A University of Oregon law professor and a former Lane County administrator will discuss Home Rule county government from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Umpqua Valley Arts Center, 1624 W. Harvard Ave.

The League of Women Voters of Umpqua Valley, a nonpartisan group that encourages informed voting is sponsoring the event.

The League’s event differs from other informational events sponsored around the county previously, in that the speakers aren’t proponents or opponents of the local charter. Instead they’re experts from Lane County, which operates under a Home Rule Charter similar to the one proposed for Douglas County. The Douglas charter is up for a vote in November.

The Oct. 17 speakers include Joe Leahy, who teaches local government law at the University of Oregon Law School and is a former city attorney for Springfield and legal counsel for the Springfield Utility Board. Also speaking will be Bill Van Vactor, who served as Lane County legal counsel for 15 years and Lane County administrator for 15 years.

Leahy and Van Vactor will explain the difference between General Law and Home Rule counties.

Lane County’s government under Home Rule resembles the proposed Douglas charter in that it has five commissioners, each of whom represents a specific geographic district, and in that it has a hired professional county manager. It differs from the proposed Douglas charter in that it pays its commissioners.

Currently, Douglas County has three paid commissioners serving at large rather than by district, and no county manager.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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