Outgoing Scappoose city councilor honored with plaque to commemorate two terms

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Mark Reed (left) receives a plaque recognizing him for serving eight yeras as a Scappoose city councilor Monday night, Dec. 3. To the right, Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge presents the plaque."Thank you for sacrificing your time," Scappoose City Councilor Patrick Kessi told Mark Reed during a brief recognition for the outgoing city councilor Monday, Dec. 3.

Reed accepted a plaque presented by Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge, then said a few words reflecting on his two terms as a city councilor. The councilor noted that he debated whether to run for re-election, but ultimately decided to put his name on the ballot, knowing he'd be satisfied no matter the outcome.

Reed lost his seat to newcomer Brandon Lesowske. He noted that shortly after he was elected eight years ago, the city was beleaguered with a controversial urban growth boundary expansion plan, and then a few years later, in 2013, the city manager resigned amid turmoil over investigations into the city's then-police chief.

"Right now, I think the city is in a good spot," Reed said. "There's not a lot going on in terms of turmoil or anything, but the first four years I was on here, there was a lot going on. When I started out, the urban growth boundary was in pre-term labor, I guess you could say. I felt like a rope in a tug of war, both sides pulling me aside."

Reed also recalled public outcry over shipments of crude oil being brought in by rail — an issue that has yet to go away, and one that resurfaced later that evening during the City Council's public comment portion.

"We were dealing with issues that none of us wanted to face," he noted.

Reed warned that while the city seems calm now, it's never immune from heavy issues.

"That could happen again," Reed said of major decisions that divided the city's residents and leadership. "But right now, I think things are running smoothly. We're fiscally sound, but there are challenges that need to be addressed, traffic issues that need to be addressed."

The outgoing councilor, who served at his last City Council meeting Monday, Dec. 3, also suggested the council consider amending its charter to enact term limits, saying, "We have a lot of fresh people here; we have a demographic in the city that has totally changed."

Councilors thanked Reed for his service during the brief ceremony.

"I don't envy any of those issues you dealt with on your first years on the council," Councilor Megan Greisen told Reed. "Hopefully those things don't rise again, but you've led the council .... with poise and professionalism. I appreciate your time and energy that you've given."

Mayor Burge noted that Reed was instrumental in helping recruit the city's current manager, Michael Sykes, from Forest Grove.

"It's been an honor to serve," Reed remarked during closing comments Monday evening.

Lesowske, who will replace Reed on the council, will be sworn in in January.

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