San Soucie seeks another council term
Marc San Soucie says he wants to continue being part of the City Council he has served on for a decade to shape Beaverton's future.
"Fundamentally, the city is improving in so many ways, and I enjoy being part of it," he said as he seeks a third full term in Position 5.
"I would like to continue to be part of that for another four years, see that we get some of these major projects get taken care of – and discover what some of the next round of major projects might be."
Among them, he said, is an ambitious Active Transportation Plan — just adopted by the council — for $118 million in improvements in sidewalks and crosswalks, bicycle routes and traffic signals.
Council candidates run in the May 15 primary. If no one wins a majority for the designated positions, which are nonpartisan, the top two finishers advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
Also up for election are Position 1, held for the past four years by Lacey Beaty, and Position 2, which Betty Bode is vacating after 16 years.
San Soucie won without runoffs in 2010 and 2014.
San Soucie, 60, is a self-employed business consultant who moved from unincorporated Bethany into Beaverton in 2005. Before he won an unexpired term on the council in November 2008, he sat on the county and city panels on citizen involvement, and also on the county and city planning commissions.
He said public involvement remains a top priority for him.
"I've been gratified to see that the city has developed a lot of new mechanisms and techniques to reach out to the public and get them engaged with the city as we work our way toward making decisions," he said.
The Active Transportation Plan is among his many priorities, but San Soucie said it's special because of his advocacy for pedestrians and bicyclists for more than 25 years.
He said raising money for the long list of projects in the plan is a challenge.
"What we have been doing over the past few years is to change some of the priorities of how that (transportation system) money gets spent," he said.
"I think we understand how to take care of vehicles. But we have not done a good enough job over the decades of taking care of pedestrians. Now is a good time, especially in a city like Beaverton that is growing, to pay attention to the role of the pedestrian in this environment."
San Soucie also acknowledged that Beaverton, population topping 95,000, is changing in other ways.
According to U.S. Census reports, one in five Beaverton residents was born outside the United States — and about one in three is a person of color.
Starting in 2015, based on a proposal from the city's diversity advisory board, Beaverton started its first night market to showcase food, goods and entertainment. This year's night markets are scheduled July 21 and Aug. 11.
"They have attracted a lot of the nontraditional, nonwhite suburban population to a major city event — and when you see it, you see the world," San Soucie said.
"Our diversity is growing, and we are becoming more aware of it. But let's not just be aware of it, let's take advantage of it."
Among his other priorities: Completion of the Public Safety Center, now scheduled for 2020; a start to the Beaverton Center for the Arts, proposed on the former Westgate Theater site; continued transfer of in-city customers from the Tualatin Valley Water District; evolution of the South Cooper Mountain development in the city's southwest corner.
San Soucie was a prime mover behind the Jan. 9 meeting of the City Council and Beaverton School Board. He said such joint meetings should become regular, and also council meetings with the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District.
"Given how complicated and populated we have become around here, we cannot afford to act completely independently of those districts," he said.