Patti Milne has announced that she will not seek re-election for a fifth term on the Marion County Board of Commissioners.

The next day, Rep. Kevin Cameron announced he will run for the Marion County Commission in November 2014.

 “Rep. Kevin Cameron has been a valued and respected voice in the House Republican Caucus as both a caucus leader and member,” said House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R - Powell Butte). “His experience as a small business owner has provided an important perspective to the Oregon Legislature, and his passion and care for others is reflected in his dedication to ensuring government is using resources to effectively and efficiently help those in need. He has provided his constituents with outstanding representation and service. While he will be missed in the legislature, Marion County residents are fortunate to have the opportunity to bring his knowledge and experience to the county commission.”

Milne said that her announcement not to seek re-election next year will not change her level of service in the next 15 months.

“I have 15 months on the job still, so I’m going to be looking at opportunities that present themselves,” Milne said. “I am interested in working on issues more in-depth. Being a commissioner is a full-time job, so I’m looking to move on with my life and concentrate my efforts on something new.”

When first elected in 1998, Milne’s campaign promise was to restore faith in government, rebuild employee morale, regain control of the budget and return government to its core functions.

While commissioner, the county created a rainy day fund and key indicators, built reserve and contingency funds, implemented a fleet program and department audits, instituted the Economic Development Advisory Board and reinstituted the Noxious Weed Advisory Board and District. She also oversaw the implementation of Health Savings Accounts for county employees and was instrumental in reorganizing the County Dog Control Program and Shelter.

As chair of the Public Safety Coordinating Council, Milne’s initiative, “Making Our Communities Safe, Strong & Successful,” has helped reduce neighborhood meth labs and gang activity while strengthening community relationships and building partnerships. Together with Volcanoes Baseball, she created the annual “Striking Out Meth in Marion County” event, now going into its ninth year.

Milne has also led efforts to update county ordinances to ease regulations and encourage small business development and growth, job creation, and economic development opportunities in Marion County. Recognizing agriculture is Marion County’s number one industry, she has emphasized the protection of productive farm land and farmers’ right to farm so that farms can grow and diversify.

Milne was also involved in the creation of a Joining Community Forces effort in Marion County for veterans.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve made in Marion County,” she said. “Instituting positive changes, being fiscally responsible with your hard earned tax dollars, treating citizens and employees with dignity and respect, implementing cost effective practices, improving customer service, building relationships with other government entities, civic groups and the business community, have all resulted in improved services and programs for  the people of Marion County.”

Milne was first elected to public office in 1988 to a four-year term on the Woodburn School Board. She served three terms as a state representative in the Oregon legislature from 1993 through 1998 and served as Majority Whip in 1995 prior to being elected to the board of commissioners.

Milne is adamant this is not a step toward retirement.

“I could easily continue another four-year term,” she said.

“Commissioners are responsible for the executive, the quasi-judicial and the legislative branches of county government. I work with great people at Marion County and there is a lot to be involved in and a lot more work that can be done to better serve the people of Marion County.

“However, after 26 years as an elected official, when this term is over, it will be time for me to move to the next phase of my life and let someone else step into this position. I am ready to explore new opportunities and projects that will allow me to concentrate my time, energy and talents where I can be the most effective on issues dear to me such as veterans; issues important to our community such as public safety and health care; and issues that are critical to protecting our representative form of government, our constitution and our freedoms.”

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