Margaret Magruder was elected to her first term as Columbia County Commissioner for Position 1, in November 2016 and was sworn into office on January 3, 2017.
A lifelong resident of Clatskanie, Margaret is passionate in her commitment to Columbia County and its residents. She has more than two decades of public service involving Columbia County business, government and non-profits.
Before being elected in November 2016 to Commissioner Position 1, Magruder had served as a member of the Columbia County budget committee for 20 years. In this capacity she assisted in developing the county budget, reviewed the annual budget document and took comment from county department heads and county residents before approving it. Frugal in her personal life as well as professionally, she is an advocate of responsible budget cuts, conservative spending and paying down the county debt ahead of projected schedules.
Margaret’s public sector experience also includes having served on the Clatskanie-Quincy Citizens Planning Advisory Committee and the Columbia School District 5J board of directors.
Commissioner Magruder has a deep commitment to the environment. She served as the Coordinator of the Lower Columbia River Watershed Council from 1996 to 2016. She is a board member of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, a position held since 1997. In 2006 she was honored by the United States Department of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service as the National Earth Team's individual volunteer of the year for her many years of assisting people to efficiently manage and responsibly conserve, improve, sustain and utilize our natural resources.
A third generation farmer who owns and manages a wool insulation company in Rainier, Oregon Shepherd, LLC, Magruder is a member of the Oregon Sheep Commission and the Oregon State Weed Board, positions to which she was appointed by the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. She served for seven years on the American Lamb Board, appointed to that position by the US Secretary of Agriculture. She was also a member of the Oregon Board of Agriculture for eight years, serving as chair for one.
Margaret’s significant economic contributions to rural Oregon earned her special recognition by the Oregon Leadership Summit in 2008 for her efforts to achieve sustainable solutions that benefit rural communities, the environment and the economy.
As County Commissioner, Magruder’s primary focus is economic development, natural resources and infrastructure:
“My commitment is to bring balance to the economic, environmental and cultural concerns of county residents while protecting livability,” she says. “My vision has always been of a prosperous and productive Columbia County, utilizing our natural resources and our citizen resources to create a thriving county serving the needs of all citizens."
Commissioner Magruder lives in rural Clatskanie and is a graduate of Clatskanie High School. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Russian from Willamette University, and earned a Master's Degree in Slavic Languages and Literature from Syracuse University.
She is the mother of four grown children, a grandmother of 10 and a great grandmother of two.