Gary Williams selected as East Lane commissioner

Gary Williams selected as East Lane commissioner
Posted on 04/12/2017

Gary Williams was selected by the Board of County Commissioners to fulfill the remainder of the current District 5, East Lane commissioner term, which runs through the end of 2018.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility,” said Williams. “I look forward to continuing to serve Cottage Grove and the other outstanding communities in East Lane County – I am ready to hit the ground running.”

Williams, 65, is a fourth-generation Lane County resident. He served as mayor of Cottage Grove from 2000 to 2012 and also previously served as a city councilor in Cottage Grove. A small business owner for 35 years, he is currently retired. During his tenure as mayor, Williams was awarded the Oregon Mayors Association Leadership Award (2011) and the League of Oregon Cities James C. Richards Memorial Award (2012), among others. 

“We had a remarkable field of candidates, each of who would have been an asset to East Lane County,” said Lane County Board Chair Pat Farr. “Mr. Williams will serve the constituents of East Lane County well and we look forward to working closely with him on behalf of our community.”

A swearing-in ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 13, at 11:00 a.m. in Harris Hall. Williams will be sworn in by Presiding Judge Karsten Rasmussen.

Williams was selected after a full day of interviews. Twenty-six candidates were narrowed down to nine and then to three after a series of questions from commissioners. The process was open, transparent and decisive. All proceedings were conducted in public session and via live webcast.


The interviews began at 9:00 a.m. where the 26 candidates who met minimum qualifications and were available for the interview were each asked to “Tell us why you applied for this position.”


Each candidate was given three minutes to speak. The order was determined by having candidates draw numbers prior to the start of the meeting. Commissioners did not comment or ask additional questions of the candidates at this time in order to not provide an advantage to later interviewees.


After all 26 candidates had spoken, commissioners deliberated and each commissioner chose three candidates to move forward to the afternoon session. There was some overlap in their choices, which resulted in nine candidates being asked to return for afternoon interviews.


In the afternoon, the nine remaining candidates each had fifteen minutes to answer three questions from commissioners. The order was again established by drawing numbers.


After the second round of interviews, commissioners ranked their top three choices. (Each commissioner’s first choice received three points, second choice received two points and third choice received one point.)


The three candidates who received the highest number of points were asked to answer a final question. The top three candidates were Gary Williams, Heather Buch and Tim Laue.


After the three top candidates answered the final question, the Board deliberated and ultimately made the decision to appoint Gary Williams.

Posted on April 12, 2017.