Josephine County: State of the County Address

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Welcome to the State of the County Address for Josephine County in 2018. In this address, we will introduce you to all of the departments within the county and provide you with an overview of their work, challenges, and future plans. Josephine County is about more than just the Board of County Commissioners; it is about each and every department that contributes to the functioning and well-being of the county.

Elected Officials

Let us begin with an introduction to the elected officials and their departments. The first person to present is the Legal Counsel, who oversees a diverse range of responsibilities. The legal counsel’s office has recently expanded to include two assistant county legal counsels, one of whom specializes in mathematics. Additionally, a new property manager has been hired to support the county’s property management program. There is also a deliberate transition plan in place to ensure the transfer of knowledge and experience from retiring staff members to the next generation.

Legal Department and Cases

The legal counsel’s office handles a variety of cases, including those against institutions and government bodies, such as Jackson County. They are currently contesting a ruling in a case against the public health care system, which could have significant implications for employers across the state. They have also partnered with other counties for a class-action lawsuit regarding the mortgage electronic recording system. Furthermore, there are ongoing cases against the federal government, primarily relating to natural resources management. The legal counsel’s office is also exploring options regarding wildfire policy.

In addition to their caseload, the legal counsel’s office is responsible for managing the property management program, which has generated over $1.6 million in revenue for the county since its revival. They have also experienced a significant increase in public records requests, with 85 requests filled in the past year.

District Attorney’s Office

The District Attorney’s office plays a crucial role in upholding justice in Josephine County. The District Attorney handles a wide range of cases, from misdemeanors to more serious offenses. Contrary to popular belief, a criminal case does not end with an arrest, but rather progresses through the court system until a conviction is obtained. The District Attorney’s office files cases, works through the legal process, and seeks justice for victims. They handle a substantial caseload, with approximately 4,235 active cases at present.

The District Attorney’s office works closely with various law enforcement agencies in the county, with the majority of cases being referred by the Grants Pass Police Department. The office prosecutes various types of crimes, including drug offenses, sex crimes, and property-related offenses. In 2017, they prosecuted 376 prostitution-related cases, 141 assault-related cases, 618 theft-related cases, and approximately 168 burglary, robbery, or stolen car-related cases.

The District Attorney’s office plays a vital role in ensuring public safety and holding offenders accountable. They make thousands of court appearances each year, totaling over 18,000 in 2017. The office also provides essential victim services, including distributing victim information packets and seeking restitution on behalf of crime victims.

Assessor’s Office

The Assessor’s office is responsible for determining property values for taxation purposes in Josephine County. They play a crucial role in supporting taxing districts, such as school districts, cities, and fire districts, by providing accurate valuations of taxable property. The office consists of a team of appraisers, data analysts, photographers, and administrators, all working together to fulfill their mandated services.

The appraisal staff is responsible for evaluating residential and commercial properties and analyzing sales data to determine trends. On the administrative side, the team carries out various tasks, including mapping, photography, and supporting developers who need property-related information.


In conclusion, the State of the County Address for Josephine County has provided insights into the diverse range of departments and their contributions to the county’s well-being. The legal counsel’s office, with its diverse caseload, ensures accountability and justice. The District Attorney’s office diligently prosecutes crimes and seeks justice for victims. Lastly, the Assessor’s office plays a crucial role in supporting taxing districts by determining property values accurately.

Josephine County is fortunate to have dedicated professionals in each department who work tirelessly to serve the community. Their efforts not only contribute to the county’s success but also ensure a safe and vibrant future for its residents.

Remember, the State of the County Address is an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of all departments and celebrate the progress made while recognizing the challenges that lie ahead. Together, Josephine County will continue to grow and thrive.

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