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Oregon Trails

An Occasional Newsletter


The Association of Oregon Counties

Month, Year - Vol 1, Issue 1

Special Edition       

New Governor - New Beginning      

February 18, 2015

In This Issue
Judge Dale White Passes
Natural Resources Agencies
Pet Survey
County Government Month
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Salem - Wednesday morning, seconds after the clock in the House of Representatives chamber in the State Capitol, indicated 10:00 a.m., Kate Brown was sworn in as Governor of Oregon.  


Governor Brown addressed a joint meeting of the Legislature for less than 10 minutes, pledging to restore the public trust by enacting tougher ethics laws and a more "timely" release of government documents to the public and the media.


The now former Secretary of State acknowledged that the last several months have been tough on Oregon.  But she said she is ready to "roll up" her sleeves and get to work to move Oregon forward.


Governor Brown has made several significant appointments to her staff - Brian Shipley is now chief of staff, Kristen Grainger will become Governor Brown's communications director and Benjamin Souede has been named legal counsel.  Shipley has been a lobbyist for OHSU and has experience working for Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Keizer, as chief of staff.  Grainger is currently a top official at Williamette University, and Souede is a Portland criminal defense attorney. Governor Brown's chief of staff in the Secretary of State's office, Gina Zejdlik has been named as a senior policy adviser to the governor.  


We've been told there will be more staff appointments made very soon.  


 Judge Dale White Passes

As many of you know, former Harney County Judge Dale White passed away February 7th while vacationing with his family in Aruba.  An obituary for Judge White appears in the Burns Times Herald.  For those of you who wish to honor Judge White, a memorial service will be held Monday, February 23rd at 11:00 am in the Faith Baptist Church of Harney County which is located in Hines, Oregon.


Judge White was a mentor to many current and former county judges and commissioners and he will be missed greatly by the AOC family.  


Natural Resources Agencies Coordination

Tuesday's edition of Oregon Trails omitted some information about a few key legislative proposals.  We regret the oversight and hope to correct it with the following:  


Three bills seek to achieve greater coordination among state natural resource agencies and between those agencies and other state agencies, local governments, federal agencies, tribes and private entities:

  •   SB 24 - Establishes a task force on Natural Resource Agency Consolidation.
  •   SB 201 - Creates as part of the Regional Solutions Program, natural resources alignment coordinators.
  •   SB 203 - Directs natural resource agencies to coordinate for certain purposes by establishing a natural resources partnership coordinator in the Department of Administrative Services.

There are budgetary considerations as the new positions were included in the governor's budget. It has become evident that having natural resource agencies engaged early and thoroughly in regional projects is an asset and likely a good investment.  


AOC Executive Director Mike McArthur, Policy Director Gil Riddell and Policy Manager Mary Stern are following the progress of these bills.  


Dogs and Cats - Well Being Survey

Oregon State University and the Oregon Sea Grant College Program have launched a new, nationwide online survey-based study on "Pet Well-Being and the Environment."  Nearly 70 percent of all households have a pet and the study is being conducted to learn more about motivations for pet ownership, environments pet owners prefer for their pets and the pet owner's decisions on the choice, use, storage and disposal of pet pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs).  


The 2015 County College Class learned more about this study recently from the projects's principal investigator, Dr. Samuel Chan who is in the Seat Grant Extension and Fisheries and Wildlife Department at Oregon State.  Dr. Chan told the class that results of the study will help develop safe use, storage and disposal practices for PPCPs, reduce the risk of accidental poisonings and impacts on water quality, wildlife and the environment.


The survey takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.  If you are interested in helping Dr. Chan learn more about your pet please take the survey by clicking here.  You can also visit the project's Facebook page for updates.  Dr. Chan says he'd be happy to share the results of the survey with you when it is complete.  


See what you can learn in County College.  For more information about County College, please contact Dean Laura Cleland.


"Claimology" - A Science that Can Save Your County Money


Behavior is by far the largest contributor to public entity claims. Indeed, nearly all claims are rooted in behavior. But it is not only an individual's behavior that causes claims; team behavior, organizational behavior, and societal behavior can also play significant roles. 

In the study of public entity Claimology, high risk factors and preventive factors are identified and analyzed. Read more...


AOC Member Services Manager Mckenzie Farrell can answer questions about AOC member benefits.

National County Government Month


Tell Your Constituents about the Great Programs and Services Your County Provides!!!


National County Government Month (NCGM) is an annual celebration of county government held each April. This year's theme is "Counties Moving America Forward: The Keys are Transportation and Infrastructure," which is also the focus of NACo President Riki Hokama's presidential initiative. 


Start planning your NCGM activities today! To help you with that process, NACo has created a resource booklet that includes ideas and suggestions for activities you can do to raise awareness about the vital programs and services you provide to the residents of your county. 


To see the 2015 NCGM booklet, click here.


Visit for NCGM and NACo logos and a sample proclamation.  


AOC Member Services Manager Mckenzie Farrell can answer questions about AOC member benefits.


Please feel free to contact Laura Cleland or Eric Schmidt at AOC with any questions you might have about AOC.  We will make sure you are connected to the right policy manager or member services coordinator.  We are also looking for timely stories and photos that you might want to share with our newsletter list.  Please let us know.  
Laura Cleland & Eric Schmidt

Association of Oregon Counties



Have a great week.