Jackson County Commissioners clarify “use of staff time for non-county business”

JACKSON COUNTY COMMISSIONERSMedford, Ore. —  In the wake of an Oregon Government Ethics Commission investigation, no matter is too small for the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. The board met Thursday to discuss county policy on the use of staff time and county resources for non-county business. Specifically, what events commissioners can ask staff to schedule on the county calendar.

After Thursday’s meeting the understanding is that staff is only expected to be used to schedule official county business. And while commissioners should note personal events they’re attending in the event that another commissioner is also attending, those events need to be put on the calendar by the commissioner themselves.

“If more than one commissioner attends then that runs into a potential problem of us having a quorum,” Commissioner Colleen Roberts says, “then it needs to be noticed.”

“Without staff making that double check to make sure two people aren’t in the same place at the same time,” Commissioner Doug Breidenthal says, “that could become an ethical issue and end up in front of the ethics commission and no one wants to go there trust me I know about that.”

For example the county is a member of the Medford Chamber,  but not the Ashland Chamber, and while Commissioners may attend meetings or events for both organizations, only the Medford Chamber meeting could be scheduled by staff.

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