REJECT THE RECALL OF JUDGE FARRAR
Opposed to handing over the selection of Gilliam County’s next County Judge to Governor Kate Brown? Think the voters should choose their own elected officials during an election instead?
You’re not alone!
The current recall election will overturn the will of Gilliam County voters – who elected Judge Farrar in 2018 – and allow Governor Kate Brown to choose our next County Judge. Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Vote “No” and reject the recall of Judge Farrar.
2. Keep scrolling to get the facts. Then talk to 5 friends about why its important to reject the recall and allow Gilliam County to choose their next County Judge during a regular election.
3. Write a letter of support for Judge Farrar and submit it to the Times-Journal.
FACTS VS FICTION
Fiction: “Failure to meet her responsibility as Juvenile Court Judge by obtaining a required certification from the National Association of Juvenile and Family Courts.”
Fact: Gilliam County continues to maintain jurisdiction over Juvenile and Probate Court Matters
During the 2018 campaign, Judge Farrar campaigned on changing the Juvenile Court structure. She made the case the Juvenile Court isn’t about MIPs and the mischief kids get up to on the weekends anymore. The Juvenile Judge’s primary role is to apply complex legal concepts in determining the custody and care for young and vulnerable children in the DHS system.
Her opinion, which is shared by many in our community, is that these decisions are so complex and sensitive that they should only be made by Judges with formal legal educations, experience, and credentials.
However, only the Gilliam County Court can give up Juvenile Court jurisdiction completely. The County Court has not made a final decision and is still gathering input from the community on this important issue.
In the meanwhile, Judge Farrar continues to maintain jurisdiction over all new Juvenile Court cases and determines how best to handle each one on a case-by-case basis.
This has enabled Gilliam County to try out handling complex Juvenile Court cases in the Gilliam County Circuit Court without giving up jurisdiction over future cases.
The County Judge position is also responsible for probate cases. Judge Farrar continues to maintain jurisdiction over these cases
Fiction: “Failure to perform the administrative functions of the County Judge, instead using taxpayer funds for additional staff to handle those chores for her.”
Fact: Judge Farrar continues to perform all administrative functions of her position.
As the Administrator of Gilliam County, it is Judge Farrar’s responsibility – in consultation with the County Commissioners and Budget Committee – to examine and modify department staffing to best meet the changing needs of Gilliam County and the public.
The truth is the “new” Chief of Staff position isn’t new at all.
The County Court began discussing the need for a new position to handle Human Resources and Risk Management under Judge Shaw, and the position was budgeted for under Judge Shaffer; years before Judge Farrar ever took office.
As Judge Farrar was preparing to take office, the need for expanding County Court staff was highlighted as a priority by the then Court Administrator. In a 2018 transition memo, which summarized pending “hot topics” left over from the previous County Court, Mr. McKay laid out a thoughtful case in support of hiring additional staff. He wrote:
“The County Court is understaffed and underutilized…When so much has been placed on one person something has to give and it is difficult to maintain a high quality of work. At the same time, there is so much more that a Court staff could and should be providing to members of the Court…Balancing the repetitive nature of the clerical side of things with the non-stop flow of ’emergencies’ is difficult to maintain. I would like to see the Court consider options to expand staffing to meet the needs of the Court and the County.”
Ultimately, Judge Farrar recommended restructuring and filling the Human Resources/Risk Management position created under Judge Shaffer. Specifically, the Budget Committee and County Court agreed to fund a Chief of Staff position, which provides Human Resources and Risk Management functions, as well as fills the senior staff/advisory role the former Court Administrator position played.
Judge Farrar continues to serve as the Administrator of Gilliam County. Her duties include hiring, firing and disciplining staff, meeting with the Union, approving expenditures, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Courthouse, among other things. Statements to the contrary are simply untrue.
Fiction: “Failure to meet residency requirements of ORS 236.010 mandating that local elected officials actually live in the jurisdiction they are responsible for. Last time we checked, Judge Farrar actually resides in Grant County.”
Fact: Judge Farrar is a Gilliam County resident.
Judge Farrar and her husband, Brian Campbell, have maintained a long distance relationship for nearly 8 years. They have made this sacrifice so that each could pursue their own goals and dreams: Brian as a cattle rancher and hunting guide on his family’s ranch, and Elizabeth serving the people of Gilliam County as a small business owner and County Judge.
To avoid exacerbating the housing shortage, Elizabeth has opted to live at her family’s ranch in Condon. She visits her husband on weekends when she can, and Brian visits her in Condon when feeding/calving/haying/hunting schedules allow.
In order to even file to run for County Judge with the Secretary of State, Elizabeth had to prove her Gilliam County residency. She did so back in 2018, and nothing has changed since then.
Throughout her relationship with Brian, Elizabeth has continued to register to vote in Gilliam County, receive her mail in Gilliam County, register her vehicle in Gilliam County, file taxes in Gilliam County, shop in Gilliam County, work in Gilliam County, and live in Gilliam County.
She is a resident of Gilliam County. Plain and simple.
Fiction: The voters should recall Judge Farrar for failing to hold Governor Kate Brown accountable for violating the Constitution.
Fact: Recalling Judge Farrar would give Governor Kate Brown - not the voters - the power to choose the next Gilliam County Judge.
“In all probability, this recall effort is driven by petty contempt rather than statutory concerns. Judge Farrar has drawn the ire of Mr. Standiford and his confederates ever since the court’s decision not to condemn Kate Brown over similarly vague accusations of constitutional wrongdoing. The recall effort is built on cherry-picked nothings, will squander county money and resources, will only convince fools, and should be dismissed out of hand.”
“I want to express my support for Gilliam County Judge Elizabeth Farrar.
“I serve as a board member for the assisted living facility in Condon, Summit Springs Village. Judge Farrar, along with Commissioners Sherrie Wilkins and Leslie Wetherell, have shown support for SSV through grants and a sustainability plan.
“I also serve on the Gilliam County Library Board. Judge Farrar has been supportive of this important cornerstone of Gilliam County through wise advice during this troubled time of a pandemic.
“I think the world of Elizabeth Farrar.”
“I am writing in support of Judge Elizabeth Farrar Campbell and against the current recall effort. I urge my fellow voters not to sign the petition, ending this effort before it goes to an election. Here are my reasons:
- If Judge Farrar Campbell is recalled, the Governor will choose her replacement.
Whether you like the job she’s doing or not, I think we can all agree we want the voters of Gilliam County to choose our judge – not the Governor.
- Regardless of where her husband resides, Judge Farrar Campbell spends more time in Gilliam County than anywhere else. She’s available (by appointment due to COVID) to constituents during normal working hours. She lives and works in Condon, and considers it her home.
- We still have local control of juvenile justice cases. Each case is still overseen by our Juvenile Director, Amy Nation. Each case still goes across Judge Farrar Campbell’s desk. She refers most to the Circuit Court because, frankly, she should. The cases aren’t teenager hijinks and MIPs. They are complicated crimes and custody issues that should be judged by someone with the legal education and experience to do so.
- Judge Farrar Campbell has instituted strong fiscal discipline. Where many may have once perceived the County to have an open checkbook, that perception can no longer be held. The Court implemented a rigorous grant process. In the past, entities were able to simply get a check once the grant was made. Today, the funds are only relinquished on a reimbursement basis. Furthermore, reporting is required to demonstrate how the funds were used in accordance with the request. As a member of the Condon School Board, I know this has increased the level of effort to receive support from the County. However, as a County Resident, I’m thankful for the additional rigor and oversight.
- Judge Farrar Campbell brings people together. I’ve participated in several meetings Judge Farrar Campbell was not required to attend. However, she was there so she could help ensure the parties are able to work together toward collective goals. She helps to diffuse emotional conversations and keep participants focused on the issues. She uses her quiet leadership style to influence others and move projects along.
“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to know and work with Judge Farrar Campbell. I know she has the skills, knowledge, and temperament to move Gilliam County forward.”
“I’d like to give my opinion and shed some facts, in response to the letter in the November 19 issue of the Times Journal.
“Last time I checked Gilliam County Judge Farrar resides in Gilliam County. Many mornings when I am heading to The Dalles, I meet her on Highway 206 coming into to Condon for work from her home. In order to file for position of Judge with the Secretary of State, Elizabeth had to prove her Gilliam County residency. After she married Brian Campbell, nothing has changed in their living/residency situation. Brian is a cattle rancher and hunting guide on his family’s ranch in Grant County. Judge Farrar has opted to continue living on her family ranch and they visit each other on the weekends at their respective homes. Check your facts people.
“Failure to perform administrative function of the County Judge, instead using taxpayer funds…” The truth is the Chief of Staff position isn’t new at all. The County Court began discussing the need for a new position to handle Human Resources and Risk Management under Judge Shaw and the position was budgeted for under Judge Shaffer, before Judge Farrar was elected. I can attest to this discussion as I worked in the Clerks office retiring in 2014 and this matter was a topic of discussion many times in the court and staff meetings. Check your facts people.
“Failure to meet he responsibility as Juvenile Court Judge …” I attended some of the public meetings during the campaign, and there was good discussion. It was clear that this duty would possibly change when the Judge was elected. Only three Counties in the State do not have the Circuit Judge handle the Juvenile Court. They handle complex legal concepts determining the custody and care for children in the DHS system. These decisions are critical for our families. Now days these decisions need to be made by unbiased Judges with formal legal educations, experience and credentials. The Circuit Court Judges act on the research and notes from the DHS, CASA and Juvenile reports, as well family input and keep the interest of the children as the priority.
“Do you realize that if the recall petition is successful, Gilliam County voters will lose their ability to select the next Gilliam County Judge? Instead, according to ORS 236.210 (3), it is Governor Brown – not Gilliam County voters – who will select the individual to fill the vacancy. And even worse, it appears, based on research done by the County Clerk’s Office the Governor isn’t required to appoint a Gilliam County resident to replace Judge Farrar. So, by signing the recall petition, you are signing away Gilliam County voters’ right to choose their own County leader.
“This seems to be in contradiction of your concerns and fear of the having a Judge from outside the County for Juvenile Judge. Seems ironic that you’d want Governor Brown to make this decision for our County.”