Following extended discussion by both the Lake County Board of Commissioners and an ad-hoc committee, South Central Oregon Economic Development District Exec. Dir. Betty Riley received the appointment as Lake County’s interim rural economic development specialist.
Riley additionally will also serve in as the manager of the Lake County/Town of Lakeview-sponsored enterprise zone.
The position will be advertised for a new candidate, following the recent departure of Audrey Henry, who held the position for about a year.
Options examined by the committee included maintaining the position’s status quo, the county hiring its own staff in-house and contracting out with an existing nonprofit agency, such as Lake County Resources Initiative or the Lake County Chamber of Commerce.
The position has since been advertised, which calls for an individual with practical experience in economic and community development, along with previous administrative responsibilities.
During the meeting, Riley noted that real-world experience, along with the ability to manage multiple projects, is more important than level of education, though the job description does express preference for a four-year university graduate.
Responsibilities associated with the position include promoting the retention and expansion of local business, providing economic development outreach to other businesses and facilitating local collaborations.
Some zoning of zoning and local infrastructure is also considered valuable, Riley said.
As for the value of the position to the community, Riley said that many large-scale projects, such as the Paisley geothermal power plant site, found a catalyst from that position.
For more information, visit SCOEDD, or contact Betty Riley at 541-884-5593.