Q&A: Beaverton city council and mayoral candidates
The candidates for Beaverton City Council Position 6 and Beaverton mayor responded to questions about the present and future of the city.
Responses to some questions were included in the The Times' Oct. 29 paper. This version includes the candidates' responses to five questions about the city's present and future, edited for clarity.
A third City Council candidate, Douglas Jones, did not respond to questions by the The Times' press deadline. Ballots must be dropped off at an official drop site by 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. It is too late to mail your ballot if you have not already done so.
What is your stance on affordable housing in the area?
Lacey Beaty, candidate for mayor: "I will champion policies for people who retire here, raise children here and relocate here. That means more affordable housing units – and supportive housing for those struggling with mental health or addiction.
I was part of a team of people who established Family Promise of Beaverton, a nonprofit that serves homeless children and their families, and has been a board member of HomePlate Youth Services, another area nonprofit serving homeless youth. I worked with Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation board members to reduce their fees when building new affordable housing.
Not only am I the only candidate with a plan to provide more low-income seniors with affordable housing, I'm the only candidate with a proven record of focusing on housing for families - not big hotels that do nothing to make Beaverton more affordable for people who live here now."
Denny Doyle, candidate for mayor: "Beaverton is a great place to live, work, and play – but we must ensure people can afford to live here. With market demands for housing continuing to outpace wages, especially during this pandemic, the city must continue to provide more affordable housing and assistance to keep people in their homes.
In response to COVID-19, the city enacted a ban on evictions, launched a support hotline for renters, and provided $1 million to community partners for rent and utility assistance.
We have created hundreds of new affordable places for people to live in the city and it continues to be a top priority of myself and the staff of the city every day. I advocated strongly for the Metro affordable housing bond and then ensured that the very first project built with funds from the bond is right here in Beaverton, the Mary Ann.
In addition to more subsidized affordable housing, we need a mix of housing types to meet the needs of all residents and to lower the cost of housing to make homeownership a reality for many."
Patrick Wolcott, candidate for Position 6: "I firmly believe that housing needs to be affordable and accessible, yet most hard-working folks making a living wage are still unable to get access to a good home. If or if not upon my election to this office, I plan to seek (Gov. Brown's) review and changes to the current Housing Construction Laws and Codes.
Years ago, we had the ability to purchase a home using sweat equity.
The homes built under that program were constructed under the guidance of a licensed contractor and were built with a 1,200 sq. ft, two Bath, three-bedroom single car garage or a two-car carport. Most of these homes can be easily built again and sell for between $250,000 to $275,000.
They would use a standardized floor plan. We have several of these homes in Beaverton (that were) built back in the day when the program was used.
I believe the governor has the authority to re-enact this program under her emergency housing directive currently in place. We have tried a lot of things, and currently are using government and private industry partnerships. While these programs are providing results, it is not fully meeting the needs. It is time to add another tool on our tool belt."
Nadia Hasan, candidate for Position 6: "I believe every person has a right to a place they can call home and that home should be affordable to them. In office, I will fight to increase renter protections and promote the investment and development of quality affordable housing.
As a former teacher I worked and supported unhoused students every day. With the highest rate of homeless students in the state, we are not doing enough to support them in their future. To best serve our community, we need to collaborate regionally with METRO and state legislators while also thinking about how we can partner with BSD, THPRD, developers and non-profit organizations to ensure we are offering affordable housing opportunities."
Throughout the Portland metro area, there have been calls for racial justice. What is your stance on the issue?
Beaty: "We cannot pretend that racism doesn't exist in Beaverton. The fight for racial justice is long overdue.
That's why I started a conversation about use-of-force policies that guide our police officer's community interactions. And I'm going to be honest with you: the first conversation did not go well. Instead of a shared understanding that this is about positive change and prevention, I was met with delay and defensiveness from Mayor Doyle.
At a minimum, I believe we should ban chokeholds and shooting at moving vehicles. People's lives are on the line. I will not give up and will continue to be the leading voice in bringing these tough conversations to the council. My opponent, Mayor Doyle, has said publicly that police reform is not needed."
Doyle: "I believe strongly in racial justice and racial equity. Beaverton is a wonderfully diverse community and as I've said many times, our diversity is what makes us great. Embracing diversity and challenging systemic racism have been critical values in my work as mayor.
We've made real progress: supporting the Black Lives Matter movement; creating the city's first Diversity Advisory Board in 2013 to guide our work; creating the BOLD leadership program to increase representation of people of color on the city's boards and commissions; supporting minority-owned businesses through incubation programs and COVID relief funding; signing President Obama's pledge to review police use of force and undertaking that work alongside city council and community partners; bringing together communities of color with police to challenge racial biases and build cultural competency among law enforcement; and standing up to racism and xenophobia from the federal government, including partnering with Unite Oregon to reject the Muslim and refugee ban.
But there is more that must be done.
That includes combating institutional racism through representative government, addressing the impacts of racist redlining and zoning in housing, and re-envisioning our public safety system so everyone can feel safe. Since the transformational events of this summer, I have been pushing locally and nationally for alternative approaches to issues police are less-equipped to deal with, including mental health crises and homelessness, to help create a safety system that is more responsive to the needs of our residents.
I'm proud to be endorsed by leaders in the fight to advance racial equity – those who have been at the forefront of this work long before me – and that they see me as a partner to continue this critical work."
Wolcott: "I believe everyone no matter what race, gender, or age they are entitled and should not be treated any different. Given that it seems to focus on actions done by law enforcement, I believe the City Council needs to review the policy and training requirements for all departments.
In areas of questionable racial differences, we as a City Council, direct a change. This should not be a onetime review but an ongoing change. All Beaverton citizens and visitors desire to be treated with the respect, dignity, and honor expected by all in this great country of ours."
Hasan: "I believe racial justice will allow us to build better systems that serve all of our communities. Many of our systems such as housing, education and childcare have been disproportionately affecting our Black and brown communities. We need to reimagine how we care for and meet our community's housing, education and childcare needs to ensure we prioritize people over policies."
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted many small businesses in the area. What help should be available for them to recover in the future?
Beaty: "When COVID hit, I didn't wait for Mayor Doyle to respond. I led on the eviction moratorium to help businesses stay here in Beaverton. I pulled together regional leaders to discuss the information we were receiving about the pandemic so we can better communicate with our community, especially our small businesses.
Next, we need to leverage the CARES Act funding the city received to assist small businesses in recovery and to help working families with childcare -- many of whom work for small businesses. We have to think creatively in our role as the city in helping our small businesses recover, such as using grants, participatory budgeting and helping promote safe ways to engage with our local businesses."
Doyle: "The city's quick action and resource allocation to local small businesses has helped keep hundreds afloat and keep employees on payroll during this pandemic. Our local small businesses provide needed jobs, support our local economy, and help build community. While neighboring cities are seeing permanent business closures, it is critical to me that doesn't happen here in Beaverton.
We must keep providing financial resources for them, as well as personalized support. Our economic development team is working directly with many business owners to provide the information and help they need to prevent closures. In addition to this help, we need to continue to be inventive and creative to help businesses stay open safely.
The Open Air Beaverton program has allowed many downtown businesses to do just that, and we are currently working with businesses to keep this program going through the winter. Lastly, I am proud that in our first round of relief funding, nearly 70% of the first round of funding went to women and minority-owned businesses. When we look at advancing racial equity, we must ensure that lens is applied broadly across all issue areas."
Wolcott: "All COVID-19 responses have been placed by (Gov. Brown) order under state control. Currently, we have very little ability to do anything, but follow the guidance provided. However, that will not last forever and once this control is released back to the city, I will act based on the situation we see.
My biggest concern, given our state's response, is the freezing of any evictions in the rental market, while that market is seeing about 63% of those affected are paying their rent's we still have 47% negative concern to me.
I'd like to see a block grant from the state to the city to administer (and) pay for that deficit. The state orders a closure of a lot of businesses that we need to, when safe, restart those businesses. And like I said before, examine the situation and see what more we can do to help."
Hasan: "Coronavirus has disproportionately affected our small and emerging businesses. We need to ensure that our small businesses feel supported through this pandemic. I would like to see more ways for us to promote small businesses so that our communities can support them through this difficult time while also offering ways to give financial support. For our businesses to survive, we must expand development support for emerging entrepreneurs and local small businesses."
What your thoughts on transportation in the city?
Beaty: "Our transportation needs are not currently being met; we lack last mile bus services and are growing in opposite directions than the newly developed transportation infrastructure. We need to prioritize laying the foundation for accessible transportation before housing developments break ground.
By getting ahead of the growing development and ensuring we have sidewalks and adequate public transportation, we can lay the groundwork for improving access for all residents. We can't keep assuming that people can reach a bus stop over a mile away, and we can't keep treating each part of the city like they have quick access to Max.
We need comprehensive and accessible bus services and safe sidewalks across the city. That's why I passed the largest investment in sidewalks in 20 years as your city councilor -- and put them in Beaverton's most diverse neighborhood. I want to do even more as mayor."
Doyle: "Traffic is already getting back to pre-pandemic levels, impacting our quality of life and the success of our local businesses. One of my priorities as mayor has been maintaining our roads and sidewalks to prevent backlogs of neglect. We need to continue to prioritize maintenance, while also finding new transportation solutions that will reduce traffic and commutes for Beaverton residents.
As Beaverton has grown, we have worked hard to place new opportunities and services near transit lines -- and we need to do more to make sure our community is accessible, livable, and equitable.
That includes supporting our light rail system and programs like the reduced fare program for low-income riders, a program I worked alongside TriMet to shape; pushing for investments in our major thoroughfares: TV Highway, 26 and 217; creating neighborhood overlays of bike and pedestrian opportunities; and sidewalk improvement projects and safe routes for children and families."
Wolcott: "Currently, we have a ballot issue before the people, I feel we need to find out the direction everyone wants to go and then look at the situation after that decision. Probably not the answer everyone would like to hear, but I believe to make good decisions, we first need to know what the parameters are. That way we make sure we can develop the best and right direction for Beaverton."
Wolcott is referring to a Metro transportation measure on the Nov. 3 ballot.
Hasan: "We are spending too much time in traffic and not doing the things that we love. To get our community out of traffic, we need to ensure we can offer multiple modes of transportation by investing in improvements in our existing infrastructure while creating safe bike and walking paths for our communities."
What role do you envision for the mayor position as Beaverton adjusts to a new form of government under the 2021 city charter?
Beaty: "The new system will require a more inclusive approach, with community stakeholders and the other city councilors -- to get buy-in and majority support. No longer will the mayor be able to act behind the scenes and create policy without council support. That's a very different skillset that requires collaboration -- something that Mayor Doyle lacks.
This is why Beaverton City Councilors Cate Arnold, Marc San Soucie and future City Councilor Nadia Hasan have all endorsed me. They trust me to be the mayor to lead going forward and believe it's time for new, collaborative leadership."
Doyle: "As our city recovers from COVID and our tax revenue is impacted, we need an experienced mayor who can work alongside the council and the city manager to lead us through this crisis.
Under the new charter, the mayor will transition from chief administrator to being the liaison for the city: representing the city in a variety of ways, leading council meetings, working with the city manager to develop and implement goals for the city, and overseeing membership for city boards and commissions.
I believe the Mayor will play a critical role in ensuring the success of the city manager, and that the vision and direction provided by the City Council is being properly executed into positive results for Beaverton residents."
Wolcott: "A lot is involved in this question. First, (under the new charter), have we found the best city manager that will work with, and follow the City Council's decision? Sorry to say, I've seen some city managers that were nightmares for their cities.
Second, we as city councilors need to ensure that we are talking to those in our community. This is a time where more communication is needed, not less. If elected, I will be very available to meet this need."
Hasan: "I believe City Council will be instrumental in helping Beaverton adjust to a new form of government. I have spent the last few months campaigning and connecting with our community. From those conversations, I have been able to connect community members to our government and look forward to continuing that work if elected.
From the hiring of the city manager, to the transition that will happen as we shift to this new form of government, I will fight to ensure that city council stays connected and engaged with our communities and small businesses to ensure they feel seen, heard and represented."
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