Councilor Cate Arnold endorses Lacey Beaty for Beaverton mayor
With the November general election is right around the corner, the challenger running in Beaverton's mayoral race got a boost from a former rival.
In a press release on Thursday, Sept. 24, Beaverton City Council veteran Cate Arnold announced she has endorsed City Councilor Lacey Beaty. Beaty is running against incumbent Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, who has been in city office for a total of 30 years.
Arnold's statement covers issues that both Arnold and Beaty agree on. Those issues include sustainability, COVID-19 response, neighborhood emergency preparedness and transitioning to a new city charter, which Arnold supported and Beaty opposed before voters OK'd it in May.
Arnold ran against Beaty and Doyle in the May election, placing third with 21% of the vote.
Doyle won the most votes, but at 44%, he fell well short of the majority he needed to win outright. That means he'll face Beaty, who won 35% of the vote in May, on the fall ballot.
Arnold offered praise for her former opponent Beaty.
"She's going to bring energy for things that I think are of long-term importance for the city," Arnold said of Beaty. "She has a daughter who she cares about more than anything, (and) I think it's important for us to be doing work now for the future of our community and for the future of our children and our world."
Arnold adds that Beaty has agreed to help prepare the city for a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. The mega-fault runs offshore along the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Northern California. If and when the fault ruptures, experts have predicted a magnitude-9.0 earthquake that would devastate the region.
The last such earthquake happened in 1700, more than a century before the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
"We should have a functional recovery plan going in our area," Arnold said.
A similar issue on Arnold's radar is sustainability. She said she has spoken with both candidates about the issue but felt a sense of commitment from Beaty.
"I talked to (Doyle) about what we could do for sustainability, how we start taking actions, our downtown design code, and why we weren't looking at sustainability and resiliency more in depth for that," recalled Arnold. "He said he would work with staff and see what they said, but then that was it. He never really gave me an answer saying that he would work on these things. Lacey did."
When asked about Arnold's endorsement, Beaty says she was excited to receive her support due to Arnold's 16-year career on the City Council.
"Between her endorsement and Marc San Soucie's, the second-longest-serving city councilor, it made it clear that voters and our council are looking for change," said Beaty.
The mayoral candidate believes she sees eye-to-eye with Arnold on issues because "Beaverton needs a mayor that's looking 20 years down the road."
Arnold also hopes Beaty can bring "energized leadership" to the position of mayor as the city transitions into a new city charter.
In May 2019, the Beaverton City Council put forth a proposed city charter to Beaverton voters, which was then approved at the May election. The Beaverton Charter of 2021 becomes operational on Jan. 1.
Currently, Beaverton is the only city in Oregon with a "strong mayor" form of government. This means that the mayor, serving as the chief executive officer, has the authority to appoint city staff and is responsible for city administration, in addition to serving as the presiding officer at council meetings.
The new city charter changes the form of government to a council-manager structure. Aside from Portland, which operates under a unique commission system, this is typical for all but the smallest Oregon cities, in which the city council hires a chief executive officer — usually with the title of city manager or city administrator — to be responsible for supervising the day-to-day operations of the city government.
Whomever the voters of Beaverton elect, the mayor who takes office in 2021 and beyond will serve in a different role than Doyle over the past 12 years. The new charter will allow the mayor to vote on council issues, but it will reduce the powers of the office considerably in favor of the appointed manager.
Ballots will be mailed out within the next couple of weeks. They must be returned by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.
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