Byline: Matt Cooper The Register-Guard
The Lane County commissioners promoted a manager to a new high-level position Wednesday, saying the post is critical as the government works with the public to resolve the county's continuing fiscal crisis.
Tony Bieda, intergovernmental relations manager and a seven-year county employee, was named assistant county administrator. Bieda will help run the county with the pending departure of longtime County Administrator Bill Van Vactor. He could also oversee projects such as a possible relocation of the county fairgrounds from central Eugene to the outskirts of town.
Board chair Faye Stewart said the new job will ease the workload on the county administrator, the top nonelected post in county government but one that hasn't included an assistant administrator.
But Bieda's appointment to a position that pays $112,000 comes while the county is wrapped in a financial crisis. Chances are high that the federal government will phase out long-standing timber aid to the county, which could force big cuts such as closure of the county jail.
Nevertheless, Stewart believes creating and filling the post was the right move. "We believe the assistant county administrator position and the county administrator position are very important to helping us restructure Lane County, stay within our revenue streams and provide the best service we can to our citizens," he said.
The post is funded through existing county money, by leaving unfilled other high-level and administrative positions, including Bieda's former managerial position, Stewart and Bieda said. …