Helen Berg

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Helen Berg
Mayor of Corvallis, Oregon
In office
Preceded by Charles Vars
Succeeded by Charlie Tomlinson[1]
Personal details
Born July 15, 1932
Died August 13, 2010 (aged 78)
Portland, Oregon
Spouse(s) Alan Berg
(1983–1989; his death)
Profession Statistician, politician

Helen Berg (July 15, 1932 – August 13, 2010) was an American statistician and politician. Berg served as the first female mayor of Corvallis, Oregon, from 1994 until 2006.[1][2] She was also the longest serving mayor of Corvallis to date.[2]



Berg received her master's degree in statistics in 1973 from Oregon State University.[2] She was in her 40s at the time.[2] Two years later, in 1975, she became the director of the Survey Research Center at Oregon State.[2] She continued to work as the center's director until her retirement in 1993.[2]

Political career[edit]

Helen Berg married her third husband, Alan Berg, a forestry professor at Oregon State, in 1983.[2] Berg, who had been active in civics, took an interest in her husband's political career. Alan Berg had previously served on the Corvallis city council from 1973 to 1978. He was also elected as mayor of Corvallis for two terms from 1979 to 1986.[2] The couple's marriage lasted six years, until his death in 1989.[2]

Helen Berg served on the Corvallis city council for two consecutive terms from 1991 until 1994.[1][2]

Mayor of Corvallis[edit]

Helen Berg successfully ran for her first term as mayor of Corvallis in 1994 when she was 62 years old.[2] Berg became Corvallis' first female mayor and would ultimately become the longest-serving mayor of the city to date.[2] She would hold office for three consecutive terms, until her retirement in 2006.[2]

Under Berg's three-term tenure, four new fire stations were constructed.[2] The city's largest public works project in its history, the $30 million sewer overflow remediation project, was completed, which stopped sewage and storm runoff from being dumped into the Willamette River.[2] The city completed a long term development plan called the Corvallis 2020 Vision Statesmen.[2]

Berg oversaw the planning and construction of the Howland Plaza at Riverfront Commemorative Park, which opened in May 2004.[2] The Corvallis Police Department was also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a distinction shared by only 2% of American police departments at the time.[2]

Helen Berg retired from office in 2006 after three terms. She was succeeded as mayor by Charlie Tomlinson. Berg had previously defeated Tomlinson in the 2003 mayoral election.[2]

Later life[edit]

Berg moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2007 soon after leaving office to be closer to her family.[1] She died on August 13, 2010, in Portland, Oregon, of the asbestos-related disease peritoneal mesothelioma at the age of 78.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Former Corvallis mayor Helen Berg dies at 78". Corvallis Gazette-Times. 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Novak, Theresa (2010-08-17). "Helen Berg, Corvallis' first woman mayor, dies at 78". Corvallis Gazette-Times. Retrieved 2010-08-22.