By Valliant Corley
WesCom News Service
GOLD BEACH, Ore. The Curry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday officially notified the state that it would no longer operate an office to enforce child support payments and would return the function to the state.
"We regret to inform you that due to the failure to receive sufficient funding to satisfy our performance obligations under the ... agreement, we are terminating Curry County's Cooperative Agreement for Child Support with the State of Oregon Department of Justice," said the letter sent to Peter Shepherd of the state justice department.
The commission had decided during budget hearings last week it could not afford the $18,000 it has cost to handle the state's job. Curry County is not the first to turn child support collections back to the state.
"The state has a surplus. What's the matter with these people," Commissioner Lucie La Bont asked. "If counties can no longer handle state programs, the state should subsidize them. We're subsidizing them, but they won't subsidize us when we need it.
"I just hope the children of Curry County don't suffer because of this," La Bont said.
The county had previously talked to state officials about the action.
"I was concerned whether Berdette (McDonald) would have a job," Curry County District Attorney Everett Dial said.
McDonald's child support enforcement office is currently operated as a division of the DA's office.
Dial said the state officials assured him that McDonald would have a job because they have openings on a regular basis.
"The issue for Berdette is the opening may be in Portland, Medford or Roseburg, (Ore.)"
The Medford and Roseburg offices usually handle child support enforcement for counties that do not have their own office in this part of the state.