In the community, Local government

New manager selected for Malheur County Fairgrounds

ONTARIO – Amy Wood will be the new Malheur County Fairgrounds manager.

The Malheur County Fair Board chose Wood for the position Monday, Feb. 19. Her first day of work is scheduled for April 1, said Malheur County Fair Board member Jen Hall.

Wood, of Nyssa, will step into the position 11 months after former fair manager Dawnita Haueter was fired.

Dan Joyce, Malheur County judge, said she was fired because she “did not fulfill or live up to her obligations of her contract.” He provided no details.

After Haueter’s termination, the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office investigated what it termed “discrepancies in bookkeeping” at the fairgrounds. The findings have been forwarded to the Malheur County District Attorney’s office.

The seven-member fair board – chairman Dave Tschida, co-chair Helen Thomas, Hall, Leanna Elguezabal, Chris Johnson, Maddie Hewitt and Garrett Chamberlain – reviewed eight applications over six months.

Wood will be paid $42,000 a year, said Hall.

Tschida said he is pleased a new manager will be at the fairgrounds. He said it will “take some time” for Wood to get acquainted with her duties.

“There is more to that job than people think. It’s not just going in there and answering the phone or booking the buildings,” he said.

Meanwhile, the move to rebuild Building I at the fairgrounds is moving ahead. Crews have already torn the building down and foundation work is ongoing for the structure scheduled to be finished by June 30. The board is using a $455,000 federal grant – awarded in July, 2021 – to complete the project.

The building stands at the south end of the fairgrounds near the south gate. The building was selected to be replaced after it was damaged after a series of severe snowstorms rolled over the county in 2017. The building is used to house animals during the fair.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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