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COQUILLE -- The structure advisory committee -- a citizens group created by the Coos County Board of Commissioners -- has completed its report on Coos County governmental organization, offering its analysis of four remaining departments.

The purpose of the committee is to first assess the county's current organization, then determine if that structure is adequate. In recent days, the committee has made a wide range of recommendations, including the creation of a chief executive position for the county.

County counsel

The county counsel serves 32 departments, providing legal advice, reviewing contracts and agreements, and draft ordinances. The department lacks a chief administrator, so the counsel herself does most of the administrative work.

There is a central repository for contracts, but no way for the counsel to know when the contracts come due. There is no time for ordinance review, and no need, as ordinances are not enforced.

The department wants more legal help and a chief administrator.

Community corrections

Department morale is strong, despite looming budget issues. Committee members say it is unclear to what extent the department is a part of the sheriff's office, although the two work well together.

The department needs to keep duplicate records, and department members are concerned they don't see the commissioners enough.

A treatment center is needed with the rise in heroin use.

Corrections also cannot take payment via credit card, which limits the funds they receive.

Surveyor

The department's records database use an out-of-date software program that most private surveyors and title companies will not be able to access, which could add to county workload.

The county also needs a new GPS system to locate survey markers. Supply cost controls have limited the crew's ability to function.

The staff lamented poor computer systems, lack of contact with commissioners and no awareness of what is going on in the rest of the county.

The relationship with PBS Engineering is costly and time consuming. Design changes require additional work.

Surveyors are paying for their own required continuing education to maintain their surveyor licenses.

Juvenile

The local detention center has been closed due to budget cuts. Juveniles that are incarcerated must go to Roseburg.

The department interfaces with Oregon Youth Authority and some work may be duplicated.

The department would like to see better technology and improved communications and collaborations between departments.

Reporter Jessie Higgins can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or jhiggins@theworldlink.com.

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