County government — Taking office six months early, the Newberg resident begins work

With the May primary election results certified, and Mary Stern officially resigned from the Yamhill Board of Commissioners, the board has elected to fill the vacancy with primary winner Mary Starrett.Starrett

Starrett netted nearly 51 percent of the vote, meeting the 50 percent plus one vote threshold necessary to win Position 3 outright. Commissioners Kathy George and Allen Springer had several options to fill the position: Appoint Starrett, appoint someone else or leave the position empty until after the November election. George said they decided to appoint Starrett last week since she had been officially elected to the position. She was sworn in June 19.

“I’ve begun work on the preliminaries of the issues that are coming before the board,” Starrett said in an email. “I have been meeting with department heads and staff regarding general issues as well as the specific areas in which I’ll have a deeper involvement as liaison commissioner. I have been impressed with the dedication and diligence of the staff and department heads, county administrators and Commissioners George and Springer as I have begun work on the commission this last week.”

She said taking office more than six months early has allowed her to get a head start on what needs to be done.

“The business of the county takes an enormous amount of collaborative energy,” she said. “The bottom line on all my responsibilities will be to see how I can represent the best interests of the people of Yamhill County on any issues that affect their tax dollars and decisions relating to their well-being and their rights.”

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