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County consolidates departments, cuts management posts

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approved Thursday two measures to streamline county agencies.

The board's changes consolidate the roles of chief operating officer and oversight of county administrative functions, and aligned management of county facilities and fleet with information technology in a Department of County Assets.

A total of three top management positions would be eliminated under the new structure, saving roughly $500,000 per year.

The changes are effective July 1 and represent the board's first step toward reorganizing the way the county does business as part of 'Multnomah Evolves.'

'Today's appointments begin our process of trimming management positions to address our current and long-term budget constraints,' said County Chair Jeff Cogen. 'We're taking concrete steps to reduce administrative costs so that we can prioritize spending on critical direct services in the community.'

Interim Chief Operating Officer Joanne Fuller was appointed director of the Department of County Management, responsible for tax collection, budget, finance, personnel, purchasing and other operational areas. Fuller will retain the COO position.

Chief Information Officer Sherry Swackhamer was appointed director of the new Department of County Assets, which will include information technology, county buildings and properties, fleet, distribution and records. Swackhamer will retain her duties as CIO.

Mindy Harris, who has served as interim Department of County Management director since 2009, will retain her position as chief financial officer. Harris, who has served the county for 31 years, will continue to advise the board on financial policies and practices.