Jackson County candidates share their views at open forum

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — Election week is just two weeks away and Jackson County candidates are making sure their voices are heard. The Eagle Point Chamber of Commerce held an open forum at the Ashpole Center in Eagle Point Monday night.

Positions up for grabs are the Jackson County commissioner, between Amy Thuren and Rick Dyer, Jackson County sheriff, Eagle Point mayor and council position. The forum also discussed the Eagle Point School Bond.

Dozens of people were in attendance and were all ears when the candidates for the Jackson County Sheriff position took the stage.

The candidates are Nathan Sickler, the current Jackson County Sheriff, and Bill Froehlich, a retired law enforcement officer who moved here from Utah.

They discussed what they believed to be the most important issues right now.

Bill Froehlich:

“The biggest concern that I have found in speaking to the citizens of this county is that they want to have the confidence and trust restored in the sheriffs department. They’re not receiving the service that they should receive, they’re not receiving the attention that they should receive and this is a very large question on their mind that’s been repetitive the entire time I’ve been speaking with them. They feel like they need to have more constant visibility which hasn’t been occurring …” Froehlich said. “Everything that I’m working out with my campaign relates to what the citizens tell me and this is in the incorporated areas and in the unincorporated areas, and that’s what my concern is…that’s the important thing I want to do is meet the
citizen’s needs and their expectations of the sheriffs office… I think there’s room for improvement, that’s what the citizens want, and that’s what I’m professing to you today.”

Sheriff Nathan Sickler:

“I think the biggest challenge facing our community as a whole, is going to be our jail. It impacts service levels across all other criminal justice systems including the upper Rogue. That’s my main focal point is how do we address that, and that’s what we’ve been working on for the last two years. Outside of the jail, things that are related to that, our call loads are
increasing and the issues that were dealing with, our calls are increasing, the valley has become more busy and so trying to meet certain service demands with the current level of staffing and trying to do the other things are always a challenge. We’ve taken some steps and some measures to build efficiency and to improve services. I think another thing that related to our jail is going
to be our mental health and the drug addiction issues … we’re taking steps within our jail to improve services to those who are dealing with addiction issues, we’re working with the county to work on medication assisted treatment programs, working with community justice to enhance services to those who are addicted … the jail is the most prevalent and we’ve gotten a lot of  progress and were going to continue to work on that.”

Election day is on November 6.


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