County judge, remaining commissioner to discuss process to fill vacancy through next year
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Crook County Commissioner Jerry Brummer, citing health issues and stress, has submitted his resignation from office, effective immediately.
Here’s his letter “To the People of Crook County,” dated Monday:
"I want to thank each of you for your support over the last 7 years. Unfortunately my health has worsened and the stress is not helping my situation, so I am resigning as your county commissioner, effective 9/28/23.
"I think three part time commissioners and a county administrator would put this county in the best position for success in our future.
"In closing, I am convinced that the level of complexities in our finances, operations and our forecasted growth in tax base revenue from tax abatements all require the best possible governance to insure our future in Crook County to be the best it can be.
"Once again, thanks for everyone’s support in the past and I look forward to future relationships.
Brummer was elected commissioner in 2016 and re-elected four years later; his current term concludes at the end of 2024.
Bryan Iverson announced on Monday that he will be running for Brummer's seat in next year's election.
Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely said Tuesday she cannot, under state law, declare the position vacant for three days after a resignation is submitted, in case the officeholder wants to withdraw their resignation.
If that does not happen, Seely said she will issue the official statement to the county court on Thursday morning. County Judge Seth Crawford and Commissioner Brian Barney are expected to discuss the process of filling the impending vacancy at the court's Wednesday meeting
Crook County Code 2.08.010 provides some guidelines, stating that when a vacancy occurs, the remaining members of the county court will appoint someone to assume the office until it's filled by voters at the next county-wide election. Voters can submit names for consideration to fill the vacancy, but a member of the court must nominate the person to be consideration, and the nominee must sign a statement saying they are willing to serve.
If the county court doesn't fill the vacancy by majority vote within 90 days of receiving notice from the clerk, the code says that "the remaining members of the county court may petition the Governor to appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy."
Brummer, who turns 75 in December, weighed in in his brief resignation letter on his position regarding recent discussions about possible changes in the county's governance structure.
Officials recently held three public meetings around the county to gather public input on possible changes to the current system, which has a full-time judge (commission chair) and two part-time commissioners. The county court added a temporary administrator position earlier this year to look at how that would work for governing the county of nearly 30,000. But the court recently discussed the matter and could not come to agreement on how any changes might proceed.