A Year of Wins
This was my second full year in office as a Fairview city councilor, and I landed some wins. With my new business banging, I've been too busy to share the news as it came in, so here at the bottom of the year, I've got some time to reflect back. Here's the cream!
We have new rules of procedure and a code of conduct. After my first year on the council, I'd grown frustrated by our process and culture. In February, I wrote my colleagues and our city manager asking for revised rules of procedure - formal guidelines on building agendas, making decisions, and involving the public. I also asked for adoption of a code of conduct. As the only woman on the council, I've faced hostility, and wanted formal guidelines for how we treat one another. The goal of both requests: run effective and efficient meetings, reduce conflict among members, and build trust with the public. My letters were not addressed. I pressed on, conducting research into other city's rules and codes and writing up draft documents for our city manager. In October, the council unanimously passed both a new code and the revised rules. These are small but important steps we took to make local government more effective, more transparent, and kinder. All city councils should be run in ways that promote trust and respect with each other and with residents. When we model good governance, we get good leaders.
We elected an amazing new city councilor. Jenni Weber won a seat in November by a wide margin, unseating an incumbent and making my election dreams come true. Jenni started attending council meetings months before she ran, and became a knowledgable observer of our issues, budget, programs, and progress . Jenni puts in the work. She's a member of the PlayEast board and our public safety advisory committee. As a single mom of three, and a mental health professional, she brings valuable lived experience to our council. She is also friendly, funny, and direct - traits that are a bonus in my book. I was honored to support her campaign, from giving a big donation to knocking on doors to providing strategic advice and emotional support. Jenni will do great things for Fairview. She ran on a platform to boost public engagement, improve public safety, and encourage diversity, equity and inclusion in city hall. When she's sworn in January, I'll be there cheering.
We got important safety projects funded. When a councilor decided to step down and not compete for his seat in November, he left a slot open on the East Multnomah County Transportation Committee. I jumped at the opportunity to serve. The committee may sound snoozy, but most of Fairview's major roads are owned and managed by the county. One of them is NE Halsey Street, where we're building a walkable main street with the neighboring cities of Wood Village and Troutdale. With support from our incredible city planner, I was able to dive right in and advocate for a $6.5 million improvement project for Sandy Boulevard, a county arterial that cuts a busy course through the north side of the city. The project would add sidewalks, bike lanes, a flashing crosswalk beacon and other improvements for a big swath of Sandy - making it safer for pedestrians and peddlers who share the road with a lot of fast-moving semis. That section of Sandy is also home to several of Fairview's mobile home parks, including Quail Hollow, the mobile community for seniors. I successfully advocated for this project before the county committee and Metro's Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, which approved the spending. In 2021, I also wrote a grant requesting $200,000 to update the disaster plans and provide disaster preparedness training for Fairview, Wood Village and Troutdale, and learned this year that the money came through! Good money and good news all around.