Metro Council has four openings in 2018 election
The Metro Council will have four seats up — and at least two new faces — in the 2018 election.
Council President Tom Hughes will have to vacate his office after two four-year terms, and Councilor Kathryn Harrington will have to leave after three terms, under limits set by the Metro charter.
Lynn Peterson, a former Clackamas County commissioner, has declared for the Metro presidency.
Also up for election are Councilors Shirley Craddick, who has filed for a third term, and Carlotta Collette, who has been on the council since her appointment in late 2007. Collette won election in 2008 to an unexpired term and is eligible to run one more time after winning in 2010 and 2014. The charter specifies an election limit of three full terms.
Metro Auditor Brian Evans, elected in 2014, has filed for a second term. The charter sets no term limits for auditor.
Metro Council filings are handled by the Multnomah County Elections Division. The filing deadline is March 6.
If no one wins a majority for the nonpartisan offices in the May 15 primary, the top two finishers advance to the November 2018 general election.
As a regional government, Metro has a wide range of responsibilities from land use and transportation planning to parks and natural areas, solid waste disposal and the Oregon Zoo, Oregon Convention Center, Expo Center and Portland 5 Center for the Arts.
The Metro charter links the salary of the Metro president to that of a circuit court judge, currently $124,000, and pay of the six councilors to one-third at $41,000.
The president and auditor are elected by all voters in Metro, which extends from Multnomah County into the urban areas of Washington and Clackamas counties.
Hughes was mayor of Hillsboro when he was elected Metro president in 2010. David Bragdon, who was ineligible to seek re-election, resigned shortly before the end of his second term as president.
Craddick represents District 1, which extends from East Portland through east Multnomah County, plus the unincorporated communities of Damascus and Boring in Clackamas County. She is a former Gresham city councilor.
Collette represents District 2, which extends from Southwest Portland into Clackamas County. She is a former Milwaukie city councilor.
Harrington represents District 4, which covers most of Washington County except the southeast corner. She is running for chair of the county commissioners.
Districts 3, 5 and 6 are not up this cycle.
"In the past three years or so, Metro has receded into the background. People are not cursing Metro or saying it's the greatest thing in the world," said Jim Moore, who teaches politics and government at Pacific University.
"Metro has a great deal of power. But it's a different kind of job, because especially the head of Metro is negotiating with all the cities and counties. So it takes a special set of skills to do it."