Five county officials take office; State of the County outlines accomplishments, offers peek at year to come

Five county officials take office; State of the County outlines accomplishments, offers peek at year to come
Posted on 01/09/2023

Five elected county officials – a mix of new and returning faces – were ceremonially sworn into office during Lane County’s annual State of the County Address this morning. 

 

Presiding Lane County Circuit Court Judge Jay McAlpin led each official in their oath of office before a room of family members, fellow officials, community members and county staff.

 

When asked what they most looked forward to during their time in office, they replied:

 

Assessor Mary Vuksich-Shafer: “I’m looking forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Lane County as the Tax Collector/Assessor. It’s an honor to carry this department’s legacy of public service into the future. This transition brings opportunities to upgrade our outdated software system, and begin the process of converting our vehicles to electric – all while continuing to provide a level of service that reflects the importance of every member of this community.”

 

Justice of the Peace Richard Brissenden: "I feel greatly honored to have been re-elected by the citizens of Lane County to the position of Lane County Justice of the Peace.  In return, I intend to justify that trust by continuing to do the best job possible to address and fairly adjudicate the issues brought before me in the Justice Court.  I owe it to all of you to listen to all those before the Court, and do all I reasonably can to make fully informed and considered decisions in every case."

 

Commissioner Ryan Ceniga, District 1 West Lane: “Having the confidence of the voters in my district is a huge honor, but an even bigger responsibility.  I will work hard to continue to earn my fellow West Lane County residents’ respect.  I’m going to work on the tough issues like public safety that need to be prioritized.  My door will always be open to all as I serve the constituents of Lane County.”  

 

Commissioner David Loveall, District 2 Springfield: "I'm honored to be elected to serve among a five-member board and alongside many other fine leaders in this County. We face growing financial challenges and a number of large projects already in motion needing to get to the finish line of which I'm committed to move forward. I have but one agenda, to do the right thing for the right reasons with all the gusto we can for our citizens. My focus is to build strong relationships and bridge trust with all groups so we can make the greatest return on our investments both financially and for all humanity. Loveall for all wasn't a campaign slogan, it's my promise to whoever elected me, and also to those who didn't."

 

Commissioner Heather Buch, District 5 East Lane: “As a mother, a military spouse, and someone who lives in rural Lane County, I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve my constituents across the county. As a representative of a politically and geographically diverse district, I always look for ways to put politics and ideology aside and focus on delivering on our shared goals for housing, mental health and public safety.”

 

 

Following the swearings-in, Commissioner Pat Farr, who served as chair in 2022, delivered the State of the County Address. His address focused on the intersection of behavioral health and public safety; it featured updates on key county projects and accomplishments during the past year. Local musicians Paul Biondi and Gus Russell added a festive note to the event.

 

As we plan this coming year, knowing now so many things that we did not know four years ago—even one year ago, we must judiciously work with our own people, with our nonprofits, with the business community and with our cities and other jurisdictions to maximize how we provide the services we know we can do better at,” said Commissioner Pat Farr. “In this new year and beyond, with a new Board of Commissioners striving to find a balance that many never dreamed possible, we must make the most of what we have and leverage the things we need into truly making Lane County the Best County to live, work and play.”

 

The swearings-in and State of the County Address can be viewed at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/webcasts