Local Control: Sheriff to Gov. Brown: ‘The people of Columbia County want our county back’

Columbia County Sheriff Brian Pixley has posted a letter to Gov. Kate Brown on the Columbia County Sheriff’s Facebook page stating he will not enforce the state’s latest COVID-19 health and safety requirements.

Sherriff Brian Pixley

Sheriff Brian Pixley

The following is Pixley’s letter to Gov. Brown.

“I write to you today on behalf of the citizens of Columbia County in hopes of opening a dialogue. As Sheriff, it is my responsibility to provide for the peace and safety of those in Columbia County. I believe it is in the best interest of Columbia County, and all other counties throughout Oregon, to retain local control over decisions affecting the public health and safety and to protect the individual choice of those we represent.

“The people pf Columbia County want our county back. The citizens have endured “two weeks to flatten the curve,” unemployment and the loss of several of our small businesses over the last year and a half and we have had enough!

“You have once again initiated what many consider to be an unconstitutional mandate by requiring our children and citizens to wear masks and by requiring vaccinations for state employees, healthcare workers and teaching staff. We have had enough of your overreaching mandates and bullying threats. In short, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing vaccination requirements or mask mandates.

“The citizens of Columbia County will choose to wear a mask or chose not to wear a mask. We will choose to get vaccinated or choose not to get vaccinated. But we will do so as individuals with free will over our own bodies. And I, as Sheriff, will fight for and support residents of Columbia County in this endeavor.

“As Sheriff of Columbia County, I took an oath to uphold the constitution and to stand up and defend the people of this beautiful county we call home. I, and other elected leaders in Columbia County, have the right to do what is in the best interest for our community. Let us do so. We demand local control be place where it works best, in the hands of the individual citizens and local officials who represent Columbia County.”


Pixley told The Chief he did not consult with the Columbia County Board of Commissioners before sending the letter to Gov. Brown and posting it on Facebook.

The Chief has reached out to the Columbia County Board of Commissioners to find out if they endorse Pixley’s statements and if his letter represent the county’s position concerning the state health and safety mandates. We have also contacted Gov. Brown’s office for her comments about Pixley’s letter.

We received this response from the Columbia County Board of Commissioners Friday afternoon.

“Sheriff Pixley’s letter to Governor Brown clearly illustrates his level of frustration regarding the Governor’s decision to bypass the authority of the county’s elected officials to determine what is appropriate for our community. He did not seek review, input, nor endorsement from the Board of Commissioners concerning his letter to the Governor. And while his letter is passionate, his words are his own and he does not speak on behalf of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners.

“At this time, the Commissioners have instructed county employees to comply with the state-wide mask mandate while continuing to work with the Governor and her staff on behalf of the residents of Columbia County. In the meantime, we ask that everyone continue to stay safe, be respectful of each other, and make responsible decisions as we all navigate through these challenging times together.”

Posted at and by The Chief on 8-23-21

Date: 2021-08-23 09:29

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  1. The governor is wrong in her assumption of absolute power during an emergency. Article 10 of the Oregon Constitution clearly explains the powers of a governor during states of emergency. Even though Kate Brown is following a law passed by the overwhelmingly democratic controlled legislature it is not a valid law because it replaces Article 10 of the Oregon Constitution without a vote of the people. If she feels a need for this power then the people should vote on it.

  2. Sounds like the commissioners need an update on the constitution too, along with some back surgery. Three cheers for Sheriff Pixley! We need more like him and Sheriff Bowen in Union County.

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