Polk County Board of Commissioners

Commissioner Wheeler recently has announced her retirement from the Polk County Board. Commissioner Wheeler became Polk County’s first woman Commissioner when she was appointed to the Polk County Board of Commissioners in April 2011. She became Polk County’s first elected woman Commissioner on November 6th, 2012. She takes particular interest in law enforcement and is the designated liaison for Emergency Management, Public Works and for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

In 1991, Jennifer graduated magna cum laude from Western Oregon State College with a bachelor’s degree in the sciences with a focus in criminal justice. She served as Secretary to the Board of Commissioners for 13 years and worked as a legal secretary for the Polk County District Attorney for three years prior to that.

In her free time, Jennifer enjoys agate finding, kayaking, whale watching, camping with her family, and she is an avid reader. She and her husband, Tim, live in Independence and have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners will be accepting applications for Commissioner Position 1 from October 8th, 2018 through November 2nd, 2018 at 5 pm. November 2nd, 2018 will be considered the first look date for the application process.

The person chosen to fill this position will serve the remainder of the term vacated by the retirement of Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler beginning January of 2019 through the end of the calendar year of 2020, they must be elected by the citizens of Polk County during the election cycle in 2020.

Anyone interested in applying to the Board of Commissioner Position 1 must submit a letter of interest and resume to the Board of Commissioners’ office located in the Polk County Courthouse at 850 Main St., Dallas OR 97338. All letters of interest need to include the following: why the candidate is applying to be on the Board of Commissioners; why the candidate would be a good choice to be appointed to the Board of Commissioners; and if the candidate intends to run for election in 2020 should they be appointed to the open position.

Commissioner Mike Ainsworth and Commissioner Craig Pope will individually review letters of interest and resumes. Please direct any inquiries to either or both Commissioners. Any candidate chosen for an interview will appear before the Board of Commissioners during a public meeting for their scheduled interview.

Any applicant must meet requirements to fill the position under ORS 204.016(1), which requires a Commissioner to be a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age, and a resident of Polk County for at least one year preceding the next election. All applicants will also be required to submit to a criminal history check.