February E-News: News & Events from Marion County

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Marion County Oregon

February 19, 2019

Marion County TODAY banner

In this issue:

Marion County welcomes new commissioner

Colm Willis

By Dick Hughes​

Marion County's newest commissioner has plunged into his job with gusto.

The three members of the Board of Commissioners serve approximately 340,000 residents in Marion County, and Colm Willis was quickly immersed in that decision-making after taking office on Jan. 7.

"I just love this place, and so my passion for this job is to serve the people of Marion County and to make the best decisions I can for this community," he said in a recent interview. "As much as there is a learning curve, I have to get it right, right away."

He said he has learned a lot through getting to know the different county employees and understanding their jobs on a personal basis.

Willis, whose first name is pronounced "Col-um," was elected in November to succeed longtime Commissioner Janet Carlson, who retired. He joins Sam Brentano, a commissioner since 2003, and Kevin Cameron, who was re-elected in November and has been a commissioner since 2014.


Local youth turn struggles into award-winning music

Andrew McMains

​By Dick Hughes 

A local high school senior has turned his struggles with drugs into an award-winning song and a trip to the Grammy Awards.

Andrew McMains, 17, co-wrote a rap song with David Bond that won first place in the ninth-annual Teens Make Music Contest.

The song's message is "using drugs comes with a price," McMains said. "I'm just a normal kid that has been through some hard times in my life."

McMains is close to graduating from Marion County's juvenile STAR Court – Supervised Treatment and Recovery. The intensive program combines substance abuse treatment and other services with ongoing court appearances. It is for youth aged 14 to 17 who are on probation for non-violent offenses and have substance abuse problems.

Once youth successfully complete the multi-level program, their juvenile court records are expunged. In a celebration of gaining a fresh start, their original court documents are fed into a paper shredder during the graduation ceremony.


Student-designed patch selected for East Salem deputies

East Salem patch

​A recent assembly at Adam Stephens Middle School in northeast Salem celebrated the reveal of a new patch for the Marion County Sheriff's Office. The Advanced Art class at Stephens created 23 entries for a patch design contest for the East Salem Service District patrol deputies.

The entry form for the patch posed the question, "What do you love about your neighborhood?" 

Patch design winner, eighth grader, Jesus Adrian Valdez Ceja, created a patch with evergreen trees as the points of a seven-point Sheriff's star.  A bright red apple reflects area orchards and is centered over a compass that lies in the middle of the star. The words "East Salem" hang just under the star and Marion County is arched above, giving the East Salem Service District a distinct look, yet tying it back to the Sheriff's Office's regular patch. 

ESSD Deputy Chris Bangs, a long-time east Salem resident and former school resource officer at Stephens, helped coordinate the contest. He will be the first to wear the ESSD patch.  


Student with Sheriff and commanders

Art contest winner Jesus Adrian Valdez Ceja is pictured with Sheriff Jason Myers, Commander Joe Kast and Undersheriff Troy Clausen.

St. Louis Fish Ponds to open March 1st

St. Louis Fish Ponds

Marion County Parks announces that St. Louis Fish Ponds Park will open for the season on March 1, 2019.

The popular warm water fishing and dog training destination is located 13 miles north of Keizer off St. Louis Road. The park has a concrete pathway to the fishing sites, as well as ADA accessible docks, restrooms, and picnic tables, and is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. 

For more information, please call 503-588-5036 or visit the Marion County Parks website

For information about fishing and gun use at the park, please contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 503-947-6100.

Go Green: Waste Less Wednesday and Master Recycler registration open

It's easy to reduce waste when packing your lunch. Hear how Jessica and Stephanie waste less when they are on the go.

Watch the video.

Master Recycler: Spring 2019 Registration Open 

Join the team of over 750 Master Recyclers to learn about waste reduction, composting, recycling, and making a difference in your community. The Spring 2019 Master Recycler Program in now accepting applications. Classes will be Fridays, April 12 through May 10, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sign up today!

Waste Less graphic

Featured job opportunity: Public Works spring/summer seasonal maintenance workers

Public Works crew

Marion County invites applications for dedicated, hard working individuals for Maintenance Worker – Public Works Spring/Summer Seasonal Temporary jobs.

The roads maintenance worker is generally assigned to the road maintenance division and is responsible for various manual labor tasks, including maintenance and operational duties for roads, bridges, vegetation, sign, pavement markings, traffic devices and control, and nuisance control.

This a great place to gain experience for full-time maintenance worker positions and other public works job opportunities. 

The recruitment is expected to open Friday, February 22, 2019.  

Visit our website for a full list of current openings. 

Calendar of Events

CERT logo

February 23
CERT Meet-n-Greet
Broadway Commons
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

February 23
Dog Shelter at PetSmart National Adoption Weekend
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
2925 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem 

February 26
Be a Land Steward: Invasive Plants Workshop
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Stayton Community Center
The event is FREE, but please register to reserve your seat. 

March 6
EarthWISE Sustainability Luncheon
Noon to 1 p.m. 
Willamette Heritage Center

March 9
Consumption Art Exhibit Reception 
Noon to 3 p.m. 
Bush Barn Art Center
Exhibit runs February 28-March 17
Sponsored by Marion County Environmental Services

March 12
Speak Up! Preventing Teen Suicide
North Salem High School
765 14th St. NE, Salem 
Dinner at 5:30 and Program from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
Co-hosted by Marion County Health & Human Services

March 13
State of the County
SEDCOR Business Forum
12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Broadway Commons
Registration open soon

April 6
Dog Shelter Puppy Paw-ty
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Marion County Public Works 


Visit our website for a full list of meetings and events.