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Former Scappoose mayor and long-time Columbia county employee Elizabeth “Betty” Huser has passed away.

The Columbia County Board of Commissioners announced Huser’s passing in a release.

“With great sadness, the Board of Commissioners of Columbia County regrets to announce the passing of Elizabeth “Betty” Huser, who has served as Columbia County Clerk for 32 years, on Monday, April 26,” the release stated.

Huser was born in Cumberland, Wisconsin near the Great Lakes, where her family had a cabin she loved to visit. Her family later moved to Scappoose where she graduated from Scappoose High School and began work for an insurance company in Portland.

Huser served as Mayor of Scappoose from 1979 to 1988 and was president of the Oregon Mayor Association in 1985. When Columbia County Clerk Reta Kerry retired, she asked Huser to accept the appointment of County Clerk. Huser agreed and has served in that role since.

Swearing In

Betty Huser, left, shares a smile during the 2019 county swearing in ceremony.

“I am honored that you have elected me to this important position since 1989. It has been my pleasure to issue marriage licenses, manage county elections and provide passports, among my other various duties,” Huser had written in her welcome message at the Columbia County Clerk’s webpage.

Huser also served as president of the Columbia County League of Women Voters, president of Scappoose Kiwanis, and was involved with the Scappoose Girl Scouts.

On Tuesday, April 27, the Columbia County Board of Commissioners met with the county counsel to discuss steps to fill the county clerk position.

The next election will take place in November of 2022, for a term of four years. The person appointed to fill the county clerk’s vacancy will serve until the beginning of January 2023.

The Board of Commissioners is opening an application process for those interested in the position. To qualify for the position, you must be a citizen of the United States, an elector under the Oregon Constitution, and a resident of Columbia County for at least one year. Interested parties should email a letter of interest and their resume to Human Resources Director Jeanine Hohn, at Jeanine.hohn@columbiacountyor.gov.

In the interim, the commissioners announced that Columbia County Elections Manager and Chief Deputy Don Clack will continue to perform the official acts and duties of the clerk’s office.

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