Additional Titles










Coming Soon






by Sheriff Gil Gilbertson
Josephine County, Oregon

October 30, 2007

[NOTE: NWV would like it's readers to get aquainted with their newly elected Josephine County Sheriff, Gil Gilbertson. If you live in Josephine County and have questions for the Sheriff, feel free to send Gil an E-mail.]

During my campaign for Sheriff, among the commitments I made to the people of Josephine County was to seek out alternative sources of funding and to provide the best public safety environment possible with the funding available. Many of our citizens have expressed their dissatisfaction with the property tax solutions proposed to date. Practically speaking, there may not be a one-shot solution to our financial problems, but weaving together several different solutions could provide substantial benefits.

One of the first steps I took in this regard was the formation of a Sheriff’s Advisory Council (S.A.C.) comprised of well-qualified volunteers with many years of combined service to Josephine County to help identify and develop ideas. I have asked this Council to look beyond funding the Sheriff’s Office to considering solutions for the countywide issues. Some of the more promising ideas are:

  • New Construction Asset Buy-In. This proposal would assess all new dwelling units built in Josephine County to proportionately match the investment in existing community assets such as roads, Fair grounds, Parks, bridges, buildings and equipment that existing residents have already funded. Existing residents’ ability to remain in their homes would not be threatened, as their existing homes could be grandfathered in.
  • Two Separate Tax Districts for law enforcement. This would copy a system already implemented in Deschutes County by creating two tax districts. District One, would include everyone in the County – which would fund the lawfully mandated services to the community (i.e., Jail, Civil, Court Security, Search and Rescue). The second district would provide all “other” current services; including 911 response, patrol, investigations, records, etc. Only the residents directly benefiting from those services (everyone outside the City of Grants Pass) pay for district Two. We are currently developing this proposal.
  • Insurance Industry Program Funding. I have initiated discussions with several companies providing homeowner, and vehicle, coverage in our market to review with them how increased patrol presence might benefit them by reducing their claims losses; and provide an elevated level of safety to our community. So far, they have been receptive to the idea with more discussion on the horizon.
  • Deductible Contributions to Public Safety Trust Funds. The Sheriff’s Office currently has several line item “Trust Fund” accounts, similar to a non-profit 501(c)(3) – where tax deductible donations can be made directly to funding the Sheriff’s Office obligations. Since this type of account is legally insulated from the County, public confidence concerning how, and for what, the money is spent is dramatically enhanced.
  • Justice of the Peace (J.P.) System. A J.P. system would take over administration of minor civil matters arising in Josephine County such as traffic or parking tickets, code violations, etc, which would retain the related fine revenue that currently goes to the State of Oregon. By jointly occupying current building space owned by the County, and by staffing the J.P. position from the many well-qualified local retirees the accompanying costs remain low.

As you can see, these alternatives address the problem in a variety of ways. Some charge County residents for services that directly benefit them. Others charge new arrivals for incremental demands placed on our community services purely by their joining the community. I don’t expect any of these alone to solve our problems, and I don’t expect a free lunch to last. Perhaps you have some ideas as good, or better than these. If you email your ideas to my office will forward them to the Sheriff’s Advisory Council, who are open to any viable proposal and will appreciate your contributions and creativity.

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It continues to be my honor and privilege to serve the people of Josephine County in these difficult times.

© 2007 - Gil Gilbertson - All Rights Reserved

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Gil Gilbertson has approximately thirty-years of national and international experience as a law enforcement officer, trainer, advisor, and senior administrator, in both military and civilian police units.

A veteran of Viet Nam, he has served in the U.S. Navy, Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve. From 1975 to 1991 Gil was patrol and traffic officer, member of the special weapons tactical team, bomb squad, field-training officer, recovery diver, dispatcher, and jailer for the Waterloo, Iowa Police Department.

Between 1975 and 1996, Gil also served as a professional law enforcement instructor and advisor for the Special Tactics Association and the International Law Enforcement Training Group.

Beginning in 1996, Gilbertson served as the senior liaison for the International Police Task Force at Task Force Eagle, the American contingent of troops supporting the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was a country suffering from anarchy and a bloody civil war. Gilbertson later took charge of an intelligence fusion center sharing information between the International Police Task Force and N.A.T.O.

In 2005, Gil spent a short tour in Iraq advising the local bomb squads, and a national highway patrol. Later Gil joined a tactical team in New Orleans to secure and defend hospitals that had come under sniper attack in the chaos immediately following hurricane Katrina.

January of 2007, Gil was elected as Sheriff of Josephine County, Oregon.

Website: Sheriff's website












Many of our citizens have expressed their dissatisfaction with the property tax solutions proposed to date.