City & Government, Springfield

Commissioner reflects on first year

Lane County Commissioner Joe Berney of District 2, Springfield. Victoria Stephens/The Chronicle

SPRINGFIELD – First elected to office 10 months ago, Lane County Commissioner Joe Berney, District 2-Springfield, last week reviewed his year so far in a presentation to the Springfield City Club.
During the presentation, Berney offered insight into his daily duties, many of which consist of attending multiple meetings and public events. He is also a member of close to a dozen boards as part of his duties, he said.
As a commissioner, his role is to work with the four other commissioners throughout the county in developing economic policies. Berney has a background in economics and education, having worked in the energy sector until he retired. With this background in mind, he said he is an advocate for energy efficiency, sustainability and use of local materials for all municipal buildings.
As a former educator he said he puts a high priority on mentorship and internships.
The primary function of schools is the development of citizenship,” Berney said. ”Public schools represented the greatest latent human resource development agency in every community.”
The commissioner spoke of his concern for the need for affordable housing in the area. He praised the upcoming housing options planned by Homes for Good, Hayden Bridge Meadows in Springfield and Glenwood Place in Glenwood. These will provide 70 new units on 5th Street near Fred Meyer in Springfield and more than 100 units off Franklin in Glenwood, he said.
”I want to see Missing Middle Housing for veterans and working families,” he said, adding that of the 345 units slated for development by Homes for Good, over half are in Springfield. Missing Middle Housing is a movement to provide diverse, affordable housing choices – duplexes, fourplexes, etc. – in sustainable, walkable neighborhoods with local retail and public transportation options.
Additionally, Berney mentioned that Cottage Grove has been selected as the site for a federally qualified health center in the future, and that work is being discussed on infrastructure development in Glenwood.



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