A Fond Look Back on 2015 in Lane County

It is a new year filled with promise! This is also the time that we reflect on the past. As a Lane County Commissioner, Sid can look back on many accomplishments in 2015. It was a pleasure to listen to board chair Jay Bozievich give the State of the County address on an icy morning this week. Here are some of the highlights:

County Audits

At this year’s state of the county address, Sid was recognized for his leadership in working with both our internal auditor and financial auditors at Lane County. He provides direct oversight and direction to both. Their functions differ in that the internal auditor, a former manager at the Oregon Secretary of State’s Audit department, assesses each department within Lane County Government to look for areas to improve efficiency.

The audits are performed, brought directly to the oversight committee, and then sent to the full board. The board then directs staff to incorporate the audits that were performed.

The financial audits are done in the same manner. The auditors work with our finance staff to provide the same level of detailed information as the internal audits. The oversight committee receives the information and then it is brought to the Board of Commissioners to direct staff to work on the recommendations.

At the state level, there are about 72 auditors that work in the Secretary of State’s office, about half are performance auditors and the other half are financial auditors. As Sid says, “ I have the direct experience in working with auditors where I won’t need on the job training to understand and get the job done.”

Savings Through Efficiency and Collaboration

As a Lane County Commissioner, Sid and County Assessor Cowles formed a collaboration with 6 other counties to pool resources on a shared database to better prepare accurate tax rolls. Titled the Southwest Oregon Assessment and Taxation Coalition, it has saved Lane County alone $190,000 just this last year, with a projected savings of $950,000 over 5 years. The coalition received a grants of $345,000 from the Oregon Legislature to get it started.

With the expected discontinuation of Federal Timber Payments, every place the budget can get smarter and leaner is a benefit to the citizens of the county. It is this kind of out-of-the-box thinking that will make it happen! Sid will take this resolve with him to make state government smarter and leaner through leadership in the Secretary of State’s audits process.

Economic Development

Sid was acknowledged for his leadership role in providing direction in our regional economic development goals and objectives. Sid has a strong legacy of promoting a strong and vibrant economy going back to his time as Mayor and now as a County Commissioner.

Sid explained, “I served with a small group of business and political leaders in developing a reboot of our regional economic development organization called the South Willamette Economic Development Corporation. I used my many years as a business owner, mayor, county commissioner, and as a former economic development practitioner to help guide this new organization.”

It is this kind of executive leadership experience that is needed in the SOS office to provide direction to the Corporation Division. New leadership is critical for the Corporation Division, not only to provide crucial information for new businesses wanting to locate in Oregon or in the key area of business retention, but to also work as a strong advocate for employers large and small to provide a strong and vibrant economy to Oregon.

Looking ahead

Later this month Sid will head to the Association of Oregon Counties' Transportation Steering Committee meeting. This year they are hoping to get a transportation package passed at the legislature that will help counties fix and maintain roads across the state. Sid is the co-chair of this committee.