We won't know the final results of Tuesday's election for a few days, but couple of observations can be drawn now:
• A tale of two cities: Voters said "yes" to Tualatin's bond measure for traffic safety and congestion, and "no" to Tigard's levy for police, traffic, parks, libraries and activities. Why? Pundits inside and outside the city governments will be parsing this one for weeks, but our suspicion is that Tualatin's ask was simple and Tigard's was all over the map.
The Tualatin bond was a laser, with one target: traffic. Tigard's was a shotgun, with a field of targets that felt like all things to all people. (We supported Tigard's levy and still think the city has been a good steward of the people's money.)
What comes next for Tigard will be budget cuts: maybe not the specific ones that the city threatened, like school resource officers and peer court for teen offenders. The city offered what's often called "The Washington Monument" ploy of offering up popular programs for the cutting block. ("Sure you can vote no. We'll just nix this beloved program.") We'll see.
• Beaverton School District knocked its levy effort out of the stadium with a whopping 71 percent "yes" vote. Now, to be fair, this is a re-up of the last five-year levy, which paid for about 300 teachers in the sprawling school district. The new levy will cost homeowners the same amount and will accomplish the same goals. So it's success isn't a surprise. But 71 percent is almost "Putin runs for re-election" type of numbers! It just shows how well the district has done the all-important "care and feeding of voters" even during the off-years when they don't go to the polls.
• The new-look Washington County Commission is taking shape, although we won't know until November the final outcome. For the chairmanship, Kathryn Harrington of the Metro council surprised some by garnering 37 percent of the vote. She and current commission member Bob Terry will face each other in November, since neither got the 50-percent-plus-one necessary to avoid a runoff. Former legislator and statewide business leader Ryan Deckert underperformed with 23 percent of the vote, despite a hefty war chest and good name recognition. He also is a moderate Democrat with good business ties, sitting a bit to the right of Harrington. In theory, that should have made him an ideal candidate for a purple county like this one.
Meanwhile, Pam Treece, executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance, handily unseated incumbent Greg Malinowski. And former Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey traipsed effortlessly into an empty seat on the County Commission.
• Sherwood resident Kevin Barton will be the county's next district attorney, easily crushing Max Wall. This became a nasty race because Wall had accepted out-of-state money, which sparked outrage in some corners. Barton garnered about 70 percent of the vote, so this one was never in doubt.
• The Beaverton City Council race went about as anticipated: Incumbent Marc San Soucie beat back an impressive challenger, Rafael La Grotta, whom we predict will be a community leader for years to come. And Laura Mitchell moves up off the city Budget Committee to take the seat being vacated by longtime leader and activist Betty Bode.
• And finally, we're spared any more of the bloody, knock-down-drag-out fight between Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden and former legislator Val Hoyle to run the state Bureau of Labor and Industries. Hoyle nabbed 51.3 percent of the vote to win outright without going to the November general election.
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