When: Monday, May 2, 7 pm
Where: Old World Deli, 341 SW 2nd St. in Corvallis
Roads, health and public safety are the three big drivers of the $215 million two-year Benton County budget. However, in the past year, county government has wrestled with proposals to build a new jail, to establish a bike trail between Corvallis and Albany and to address homelessness. The historic courthouse is unlikely to survive a major earthquake. Water supplies may not be adequate in some areas to meet growing demand.
In short, despite having one of Oregon’s lowest unemployment rates and highest per capita income rankings, Benton County faces difficult choices ahead.
At the May 2 Corvallis City Club meeting, two candidates in the Democratic primary will discuss what they see as major issues and offer their approaches to addressing them. There is no primary election on the Republican ticket.
With a background in law enforcement and banking, Jay Dixon was elected to the Commission in 2000. He has served on juvenile justice councils at the state and local levels. Economic development has been one of his major areas of emphasis, and he told the Gazette Times last fall that addressing the county’s cramped health facilities remains a high priority.
After serving as Executive Director of the Marys River Watershed Council for six years, Xan Augerot is making her first bid for the Commission. She points to inadequate health facilities, housing, law enforcement and climate change as issues facing the county. A new county Comprehensive Plan, she says, will need to balance these issues within the county’s financial limits.
The conversation will be moderated by Catherine Mater and City Club President Steve Schultz, and there will be plenty of time for the audience to ask questions.