Printed on Jul 29, 2015 @ 6:29 AM
The Board of Commissioners oversee all functions of county government services and set the budgets for the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office. They act as executives, overseeing county operations; legislators, setting county ordinances; and also fill a quasi-judicial role in land use matters.
Benton County is one of nine Oregon counties with a home-rule charter. This provides greater control to our citizens. The voters decide what form they want their government to take. For example, the voters decide which county government positions are elected, such as the sheriff and commissioners.
According to the charter, Benton County must have three full-time elected commissioners to manage the legislative, executive and quasi-judicial responsibilities. Each commissioner is elected at-large to a four-year term. No individual commissioner has any more, or less, power than the others to act. Board action requires at least two of the commissioners to be in agreement.
Jay Dixon, Chair*
Jay Dixon, an effective community leader with experience in government, industry, education and civic organizations, was first elected Benton County Commissioner in November 2000. Prior to becoming a commissioner, he was an elected member of the Corvallis School Board and owned a local hardware store with his family. Before that, he was a senior bank officer at several financial institutions in the San Francisco area. He began his professional career as a lieutenant with the Seattle Police Department, moving on to become a public safety policy advisor and private security manager.
Annabelle Jaramillo, Vice Chair*
Annabelle Jaramillo first was elected to the Board of Commissioners in November 2000. Previously, Jaramillo served as Governor John Kitzhaber's Citizens' Representative from 1995 - 2000. Her office responded to citizen concerns and she was part of the Governor's senior staff. She has also served as Executive Director of the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs, worked as a research botanist for the Forest Service, director of Computer Education for Harakai Systems, Inc., and development officer for the Center Against Rape & Domestic Violence.
An effective community leader championing education, the environment and mental health, among other priorities, Anne Schuster was elected to the Board of Commissioners in November 2014 and took office in January 2015. Beginning her career as a research plant scientist, after the birth of her children Schuster turned her attention to volunteer efforts locally and statewide. Her focus was directed toward education and sustainability, merging the two when possible.
* The Chair & Vice Chair positions are elected annually.
Board of Commissioners meetings are open to the public. They are held the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month. Meetings are held at 205 NW 5th St. in downtown Corvallis, Oregon, unless otherwise noted.
Board of Commissioners meetings are open to the public and held the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at 205 NW 5th St., Corvallis.