April 1st, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Multnomah County

Cogen Sworn in as Multnomah County Chair

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Promising a reign of personal humility and environmental sustainability, Jeff Cogen was sworn in this morning as Multnomah County chair.

"I'm going to be guided by my personal values and the values over the last year I've discovered I share with my board," Cogen said in his acceptance speech.

Cogen, who was in the final year of his first term as a county commissioner, replaces Ted Wheeler, who last month was appointed state treasurer after Treasurer Ben Westlund died of lung cancer.

Cogen praised Wheeler's steady leadership during his three years as chair.

"We've been on a very solid, stable path, and I'm committed to keeping us on that path," Cogen said.

He acknowledged he faces "difficult decisions" in his immediate task of crafting a 2010-2011 county budget with yet more cuts. The county has been forced to cut its budget in each of the past 10 years.

Cogen promised to nurture sustainable businesses and emphasize prevention in public safety and public health.

"Here in Portland, we've been leaders in acknowledging and understanding that our future prosperity means acting now," Cogen said.

Barbara Willer, Wheeler's former chief of staff, was sworn in this morning to replace Cogen as commissioner representing North and Northeast Portland. Multnomah County Attorney Agnes Sowle swore in both Cogen and Willer.
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