Many elected officials in the tri-county area are concerned that public employee unions want Metro's authority increased beyond its charter limits to get in the health insurance business. And they are noisy about it. Talking with their City Councils. Talking with citizens. But not in Gresham. Where is our mayor? He hasn't briefed councilors. Where is our mayor? He hasn't brought it forward to the community. Where is our mayor? It is his responsibility as the delegate representing Gresham at Metro to know about pending issues and how they relate to the Metro charter.
The charter says that such takeover attempts must bypass the Metro Council and go directly to the Metro Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC), a committee representing 24 cities and three counties in the Metro region. If MPAC approves the takeover - it is final. If MPAC votes against approval - it is sent directly to voters of the region.
Where is our mayor? Why hasn't he talked about it? He should be an expert on the Metro charter because that is the tool to stop special interest groups from expanding Metro 's charter - limited authority to gain financial security.
The last takeover attempt was to put Metro in the low income housing business so non-profit housing groups would have secure funding.
At an MPAC meeting, I quoted the section described above that prevented a Metro takeover of a local government service and said I was going to convene a meeting of city/county attorneys to appeal the council's action to the state.
We won that case and Metro's authority was not expanded. That's what mayors are supposed to do.
I'm told our mayor rarely speaks at MPAC meetings, is inconsistent, and never takes a leadership position.
He represents the City Council, but has voted against council-approved issues. He flip-flops. At one council meeting he strongly supported changing addresses in the annexed areas. Then he voted no. Or says nothing.
Gresham is the second largest city in the tri-county region and deserves better leadership than the mayor is providing. That's why I'm voting for Shane Bemis.
He has the intelligence, the presence and the leadership ability to be a great mayor. We won't have to ask 'Where is the mayor?'