliency and returned to work with solid performance. I observe countless interactions of officers maintaining their composure and professionalism in adversity. Officers practicing mindfulness may exhibit improved decision-making; determining what actions are in line with professional standards, and effectively shift between work and family life.

Thoughtful wellness programs clearly make a difference. Scott Schaier demonstrated recognition and support for Bend’s wellness program from its inception and has a great plan for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. In discussion with current DCSO staff, I learned the current leadership did not institute wellness programming until after Schaier’s campaign highlighted plans for staff wellness.

These are some of the reasons I will vote for Scott Schaier. I hope we suspend voting based simply on party politics or single issues and instead consider promoting healthy communities. So please study, listen and thoughtfully vote this election.

— Andy Barram, Bend

Don’t let one party control

Oregon is a one-party state. It is dominated by urban precincts and public employee unions. We rural dwellers have limited influence over statewide issues but can still have competitive local races. In this election season, candidates for state and local office are vying for our vote. We must decide if the candidate’s aims are creditable and achievable. Do they align with our civic interests?

When evaluating a candidate’s fitness for local office, it is important to review their past activities. In which sector did they work: private, public or nonprofit? We know the private sector creates wealth. The public sector taxes the private sector to fund operations. Nonprofits tend to be single issue entities with a narrow view of civic issues.

Electing a public sector worker to the one-party state Legislature is unwise. Sorry, state employee Jason Kropf, Cheri Helt’s experience with private enterprise, the school board and the legislature eminently qualifies her for reelection.

Phil Henderson’s experience in successfully building homes in a competitive environment with uncertain economic conditions makes him a proven candidate for reelection as Deschutes County commissioner. His nonprofit opponent worked with a forest collaborative, which has negligible bearing on the issues facing the commissioners. Phil Henderson deserves reelection.

For Bend City Council, Justin Livingston and Chris Piper have private sector experience; their challengers have nonprofit experience. Should the $190 million transportation bond pass, retaining Livingston and Piper on the council provides economic stability for overseeing the transportation expenditures.

Helt, Henderson, Livingston and Piper deserve reelection.

— Jared Black, Bend

Phil Chang for commissioner

I will never forget our family vacations to Central Oregon. They were a world apart from the wet, rainy and beautiful Oregon Coast where I grew up. The smell of sage and the dry, warm air was a welcome change that became the definition of summer for a kid.

Years later, my wife and I bought our first home and settled in Bend. It was a 1924 Sears craftsman less than a mile from downtown and cost just over $100,000. Less than 10 years later, this same home is likely worth more than four times that amount. Unfortunately, for many young families living in Central Oregon today, the growth and ‘livability’ of our community has created a reality that no longer allows many the same chance to afford the enjoyment of splashing a fresh coat of paint on the walls of a first home.

This same growth has also impacted our region’s abundant fish and wildlife habitat. Central Oregon was once considered a virtual “mule deer factory.” The once-abundant herds are now in jeopardy of losing their critical migratory routes and stretches of unfragmented winter range as development continues.

Despite these challenges, I am lucky to call Central Oregon home and look forward to working with our community and elected officials to find solutions. Phil Chang is running for a position as a Deschutes County commissioner. He has decades of experience working in natural resources and knows how to convene the right stakeholders to find lasting solutions. He will have my vote.

— Michael O’Casey, Bend

(9) comments


Jared Black raises interesting points. Sadly he forgets that our duly elected representatives did not represent our civic interests in Salem, but instead chose to run away from difficult discussions. Oregon has many competing interests and is a large, diverse state. Choosing to bolt from the table ought to disqualify any candidate. Mr. Black also seems to have overlooked the huge innovative contribution of the Public Sector. Through taxes, everything from the Internet to Digital Photography became possible due to the innovative work of government (public) scientists. That freeze-dried food Bend backpackers use to lighten their packs? It was made possible thanks to NASA needing to feed astronauts. Mr. Black’s recommended candidates have all avoided the most important issue facing Central Oregonians. Too many of our neighbors lost what little health care they had during the early stages of the CoVid pandemic. Those lucky enough to still have health care find themselves facing staggering, increasing costs. In this election, we need to elect candidates who will actually stay at the table to represent us and not act like middle-schoolers throwing temper tantrums. And, we need voices that will bring Federal level health care to all Oregonians. If we can afford it for those we send to Washington, we can afford it for ourselves. Mr. Black's candidates do not represent the interests of those of us living in Central Oregon. They should not be re-elected.


Excellent letter. Yes, we still await details of the health care insurance plan that will magically take the place of the ACA, once Barrett is installed in the Supreme Court. Mr. Piper was never elected, but was the Sally Russell choice for City Council.


“In discussion with current DCSO staff, I learned the current leadership did not institute wellness programming until after Schaier’s campaign highlighted plans for staff wellness.”

I will have to be honest I was dismayed by Dr. Andy Barram’s letter as frankly it is unfair and inaccurate. Especially as he fails to name those he claims to have spoken to.

Sheriff Shane Nelson and his command team began extensive and documented research for its new Health of the Force program over two years ago. That program was announced several months ago and included the following from its press release -

“For several years now we have been doing research in the field of officer wellness for personnel retention and services expansion. Now, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is rolling out its new Health of the Force Initiative (HOFI). This 21st Century program, supported in part by grants, will not only enrich our current peer support program, but enhance the current partnership we have in place with the Central Oregon Public Safety Chaplaincy (COPC).”

Behavioral Health and Substance Dependency Care and Treatment

“The Health of the Force Initiative institutes a voucher system for “no questions asked” behavioral health counseling. Ten highly respected local providers have been established so your deputies will have timely and appropriate opportunities to seek help for themselves and their immediate families. The Initiative includes our administrative non-sworn employees and our incredible Search & Rescue volunteers, as well.”

Among those Nelson spoke with was Jim Porter, whose initial program at the Bend Police Department was only enhanced after the December 2016 officer-initiated shooting death of Michael Tyler Jacques (by Ofc. Scott Schaier).


This according to promises Jim Porter made to Karen Jacques and reflected in a personal note he sent Ms. Jacques on a past BPD Christmas card bearing his name and title. “Karen…Tyler has not been forgotten. We are continuing our efforts to protect and improve our interactions with those in crisis and reaffirm to you I have not forgotten my promises to you.”

One of those promises was to reassign Ofc. Schaier from Patrol to the School Resource Officer program, a role he continues to hold under Chief Michael Krantz. Why? According to Karen Jacques in her discussions with Jim Porter so Ofc. Schaier would not be in a position of making the same mistakes he made the night Tyler Jacques was killed.

Dr. Andy Barrum should be ashamed of himself for not only spreading the misinformation he has in his letter but for continuing to promote Scott Schaier as a behavioral health guru. Schaier is not. Schaier’s exploitation of this subject for his political run is as disgusting as Dr. Barram’s alternative facts regarding the DCSO Health of the Force program.


Everyone is ashamed of you, Greg Walker. Go back to Portland! MAGA cult fan boy, nothing less.


Give it a rest, "unflattered".

What ails you and your clan is an unremitting effort on my part to provide documented, confirmed facts regarding Scott Schaier and his background, qualifications, and lack of suitability as a candidate for Sheriff.

By the by, why not properly identify yourself on this forum? Let everyone know who the "voice" and face is behind the keyboard?

Otherwise you are simply a timid little character hiding out there in cyber space.

Stand and deliver, "unflattered".


Andy - have to ask why you are supporting someone with no leadership experience.

. He is a patrolman.


Someone should ask Scott Schaier why he tried to lateral to an agency in Arizona from Bend PD...

But didn't make the cut...(two successful lawsuits against the officer and an officer initiated shooting/death will do that to one's chances in law enforcement today)...

Maybe, just maybe, it's a character issue?



How much is Shane Nelson and his MAGA cult paying you for your LIES, Greg? Don't catch the Trump Virus!


Not a cent.

As in 2016 when I supported Shane Nelson, I am delighted to exercise my rights as an American citizen to participate in the free election system.

That said...


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