Meet the Commissioners
The three commissioners are elected to four-year terms. The county is divided into three districts on the basis of population - click here to view Commissioner Districts Map. At the time of election, each commissioner must live in and represent his/her district. The commissioners are partisan and are nominated in a primary election encompassing only their district. In the general election, all county voters are given an opportunity to select the commissioners who ultimately serve.
Arne Mortensen, District 1
Arne took office on January 1, 2017. His term expires December 31, 2024. Arne has an extensive technical and managerial experience in high tech communications. He retired from Qualcomm, Inc (San Diego, CA) in 2004 as a vice president of engineering. He has a BS in Physics from Harvey Mudd College and a PhD in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Arne is fluent in Spanish and has lived in Venezuela, Spain, and India and has traveled extensively for business. Arne is the founder of the UCSD Bike Shop. His hobbies include bicycles, furniture making, and wood turning. Committee assignments include: Civil Service Disability Board, Emergency Management Advisory Council, law and Justice Council, Pathways 2020, Southwest Washington Regional Airport Operating Board, and Washington Counties Insurance Fund.
Dennis Weber, District 2 - Vice Chair
Vice-Chair Dennis started his first term on January 1, 2013. Dennis was elected Vice-Chairman for 2021 -2022. His current term expires December 31, 2024. Dennis served on the Longview City Council from 2002 to 2012 before being elected to the Board of County Commissioners. Dennis previously served as the Land Use Hearings Officer for the City of Kalama from 2000 to 2012. Dennis also served as the President of the Longview Education Association from 2010 to 2012. Dennis is currently an Officer of the Longview Early Edition Rotary Club. Dennis plays the violin for the Longview Symphony. His board and committee assignments include: Cowlitz Transit Authority, Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Council of Governments, Economic Development Council, Public Facilities Board, Kelso-Longview Chamber Board of Directors, Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board, Park Board, Workforce Development Council, Great Rivers Behavioral Health Organization, and WSAC Legislative/Federal Steering Committees.
Joe Gardner, District 3 - Chair
Chair Joe started his first term on January 1, 2015. He was re-elected to a second term starting January 1, 2019 which expires December 31, 2022. Joe was also re-elected Chairman for 2021 - 2022. Before becoming commissioner, Joe owned and operated an excavation service business in Toutle. Previously he worked at the Washington State Patrol and Department of Transportation. He has a Bachelor's degree in Communications. Joe is married with two children, manages a family tree farm, and enjoys fishing on the Toutle River. Joe's board and committee assignments include Big Idea Board, Castle Rock/Toutle Regional Water System Board, Clean Air Agency, Cowlitz 911 Comm Center, Law Library, Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, Silver Lake Watershed Advisory Council, Southwest Agency on Aging and Disabilities, Finance Committee, IWOW (432/433) Executive Committee, Hoof Disease Public Working Group, Solid Waste Equipment, Land, Facilities (ELF) Governance Committee, Three Rivers Regional Wastewater Authority, and Noxious Weed Board.