Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.




Position 4

Steve Novick

We gave Steve Novick a strong endorsement in the spring primary and our view hasn’t changed. If anything, we’re even more impressed, as Novick has addressed the often-heard complaint that at times he can be perceived as a caustic, thin-skinned know-it-all.

We’ve seen that side of the rookie councilor and how it hurt his effectiveness. So we were glad to hear him say he’s aware of it and working hard to do a better job listening and being open to other ideas in the room.

Yes, he stumbled in his first term, backing an unpopular street fee proposal that was DOA and botching Uber’s heavy-handed entry into Portland ride-sharing market. But he’s also had his share of successes — particularly in getting voter approval for a gas-tax increase to pay for road maintenance.

At times, Novick shows a practicality in his decision making that few people might have predicted when he first got on the council. However, he is still prone to go off on quixotic tangents, as he has done recently with his unworkable idea of imposing an extra city tax on companies that pay their CEOs more than a certain amount.

A strong, experienced candidate with a well-rounded campaign platform could have given Novick a scare.

But his fall challenger has emerged as an effective advocate who is not yet up to the task of a legislative job requiring a breadth of interests and public policy knowledge.

Chloe Eudaly surprised a lot of folks with her second-place finish in the crowded May primary field.

Many people, including us, underestimated her smart, behind-the-scenes campaign work and the resonance of her drum-beat on the issue of affordable housing.

As a renter, Eudaly makes a compelling case that the city needs to do more to ensure that low- and middle-income residents who are currently living under a roof can stay there.

She knows what it’s like to have your monthly rent spike 60 percent and is focused on a solution: immediate rent control.

We agree with the diagnosis, but not the proposed cure — as rent control in other cities has created more problems than it has solved.

Still, we admire Eudaly’s grit and share her concerns that Portland is becoming a playground for the affluent.

Her problem is she’s running against a guy who has made a career of sticking up for the little guy — and actually has some policies to prove it, including street improvements in East Portland that allowed TriMet to boost bus service to long-underserved residents.

Eudaly criticizes Novick for taking large campaign contributions, but offers no evidence that he’s doing anyone’s bidding.

Similarly, she argues that the proposed plan to mitigate pollution in the Willamette River does not go far enough, and criticizes Novick for not rejecting it out of hand. His response is that he must balance a concern for the environment with the needs of low-income Portlanders, who will bear part of the cleanup costs.

We’d like to see Eudaly stay engaged in politics — particularly in the ongoing conversations about protecting renters. But at this point, Novick is the clear choice for the City Council.

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