EUGENE, Ore. — It was day two on the job Tuesday for Lane County’s new administrator.
Steve Mokrohisky says transparency will be the key to regaining the public’s trust. He has spent the last 15 years in administration and says he is aware of the challenges facing the county and is ready to get started addressing them.
“I don’t think this is a broken organization,” Mokrohisky said.
Mokrohisky is optimistic about his new position, but he says he knows he’s stepping in after some very public turmoil. Former county administrator Liane Richardson was fired after an independent investigation revealed she took unauthorized payments.
“Frankly, I had people from Washington, Oregon, from Nevada, from California who contacted me and found out I was a finalist for the position and encouraged me not to pursue it,” Mokrohisky said.
But he says he came to Lane County and found a good leadership team ready to invest in new ideas. He says he’s going to look at financial challenges and address those. He’s concerned about public safety patrols as well as infrastructure for roads and bridges. And he knows he must earn the public’s trust.
“I feel really passionate that if the public doesn’t feel like we are open and transparent, then there is a problem there,” Mokrohisky said.
“Above everything else, making certain we make it so he doesn’t have any hidden agendas, he is doing the county’s business in the open at all times,” said Pat Farr, Lane County Board of Commissioners Chair.
Mokrohisky says all recommendations from a previous audit have been put in place, for instance, separating payroll and human resources.
“I am the bus driver, and the board of commissioners are the passengers. They are going to tell us where they want to go, and we are going to find the most cost effective and efficient way to get them there,” Mokrohisky said.
And on a lighter note, this family man and father says he’s ready to sink into the Lane County life.
“I have been asked that question, are you a Ducks or Beavers fan? And my answer is yes,” Mokrohisky said.
A fan for all sides as he looks to help his office turn over a new leaf in county government.
He says he will not turn down any invitation to have a dialogue and to listen to the problems in the county.