The Beaverton City Council appointed Bill Kanable to the budget committee Tuesday, May 2. But councilor Lacey Beaty was opposed to the choice, saying not only is Kanable the close friend of Mayor Denny Doyle, but also the least qualified of the applicants.
The vote confirmed Kanable 3-2, with Beaty and councilor Betty Bode in dissent because of concerns about the way the selection process occurred. All council members and the mayor were present at the meeting.
Councilors who voted to confirm Kanable said they were unclear or uncomfortable about the nomination process and that they should have a conversation about the process in the future. "Yes" votes were based on a reading of the Beaverton charter, which states that the mayor appoints and the council confirms.
Doyle responded by saying, "As mayor, it is my responsibility to nominate people to serve on the city's boards and commissions. I have had the opportunity to serve with Mr. Kanable in a variety of capacities over the years and due to these experiences I know him to be a very capable, hard-working, thoughtful and knowledgeable person. I felt he had the right mix of community experience and previous board experience to be an asset to our Budget Committee."
Of 11 qualified applicants, Doyle chose Kanable. Beaty cited the decision as a missed opportunity for the City of Beaverton to "walk the talk."
"There are a bunch of older white men on these committees," Beaty said. "Just because you can appoint anyone, doesn't mean you should. We pride ourselves in Beaverton on diversity. We are given the opportunity for a more-qualified woman or person of color to be on this very important committee and we are not seeing it in our appointments. We live in the most liberal state in the country and the most diverse area in the state," she added.
Beaty said she wants to create a community where women are not side-stepped.
"Women are saying it needs to happen and men need to lean in, too," Beaty said. "Men need to join the fight and be equally outraged."
Beaty said her job as a city councilor is to advocate for the community and to create public transparency and trust. She pointed out that local issues that impact residents such as potholes, sidewalks, traffic lights are a piece of the budget committees' responsibility and she is making a plea that residents look closer at what happens at the local level.
"We put a lot of attention on federal issues," Beaty said. "But we have to hold elected officials like myself accountable. Locally, your vote carries so much weight."