Longest-serving Tigard city councilor honored at last meeting
A community grant to be funded with marijuana tax proceeds was named for Marland Henderson, who was first elected in 2008.
Marland Henderson is retiring after eight years on the Tigard City Council at the end of the month.
But Henderson's name will remain as part of the City of Tigard, after the council voted unanimously Tuesday to create a community grant for social services named after the outgoing councilor.
The rest of the City Council surprised Henderson with a resolution that was not on the public meeting agenda.
"Naming a street or a park or something like that, that would not really be in line with what he's all about," said Council President Jason Snider, introducing Resolution 16-48.
The resolution establishes the Marland Henderson Community Grant. Its funding is intended to come from 20 percent of the revenue that will be raised from a 3 percent local tax on retail marijuana sales, which voters approved this year.
The idea behind the grant program, Snider explained, is to honor Henderson's work as an advocate — both on and off the council — for people dealing with mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, and homelessness.
"I think it's really appropriate," Councilor Marc Woodard agreed.
Starting in 2018, groups will be able to apply for funding from the City of Tigard through the Henderson grant.
Under the resolution councilors adopted Tuesday, Henderson or a member of his family will be allotted a seat on the subcommittee that will review funding requests and make recommendations during the budgeting process.
"I really appreciate this," Henderson said after Snider read the resolution. "This is definitely for a good cause. I'm anxious to get to work right away, and so thank you very much."
Henderson, who owns a construction company, chairs the Washington County Behavioral Health Council. He was named Tigard's "First Citizen" in 2001. First elected to the City Council in 2008, he was prevented by term limits from running against this year.
Henderson said one of his main goals on the council has been to "create community," a sense of togetherness and identity he feels Tigard has historically lacked.
"To be able to create an identity, there has to be something significant about us," he said. "We were originally a town that was on a wagon trail between Newberg and downtown (Portland), and this was just a wagon stop. … Creating identity has always been a very hard thing for this community to find."
During his time on the council, Henderson has worked with Tigard's parks and recreation and city center advisory groups. He noted that he was involved in the Tigard community before coming onto the council, and he said he will stay involved afterward, "big time."
Toward the end of his first four-year term in 2012, Henderson considered running for mayor in a special election prompted by the resignation of Craig Dirksen, who was elected to the Metro Council that May. Ultimately, though, he decided to run for re-election.
John L. Cook was elected mayor that year and then re-elected to a full four-year term in 2014.
Asked whether he has considered running for mayor in 2018, Henderson said no.
"I'm more concerned about getting something done," he said.
Henderson's successor on the City Council will be Tom Anderson, a real estate agent. He was elected last month.
Anderson, who came to a reception before the City Council meeting on Tuesday in Henderson's honor, said he knows the outgoing councilor through the Rotary Club of Tigard. He said he has "big shoes to fill."
"He's just beloved," Anderson said. "He's going to be missed."
The last council member in Tigard to be termed out was Gretchen Buehner in 2014. She subsequently moved to neighboring King City and was elected to its City Council last month.
Tigard's city charter states that no councilor may serve for more than eight consecutive years.
Voters in neighboring Tualatin approved a charter amendment last month that creates a "12-in-20" limit. Under that amendment, no person may serve, or be elected or appointed to serve, for more than 12 years in a 20-year period.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional quotes from the outgoing Tigard city councilor.
By Mark Miller