PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners hears first-hand Wednesday for the first time from the committee making recommendations to change county government.

The county board more than a year ago formed the Charter Review Committee to analyze and suggest changes to the charter, the founding document for the structure and function of Umatilla County's government. The nine-member group decided at the end of April to recommend major reforms, starting with an overhaul of the board of commissioners.

Rather than three full-time positions, the committee decided a board of five part-timers would work better. That five-person board would hire the county counsel and a county manager, another significant change.

The county's growth demands a professional administrator, according to the committee, which also would improve the consistency of overseeing county operations compared to the different styles of the three commissioners.

The board of commissioners moved its meeting to Wednesday to 5:30 p.m. to hold a workshop with the charter committee and hear all the recommendations. The meeting is open to the public in room 114 at the county courthouse, Pendleton.

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