County Gov't Changes: Messerle now in favor of county administrator being placed on ballot

County Gov't Changes: Messerle now in favor of county administrator being placed on ballot
NORTH BEND, Ore.-- In addition to a proposed increase in the number of Coos County commissioners from three to five, it now appears that the creation of a county admnistrator will also be heading for the ballot this fall.

Coos County Commissioners Cam Parry and Fred Messerle told KCBY in July that they both wanted to see a board number increase on the ballot this fall, but Messerle told KCBY he thought that the position of county administrator was a staffing issue that should be decided by future commissioners.

"It makes for a lazy board of any kind if they don't make decisions," Messerle said last month. "If they are putting it out for a vote as a way of not making a decision, then I don't think that is how the process works."

In the weeks since KCBY interviewed all Coos County commissioners, an ordinance has been drafted that appears to address Messerle's concerns.

Messerle said last month that he was interested to see how the ordinance would turn out when it came to addressing the county administrator position.

"As this thing evolves at this point and time, I think we need to be very careful about how we do this, and we need to allow the opportunity for the board of commissioners to govern," he said.

At a meeting Wednesday at The Mill Casino, the first draft of the ordinance revealed that Messerle's concerns had been addressed and clearly laid out.

Messerle now tells KCBY that he supports putting a county administrator position on the ballot because it is complimentary to other reforms being proposed.

"Because of the linkage of the issue, and the fact that it's all kind of coming forward as a package, I can see now that let's just go ahead and put it in front of the voters," Messerle said Wednesday.

For weeks it was unclear whether the board changes would be a separate issue on the ballot, and the administrator position would be a separate second ordinance, but under the proposed measure written by Commissioner Parry, the board increase changes have been woven together as one large ordinance.

Under the first draft of the ordiance, there are clear guidelines if approved by voters, that the county administrator would "serve at the pleasure of the Board of Coos County Commissioners."

A vote on August 15th by the Board of Commissioners will determine if there will be a ballot measure submitted for voter approval this fall.

Only two of the three commissioners need to approve something to be on the ballot after two public hearings, and with Messerle now siding with Parry in favor of the changes, it appears that issue is more than likely headed for the voters.