By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Referral of board expansion measure debated

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It is disingenuous to sell this idea as revenue neutral because it wouldn’t increase property taxes. Unless all five commissioners would share the budget currently allocated for the three sitting commissioners, this will have a budget impact. If revenues (property taxes) are not increased, any additional cost would require cuts to other programs. I am not necessarily opposed to five commissioners, but am opposed to all five being paid at the current rate.

Yamhill County has always had three commissioners (not just since 1969), and there are five other Oregon counties with greater populations that have only three commissioners. The population issue is meaningless. There may be good arguments for a five-member board, but the budget considerations should be given more serious scrutiny.


read up on it’s what their end play is - “regionalization”


Not exactly on point, greg.


@sponge sounds to me like they want to urbanize and regionalize the county —“ I think within the next 10 years, there’s going to be a fundamental change of government in Yamhill County, and just the way we’re moving with regionalization, with urbanization, I think that has to occur and I don’t think three commissioners can carry that out,” he said.

fir tree

The differing points of view and reasoning on this are fascinating. Of course Mary Starrett, Lindsay Berschauer, and Kathy George are opposed. History lesson, Leslie Lewis acted as Kathy George's campaign manager while Leslie was a sitting commissioner. Simple math, it's much easier to commandeer a three member board than it is a five member board. End result, for a decade the County had virtually a commission of one - Leslie Lewis. Kathy rubber stamped everything. It appears that Starrett and Berschauer are headed down that same path. They are already very tight. Starrett proposed Berschauer for the budget committee, they are already campaigning together, and Berschauer is parroting everything that Starrett says. So of course they are opposed. With regards to the budget piece and the space issue - while it may be unpopular, you could eliminate the relatively new County Administrator position (only created within the last 10 years). As the highest paid position in the county it would easily cover the loaded cost of two additional commissioners and free up space in the Fenton House. Return to the model wherein the department heads were actually allowed to be managers, have the commissioners actually show up for work and you have solved a number of issues. May not be popular reasoning with some, but in my opinion this proposal along with other adjustments could indeed result in better services at the county. The budget and space issues could easily be resolved.


Fir Tree, oh thank you wise owl for the history lesson. You couldn't be objective if you tried. You are true blue.....


Fir Tree, oh thank you wise owl for the history lesson. You couldn't be objective if you tried. You are true blue.....

A New Generation

I did a bit of research: Population of Yamhill County 1990 40,000. Currently (2016, most recent figures) at 104, 000.
Currently, in addition to their own budget, Admin/BOC revenues are boosted by each county department (Public Works, Public Health, Planning, HHS, etc. all contributing a portion of their budgets to subsidize Admin/BOC. If Admin/BOC were required to run on their own budget (discontinue the subsidies) then indeed it would be revenue neutral. Under Primovich and other former boards, the BOC 'discretionary' & 'Expenses'line items (See county budget documents)have soared. All those nonsense trips to DC, etc. Why not increase representation and discontinue the dysfunctional 'two vs one' business as usual? I've only seen older white people of means represented, this going back many years.
As to the space issue, why not house HR & Veterans services back in the courthouse, whre they used to be? They used to share an office in the courthouse, when the emphasis was actually on hiring veterans, not locating Veterans on Booth Bend Road for years at a time wtih not even a sidewalk nor bus stop within a half mile. Two boards previous to this one came up with that idea. Shame.
The Couty is both regionalized (ask the folks in West Valley & Newberg)and urbanized (we are a bedroom community to Portland). Short of sending back the 60,000+ people who've moved here in the past 20 years, we need to keep up with the rate of growth, support every region of the County, and represent the interests of everyone, not just old/white/people of means who don't have a grasp of what it means to plan for the future. "Leave It To Beaver" has left the building. (A long time ago)

Don Dix

A New Generation -- 'old/white/people of means' -- seriously?

The population of Yamhill Co. in 1990 was 65,500 -- the 40K figure is from 1970 -- 2018 census, 107,000.

One must also take into account that newborns in Yamhill County have averaged over 1000/yr. since 1990 (28 yrs. X 1000+ = 30K +). Using those numbers it appears that approximately 11 - 14K have 'moved' here since 1990, less than half the average birth rate.


I've got a better idea:

1). Don't vote for Berchauer period. Google her history... enough said

2). Rotate Starrett out of her check presenter position. Rotate her to the road department. She also donated $500 to Lindsay's campaign.. nice

3). Change committee appointments to a tax payer voted in group

4). Get rid of the costly Admin position

Leave the number of commissioners at three.

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