Opinion & Editorial

Meet Heather Buch: Incumbent for East Lane County Commissioner



Birthplace: Eugene  

Marital status: Married

Spouse’s job: Merchant Mariner and U.S. Navy reservist

Children: Daughter

Residence neighborhood: Unincorporated Lane County  

Online: HeatherBuch.com, facebook.com, HeatherBuchLaneCounty.com 

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Seattle University  

Occupation(s): Lane County Commissioner  

Current employer: Lane County  

Public sector experience: Lane County Commissioner  

Private sector experience: Small business owner for 15 years, Special Projects Director for St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc.  

Elected office(s) held: Lane County Commissioner, 2019-present  

I did not know that I would be a County Commissioner, but it was my background, my experience, and my desire for change in Lane County that led me to take office in 2019. When I stepped in, not only was the county faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we experienced an unprecedented megafire that destroyed countless homes and destabilized lives.  

Throughout the disaster, I utilized my position to ensure that my district received critical CARES Act and American Rescue Plan funding. I worked with two emergency operations centers and set aside politics to partner with mayors and local leaders to publicize dependable public health information to all residents because every second mattered.  

During the aftermath, I worked with an incident command team, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, and FEMA to protect the lives of Lane County residents. I successfully secured $27.5 million from the Oregon Legislature’s 2021 Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery to support recovery and waived over $1 million in residential and commercial permit fees for those looking to rebuild.  

While rebuilding and restoring the McKenzie River area is a continuing effort of mine, I’m also focused on providing public safety to the rural towns that don’t have the help when they need it most. Since my time on the commission, Lane County has increased funding to rural emergency services – the county’s biggest public safety investment since 2014 – without raising taxes.  

Beyond the commission, I’m a mother, military spouse, and housing advocate. I was born and raised in rural Lane County to a single mother. I spent my professional career running a small real estate business, specializing in affordable housing, and worked as Special Projects Director for St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. I love my job, and I’m not done fighting for Lane County.  

Read Q&A here.



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