Commissioner History

Regarding the Feb. 6 Eugene Weekly article “Trieger Happy”: When the people of Lane County amended the county charter in 1976, five districts were created. Only Jerry Rust (for 18 years) and I (for 24 years) have held the South Eugene Commissioner position.

Rust was the last commissioner elected countywide, and he served for a total of 20 years as a commissioner. We’re both Democrats.

During the time I’ve followed the board there have been several times the county has had two women on the board at the same time. Marie Frazier and Ellie Dumdi were on the board together, then Cindy Weeldreyer and Dumdi were on the board together, and then Weeldreyer and Anna Morrison were on the board at the same time.

Before 1996, there may have been other pairs of women on the board, but I’ll have to let the historians sort those facts out. All four of those women commissioners were conservative and, most of time, Republican by voter registration.

I will note that, over the past 50 years or so, there has been only one Democrat woman commissioner in my recollection. Her name was Nancy Hayward, and she was elected by the entire county in the 1970s. She was a county commissioner when I was a University of Oregon student, and she was a strong feminist, environmentalist and social activist.

Keep up your coverage of all of the races.

Pete Sorenson

Lane County Commissioner

South Eugene District