>She leaves her post as the top local prison official as cutbacks claim her former job
July 2, 2003 — Becky Lu Hummer, the state Department of Corrections’ top local official since 1999, has taken a new job with the Oregon Department of Justice.
Hummer was laid off Monday from her post as the Department of Corrections’ community development coordinator for Madras. Her layoff coincided with the closure of the department’s local office across from the courthouse.
On July 7, Hummer will become the regional operations manager of the Department of Justice’s Child Support Division based in Bend. There are seven such regions across the state. Hummer will oversee a staff of 92.
She described the career move as “bittersweet.”
“I’m excited about my new job but I wasn’t excited about leaving my old one,” she said. “But under the circumstances I feel very fortunate to have found something local.”
Hummer received her layoff notice in February when the Department of Corrections announced an indefinite delay to development of the Madras-area prison. The project was mothballed in a cost-cutting move linked to the state’s funding shortfalls.
Roughly $7.2 million already has been spent on the proposed prison on 452 acres three miles east of town. It will be built in two phases and eventually house up to 1,700 inmates in both minimum- and medium-security facilities.
After four years as the state’s point person on the project, Hummer said it’s tough letting it go.
“I’m very thankful for all the support I’ve received from the community on the project,” Hummer said. “It’s been a great project and it will be a great addition to the community when it’s completed.”
Hummer was offered other jobs within the Department of Corrections, but declined them because they would have come with long commutes. Hummer, of Redmond, and her husband operate the Numb Butt Fly Company in Madras.
She said she’ll enjoy keeping an eye on the proposed prison when it returns to full swing.
“I’m still the wife of a fly shop owner,” Hummer said, “so I know I’ll still have occasion to be up there and see what’s happening.”