The upcoming Tigard City Council race is a crowded one with six candidates vying for two seats. That amount of interest can only benefit the city as a list of talented and motivated citizens have lined up to lend their expertise to the city. That said, our nods go to incumbent Councilor John Goodhouse and former Assistant City Manager Liz Newton.
Goodhouse has been there for four years. He brings with him a solid sense of how Tigard is changing: from a small town to a big city that deserves a seat at the table beside the likes of Beaverton and Hillsboro. That's necessary for dealing with the county, with Portland, with Metro or with TriMet. Goodhouse gets that.
He wants to take a levy to the residents in May 2019, possibly to finance public safety only. We don't think that's too early (the May 2018 levy tried to be "all things to all people" and gained insufficient traction with any of them). Keeping an experienced hand on the council makes sense as we head into uncertain economic times.
Some really fascinating newcomers entered the race this year. Although Bill Banash, Jenny McCabe and A. Miranda haven't served on any city committees, what they all have in common is energy and passion. All three had exciting ideas, even as they admit they don't know much about the city budget. Our strongest wish: All three stick around, join some committees, get a sense for how things work, and run again in the future. With a little coaching, each could grow into a truly strong community leader.
At the same time, we admire the vision and recommendations put forward by Bret Lieuallen, a member of the Tigard Planning Commission who ran for council in 2016. Although he declined an invitation to appear before The Times' editorial board, he responded to the same written questions asked of the others, showing he knows the many issues facing the city and offering his take on each.
(See separate news profiles on each candidate beginning on Page 4.)
Liz Newton should get a seat on the council for the simple reason that she's the strongest candidate, by far, of any city, to talk to our editorial board this year. A member of the Tigard Budget Committee, Newton worked for the City of Tigard for 37 years, serving as assistant city manager from 2005 until her retirement in 2017.
She'd have the shortest learning curve imaginable. She knows the budget better than almost any person on earth. As exciting as newcomers Banash, McCabe and Miranda are, hearing them talk, then hearing Newton, was like watching a gifted junior varsity team go up against Michael Jordan.
Again: Heading into the next recession, and with the vast growth that is heading our way, getting a knowledgeable leader like Newton will make the City Council stronger in ways we can't even predict.
We're thrilled to have so many candidates who think the City of Tigard is worth their effort and energy. The crowded field speaks well of the city.
Goodhouse staying on board and Newton's addition could make this the city's strongest City Council in generations.?