AFSCME Local 88 elects Rosenberger president

After a month of brown bag lunch debates, Multnomah County property tax appraiser Marla Rosenberger was elected Nov. 21 as president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 88.

Local 88 is the largest union at Multnomah County, representing approximately 3,200 public employees. Rosenberger outpolled chief steward Gary Magnuson for the position, which was held by Joe Devlaeminck until his retirement last month.

The Nov. 21 vote was a runoff following an earlier four-way race in which no candidate polled more than 50 percent of the vote.

Rosenberger has worked for the county since 1979 in the Department of Assessment and Taxation, first as an office assistant, then as a bankruptcy and excise tax specialist, and later as a residential and then commercial property tax appraiser.

"My dad was a Teamster," Rosenberger said, "so I filled out an application to be a union member on my first day of work at the county."

In the early 1980s, Rosenberger served as trustee and treasurer of Local 88.

Rosenberger isn't planning to serve more than two two-year terms as president, since she expects to retire from the county in three and a half years. As president, she said, she will focus on leadership development, increasing attendance at meetings, making the union more inclusive, and educating members.

"I ran on the basis of full disclosure. Members should know how much money their union has in the bank, and where we're spending it," she said.

Born and raised in Portland, Rosenberger and her husband have two grown daughters. She's also involved in the local chapter of Toastmasters International and is an active parishioner in the Roman Catholic church.

December 21, 2001 issue

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