Multnomah County, Oregon

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800px-Map of Oregon highlighting Multnomah County.png

Multnomah County is one of 36 counties in Oregon and its most populous county, with 735,334 inhabitants as of 2010. It was founded in 1854. Portland, the state's most populous city, is the county seat.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Oregon county websites

This page was evaluated June 15, 2012.

Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Contracts P
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public records
Local taxes
County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

The good

  • Has budget information online, including most frequent and archived budgets.[1]
  • Has county commissioners' meeting information online, including full email addresses.[2]
  • Has elected and administrative officials' contact information online.[3]
  • Has building permits and zoning information online.[4]
  • Has tax information online and online tax payment option.[5]
  • Has audits online[6]
  • Information on bids and purchasing is online.[7]
  • public records information and contact information for the public information officer, including e-mail, were provided.[8]
  • County meeting agendas, schedules and minutes, including archived minutes are provided online.[9]

The bad

  • Could not find any information about lobbyists employeed by the county or membership to government sector lobbying associations and their dues.
  • Approved contract statements are not provided, and or contracts with values and vendors listed, on the website.


The 2012 budget for Multnomah County is $1,487,769,834, though the budget office claims that a net budget of $1,044,354,982 is a more accurate figure of what the county plans to spend, as it "subtracts all the internal charges, transfers and loans from one fund to another" and "subtracts the reserves for future years to reflect the net or operating budget."[10] The county spends 31.5 percent of the budget on personnel services, the largest category.[11]The proposed budget for 2013 is $1,510,239,793 (a 9.85 percent increase), and the 2011 budget was $1,460,368,279.[12][13] The budget office also provides budget reports, surveys, economic forecasts, and revenue information.[14] Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports between 2001 and 2011 are available online.[15]

Category Expenses
General Fund $412,093,990
Road Fund $49,018,176
Emergency Communications Fund $66,192,757
Bicycle Path Construction Fund $359,250
Recreation Fund $105,000
Federal/State Program Fund $273,175,292
County School Fund $187,100
Animal Control Fund $2,692,050
Willamette River Bridge Fund $33,736,272
Library Serial Levy Fund $69,221,502
Special Excise Taxes Fund $20,055,250
Land Corner Preservation Fund $1,719,000
Inmate Welfare Fund $1,250,668
Justice Services Special Ops Fund $7,925,717
Oregon Historical Society Levy Fund $1,945,151
Revenue Bond Sinking Fund $2,680,690
Capital Debt Retirement Fund $30,469,235
General Obligation Bond Sinking Fund $16,389,888
PERS Bond Sinking Fund $72,325,000
Financed Projects Fund $3,701,038
Capital Improvement Fund $39,753,610
Capital Acquisition Fund $4,233,353
Asset Preservation Fund $7,243,197
Sellwood Bridge Replacement Fund $153,452,258
Behavioral Health Managed Care Fund $60,019,416
Risk Management Fund $120,931,210
Fleet Management Fund $10,895,342
Information Technology Fund $43,386,848
Mail Distribution Fund $8,122,221
Facilities Management Fund $40,432,110
TOTAL $1,487,769,834

Public Employees

Elected Officials

The chair and commissioners are elected to four-year terms in a nonpartisan election. The chair acts as the chief executive officer over all county initiatives except those administered by the sheriff, auditor, district attorney, and commissioners. The commissioners act as the legislative body of the county and "adopt policies, sit as the budget committee, review and amend the executive budget, hold hearings, and adopt the County budget. They (also) act as liaisons to departments, advisory boards and commissions make changes in administrative departments, fill vacancies in elective offices, and adopt labor agreements."[16]

More information can be found on the Board of County Commissioners website.[17]

Name Position End of Term Total Annual Compensation
Jeff Cogen County Chair December 31, 2014 $180,093.38
Deborah Kafoury District One Commissioner December 31, 2012 $118,561.14
Stephen March Auditor December 2014 $118,556.42
Diane McKeel District Four Commissioner December 31, 2012 $120,734.82
Michael Schrunk District Attorney December 2012 $73,122.82
Judy Shiprack District Three Commissioner December 31, 2012 $118,561.14
Loretta Smith District Two Commissioner December 31, 2014 $118,561.14
Daniel Staton Sheriff December 2014 $184,326.36

Administrative Officials


See also: Oregon government salary

Multnomah County has 1,103 individuals earning a total annualized compensation of $100,000 or more as of 2010. The top 20 are listed below. For the full list, visit the Multnomah County salary database compiled by the Cascade Policy Institute.

Name Position Total Annual Compensation (as of 2010)
Amit Shah Medical Director $215,607.11
Lisa Kaskan Psychiatrist $211,077.54
Jonathan Jui EMS Medical Doctor $209,441.44
Robert Henriques Physician $207,142.98
Gary Oxman Health Officer $206,105.06
Karen Marks Physician $205,875.32
Ole Ersson Physician $205,874.31
Raisa Premysler Physician $202,591.46
Lisa Sprague Physician $201,462.24
Michael MacVeigh Physician $200,577.80
Lillian Shirley Department Director $200,326.49
Joseph Black Physician $200,020.68
Joanne Fuller Department Director $199,989.39
Mark Margoles Physician $199,439.15
Mary Ware Deputy Health Officer $199,219.88
Richard Houle Physician $199,150.82
Gregory Allers Physician $199,149.56
Yuen Chan Physician $198,813.72
Melinda Harris Department Director $197,950.28
Sherry Swackhamer Chief Information Officer $195,416.66


See also: Oregon public pensions

Oregon has one public pension fund, the Public Employees Retirement System. According to the PERS website, "you are vested in the OPSRP Pension Program on the earliest date in which you complete at least 600 hours of service in each of five calendar years (the years do not have to be consecutive). If you are an active member any time on or after reaching normal retirement age, you become a vested member regardless of years of service. Once you are vested in the OPSRP Pension Program, you cannot lose your benefit rights unless you withdraw from the program."[19]

The state has funded PERS 86 percent, with $5.8 billion in unfunded liabilities.

An April 28 article in The Oregonian estimates about 10 percent of pensioners double dip.[20]

Emergency personnel

The county has a local public safety coordinating council that publishes crime reports, trends, and other information.[21]


See also: Oregon government sector lobbying

Transparency & public records

Multnomah County doesn't have a public records database on its website. The Oregonian posted a blog on June 5, 2012 stating that they "met resistance" when attempting to obtain public records for research on public housing in the Portland metropolitan area. The housing authority cited "privacy concerns."[22]


The county has an assessment and taxation page where individuals can find a guide to property tax statements, summaries of assessments and taxation, and pay taxes online.[23]

Ballot measures

Ballotpedia has an article on ballot measures in Multnomah County.

External links