Benton County will have a new chief financial officer next month.
Rick Crager takes over the county’s Financial Services Department on Oct. 1. He replaces Mary Ottley, who has worked for the county for more than three decades.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Rick to Benton County,” said Joe Kerby, the county administrator. “He brings a diverse amount of both financial and program management experience. He also generates expertise in providing leadership, developing internal and external relationships, advancing and administering strategic objectives, and effectively navigating through change and adversity.
“I believe all of these attributes make him a great fit for our organization and our leadership team.”
Crager comes to the county after 32 years with the state of Oregon. He worked in roles including housing, education, transportation and public safety.
Since 2015 he has served in finance and information technology for the Oregon Department of Education. Crager worked with Oregon’s nearly 200 school districts on administering nearly $2 billion in increased federal and state resources that stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crager is a native Oregonian who was born in Roseburg and raised in Myrtle Creek. He went to high school in Salem and graduated from Linfield College in 2001 with a bachelor’s in accounting with a special focus on finance.
“I am intrigued by the county’s goals around affordable housing and the work they are doing with the homeless population,” Crager said, “and I’m excited about the transportation infrastructure projects that are underway.
“I have a strong passion for this work, which is a big part of what Benton County is focusing on. I look forward to being part of a supportive team, serving the community and being part of an organization that shares the same goals and objectives.”
Otley, an Oregon State University graduate, has served Benton County in a variety of roles for more than 30 years. Robert Tintle, a former Lane County and city of Eugene official, originally was hired to replace Otley last December, but he left the county in the spring. Otley has been serving in a part-time capacity and will continue to do so until Crager arrives.