Metro has received eight applications for the vacant Council spot left open by the resignation of Robert Liberty last month. As our regional government that plays a fundamental role in transportation investments and land-use policy, the process for deciding who gets the spot is worth our attention.
Here are the eight applicants (taken from Metro press release):
- Martha Dibblee, a retired health physicist and consultant who has served on the Energy Facility Siting Council and the board of the Climate Trust.
- Kenneth Heggem, a sales representative with Columbia Northwest Heating and board member of the Woodstock Neighborhood Association.
- Jonathan Levine, a former project manager with the University of Western States.
- Walt Nichols, a bookkeeper with Watson Plumbing Co. and chair of the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association. Nichols was an unsuccessful candidate for Portland City Council in 2010.
- Alesia Reese, a clerk with the U.S. Postal Service and member of the Parkrose School District board. She is also chair of the Woodland Park Neighborhood Association and the East Portland Parks Coalition.
- Barbara Roberts, former Oregon Governor.
- Bob Shiprack, a labor relations consultant for Pac/West Communications and a former executive secretary of the Oregon State Building Trades Council. He served six terms in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995.
- Bob Stacey, a consultant and former executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. He also served as chief of staff to Congressman Earl Blumenauer and as executive director of policy and planning for TriMet. Stacey was an unsuccessful candidate for Metro Council President in 2010.
It’s a very interesting list with a diverse range of candidates. The two I’m most familiar with are Bob Stacey and Kenneth Heggem. I interviewed Stacey during his run for Metro President, which he very narrowly lost. He’s also a former leader of non-profit land-use policy group 1000 Friends of Oregon. I met Heggem at a Bicycle Master Plan Open House back in May 2009.
Here’s how the process will play out to make the selection…
Existing members of Metro Council will interview all applicants at a public meeting on Wednesday, February 16th at David Douglas High School (15000 SE 130th). Public testimony is welcome. After that testimony, Metro will decide whether to appoint a new councilor or to invite a group of finalists to appear in a public debate (to happen on February 22nd). If the debate option is chosen, Metro will vote on the appointment at its regular meeting on February 24th.
You can learn more about the appointment process on Metro’s website.