Government: County Appoints Clearance Board, Section 8 Rent Voucher Report, Commish County Gets New Opponent

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Recently, Benton County chose to create an advisory board determine the fate of solid waste. Beginning with the Commissioner’s meeting on August 23, public comments were made on this matter.

Resident Chuck Gilbert spoke about viable solutions to paper and plastic items that are not recyclable through current collection practices. He talked about ways to use them as a way to create fuel options.

Resident Debbie Palmer, who was part of the gofundme ‘STOP the Landfill Expansion’ effort, said, “I can’t stress enough how, when it comes to gathering facts about the landfill, like determining its actual methane emissions – i.e. how much is captured, how many escapes, instead of relying on Republic Services estimates, you’ll be willing to hire an independent, knowledgeable third-party scientist to do that, not a contractor recommended by landfill operator, Republic Services You can’t trust foxes to come up with plans to run your chicken coop.

After some discussion and a short break to review the list of people interested in serving on the council, the following residents of Benton County were chosen:

  1. Brandon Bates
  2. John Deuel
  3. Catherine Duval
  4. Ryan McCallister
  5. Christopher McMorran
  6. Marie Parmigiani
  7. Ed Pitera
  8. Louisa Shelby

Section 8 The Rental Voucher expects: According to the Linn Benton Housing Authority, there are currently 2,442 families on the waiting list for Section 8 housing. This equates to around a two-year wait. Nearly 400 vouchers are currently issued, which means that the problem is finding new rental accommodation for these families. Of the vouchers currently issued, 33% are used in Benton County, 65% are used in Linn County, and 2% are used in other areas through a process called voucher portability – a feature of the HUD voucher system which maintains the help someone receives even if they move.

In the Family Self-Sufficiency Department (FSS), there are currently two coordinators to assist the 125 voucher families who have volunteered to work towards self-sufficiency. These families typically take three to five years to overcome the obstacles they face – gainful employment, professional degrees or certifications, the start of retirement planning, and even community involvement through activities such as volunteering.

Announcement of the new opposing Republican commissioner: There was a small upheaval in the November race for the seat currently held by County Commissioner Pat Malone. Malone is still a candidate on the Democratic side of the field, but his Republican opponent Bill Currier withdrew and gave way on the ballot to William Kughn.

Kughn, a Republican, is a resident of Monroe. When we spoke to him on the phone and asked him why he had applied for the commissioner’s posts, he replied: “If you are happy with the way things are going – locally, nationally, whatever, I am not your man. If you want change, if you want new ideas, then I’m your man.

“I think government should operate like a business,” Kughn added. “I would only be one in three, but I think there would be a voice there that could be heard rather than having everyone unanimous. Right now the commission is leaning mostly to the left with people who represent [the county]. There are no conservative or moderate people represented on this commission.

This is Kughn’s first time running for elected office.

By Lawyer Staff


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