Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, 71, will resign his seat Oct. 15 for health reasons. The elected regional council will choose his replacement.
According to the Sept. 15 announcement, shortly after being elected to the Metro Council in 2012, Stacey was diagnosed with meningioma, which causes tumors to grow in and around the skull. The disease was managed with limited impacts in his nine years on the council.
"Managing these tumors without surgery requires strong medications to reduce swelling," Stacey said in the announcement. "These affect my energy and ability to analyze and think clearly about complex subjects."
Stacey said he had no reason to think he had a poor long-term prognosis, the announcement said, emphasizing that the condition, and its treatment, primarily inhibited his ability to think clearly.
"I wish I could continue to serve my constituents and the public interest as a Metro councilor," Stacey said. "But I no longer have the capacity to do that job — and manage my health."
"Bob is a titan of Oregon's land conservation movement," said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. "His service and vision are obvious in all corners of our state, and his wisdom and nearly 50 years of experience is going to be missed on the council."
The announcement said that Stacey has a long history with Oregon land-use policies and Metro. He grew up in outer southeast Portland, attended Reed College for his undergraduate degree, and went to law school at the University of Oregon. He was an attorney for the 1000 Friends of Oregon land-use watchdog organization starting in 1975, famously battling the Rajneeshee cult's attempts to build a city in rural Wasco County, at one point even becoming a target for their poisoning of prominent Oregonians.
Stacey was later the director of the Portland Bureau of Planning, director of policy and planning for TriMet, chief of staff for Rep. Earl Blumenauer and executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. In 2010, he ran for Metro Council President, losing by 0.25% — 1,003 votes out of 397,033 cast — to Tom Hughes. In 2012, he won election to represent District 6, most of the southern half of the city of Portland, and he was most recently reelected in 2020.
"Bob is all of the things you hate in a competitor and love in a colleague," said Hughes, who served with Stacey on the Metro Council from 2013 to early 2019. "He is wicked smart, articulate, and passionate about finding ways of doing the right thing."
The city of Portland renamed a pedestrian bridge near the Southeast 12th Avenue and Clinton Street MAX station after Stacey in April 2021, noting his long-term commitment to land conservation and transportation planning.
The Metro Council has until Jan. 13 to appoint Stacey's successor.
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.