ENDORSEMENT: Doyle is still the best choice for Beaverton
Although voters' decision to approve a new city charter has significantly reduced the powers of the office, Beaverton's mayoral race still figures as one of the highest-profile local contests this fall in the region.
As we did in April, we recommend that voters stay the course and re-elect Mayor Denny Doyle to a fourth and final term as mayor.
The reason is simple: Doyle has been an effective, widely respected, forward-thinking mayor, and he has given Beavertonians no reason to replace him.
Since he was first elected in 2008, Doyle has presided over the transformation of Beaverton's downtown core, the construction of modern new city facilities, and the "smart growth" of the city in areas like South Cooper Mountain and Cedar Hills.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Doyle administration has supported local restaurants and other businesses by offering the First Street Dining Commons as a covered outdoor, socially distanced area for people to eat and enjoy the revitalized downtown area. Beaverton City Hall has also pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy by taking advantage of state and federal grant programs.
Doyle is also responsive to the needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in Beaverton. The city has been a regional leader on affordable housing, building it into new neighborhoods like South Cooper Mountain as well as in Old Town. It has set aside money for rent and utility assistance for residents struggling during the pandemic as well.
When we spoke with Doyle in the spring, one of the topics he kept returning to was his relationships with other local leaders both around the region and across the United States. With 12 years as mayor of one of Oregon's largest cities under his belt — particularly as the "strongest" mayor in Oregon, under the expiring city charter that designates the mayor as chief executive of Beaverton — Doyle has built up respect, know-how and a network that gives Beaverton a strong image and immediate credibility.
Additionally, we're impressed by the diverse coalition of supporters that Doyle has drawn together. Doyle has the backing of labor organizations like the SEIU and IBEW 48 and business groups like the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland alike. He's endorsed by three of the five Washington County commissioners, including both stalwart liberal Dick Schouten and conservative Roy Rogers. The mayors of Hillsboro, Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood, Forest Grove, King City, Cornelius, North Plains and Durham have all endorsed Doyle, a sign of his respect and recognition throughout the region. And Doyle is endorsed by prominent leaders of color as well, including trailblazing former legislator Margaret Carter and civil rights advocate Rosa Colquitt.
Although it's an impressive group of endorsements, it's not surprising. Doyle has led Beaverton well over the past 12 years, and a broad range of people in and around Beaverton would like to see that progress continue.
While Doyle will be stepping into a somewhat different role if re-elected — the new charter centers city administration around a hired manager, who will report to the City Council and oversee city staff, while the mayor shifts into a role more typical of Oregon cities in which he sits on the council as both presiding officer and voting member — we are confident that he can maintain the city's forward progress and continue providing expert leadership.
And while Doyle's eminent qualifications and track record make him far and away the best choice for mayor, we look forward to seeing more from City Councilor Lacey Beaty, his challenger in this election.
Because Beaty is midway through her second term, she will retain her council seat if she loses this election. And although we don't agree with Beaty on her entire platform — in particular, her opposition to downtown development we see as long overdue for Beaverton and her off-base criticism of the city's capable pandemic response — we appreciate her willingness to call out much longer-tenured elected officials like Doyle and champion issues like a more community-based approach to policing. We expect her to remain an active voice on the council and a rising star in local politics, regardless of the outcome.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.