Final Budget: The City of Corvallis budget commission has approved a proposed final draft for Fiscal Year 2024 for a grand total of $260,820,300, which reflects an increase of $18,142,600 (7.47 %) from the prior year adopted budget.
“The Budget Commission held a public hearing and approved the budget last night (Wednesday). The last step is for the budget to be officially adopted at the June 5 City Council meeting. So I’d say June 5 is the target for final budget approval,” said City of Corvallis Public Information Officer Patrick Rollens.
To view the full budget visit https://archives.corvallisoregon.gov/public/ElectronicFile.aspx?dbid=0&docid=3476792
County Leadership in Flux: After two and a half years of interim Benton County Health Department Directors, and now also having an interim County Administrator, officials are seeking to fill both roles with permanent hires. And, that search has become national.
How We Got Here: “Suzanne’s appointment has always been interim. She joined the Benton County Health Department as the interim director in October of 2020 for a two-year limited-duration appointment and agreed to extend an additional six months in that role through March 2023. With Joe Kerby’s departure, she agreed to fill the role of interim County Administrator for 90 days to six months,” said Benton County Public Information Officer Cory Grogan.
When Hoffman’s term ended in March of this year, April Holland assumed the role, still as an interim Health Department Director.
“I joined the Benton County Health Department as the Public Health Administrator and Deputy Director of Public Health in December of 2020. I have no intention of applying for the upcoming permanent Health and Human Services Director position,” said Holland. “It is a privilege to serve as Interim Health Department Director and I look forward to returning to my public health role once we welcome a new director.”
What’s Next: The Commissioners are still deliberating with interim County Administrator Suzanne Hoffman, Human Resources, and the Health Department about the hiring process for the permanent Health Department job and will open recruitment for it soon, according to Grogan. Apparently, there are applicants for the County Administrator’s position.
Hoffman is not seeking any permanent position, reportedly preferring to act as County Administrator only temporarily.
Fentanyl Campaign: In coordination with National Fentanyl Awareness Day that took place on May 9, the Benton County Health Department in partnership with other agencies, has launched what’s being called the Fentanyl Aware Campaign.
The County Health Department is working with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Corvallis Police Department, and the Benton County Board of Commissioners to help raise community awareness about the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl.
“Our new campaign will provide youth, families, and community members with tools to stay safe, how to spot and respond to an overdose, and resources for treatment,” said Mara Sargent, Substance Misuse Prevention and Education Coordinator. “We’re thankful to partner with local law enforcement to offer information sessions to the community.”
Benton County has seen increased calls to 911, emergency room visits, and even death because of recent increases in the supply and use of fentanyl, according to a release from the county.
As part of the campaign, the three agencies will hold their first information session at 6:30 p.m. on May 23 at the Benton County Kalapuya building located at 4500 SW Research Way in Corvallis. Plans are also underway for a Spanish session.
This is open to the public, to learn more and follow the campaign visit bit.ly/BentonCoGov-FentanylAware
By Jennifer Warner
Note: An earlier version of this story stated it could not be speculated if April Holland would be interested in the Health Department directorship. Holland is now on record as not intending to apply.