Re-elect Sherwood, elect Buehner in Tigard

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Voters should select incumbent Sydney Sherwood and committed citizen volunteer Gretchen Buehner in the Nov. 7 general election to fill two openings on the Tigard City Council.

Sherwood and Buehner both bring significant and valuable experience in city and community affairs to a council that must continue to improve its connections and outcomes with local citizens on important matters such as local parks, neighborhood housing densities, police services, local streets, congestion along Pacific Highway, a more economically vital downtown and municipal finance. These two candidates have far deeper track records of community engagement and deeper knowledge of the issues facing Tigard than does the third candidate in the race, Joshua Chaney.

Sherwood is completing her first term on the City Council. But she also has a deep connection with Tigard through her past leadership in the Chamber of Commerce and advocacy for Washington County's homeless families. Sherwood understands that many of the issues facing Tigard are difficult, such as revitalizing downtown, annexation policies and managing growth. We appreciate that she understands the value of partnerships with other governments, such as Washington County. But going forward, we would like to see her be a louder voice for the city to set its own destiny in making Tigard an even more unique community for its residents and businesses.

Buehner has been involved in many difficult civic tasks, as well. She has served on the important City Center Advisory Committee and chairs the city's Transportation Financing Strategies Task Force. We agree with her that citizens expect the city to follow through on proposed solutions - either independently or with its partners in state or county government. But frankly, after generations of being the victim of some regional problems, such as congestion along Pacific Highway, it is time for the City Council to be Tigard's best advocate and innovator of creative and effective solutions. We understand that the city cannot 'do' transportation alone, but it has to lead the way locally, because no one else will since the county and state's focus is dedicated to other matters such as commuter rail or a connection between Interstate 5 and Highway 99W between Tualatin and Sherwood. Buehner can be that voice and leader.

We appreciate that Buehner values citizen volunteers. We believe Tigard city hall does, too. But years of difficulties between the city of Tigard and residents of unincorporated Bull Mountain indicate that a better understanding of citizen concerns is a requirement.

We applaud Chaney for seeking to serve on the council. But such service is best preceded by taking part in more volunteer or appointed civic affairs.

On Nov. 7, Tigard voters should elect Sydney Sherwood and Gretchen Buehner for the Tigard City Council.