Voters should choose the next mayor of Beaverton without anger, but with an eye on the future and city hall operations.
The choice for mayor of Beaverton is between two long-time city and community leaders: four-term incumbent Mayor Rob Drake and Dennis Doyle, who has served on the City Council since 1994.
Both candidates have had a major hand in shaping city policies and investments that have made Beaverton a more distinguished, livable and financially sound city. Outside of city hall, both men possess long and distinguished pedigrees of civic involvement and leadership.
And while we recognize that some people may still be angry at the city - and Drake in particular - for the costly and bungled handling of Beaverton's annexation efforts and its public records case with Nike, this election choice should consider other matters, as well.
Those key criteria include:
- Who can most effectively and openly lead the city as the presiding officer of the council;
- Who can best serve as day-to-day administrator of a city that has a $115 million annual budget and more than 425 employees;
- Who can best wrap up the city's on-going visioning process and implement key recommendations;
- And who can best represent the city and Washington County in major regional discussions and decisions.
We believe Drakes remains the person best qualified to serve as Beaverton mayor.
Drake has done the job every day for 16 years and he offers a track record - not promises - of largely positive achievement. His past performance also offers a roadmap of where he can improve, including areas such as staff stability in the planning, economic and community development arenas.
We offer this support while recognizing that Drake sometimes can be admittedly stubborn, evidenced by allowing the Nike public records fight to go on way too long. We also recognize that he demonstrated a blind-spot by retaining his past chief of staff, Linda Adlard, well after her bullying tactics became a liability for the city.
Despite such shortcomings, Drake has accomplished many significant things. Beaverton is a safe, financially sound community while many other Oregon cities are not. It is culturally and community rich with a beautiful library, a vibrant Farmers Market and strong partnerships with local schools and special districts for parks and water.
Drake also is recognized regionally as a voice of reason and has helped shape common-sense, productive outcomes in matters such as transportation, natural habitat protection and land use.
Although he has been one of Beaverton's best city councilors over the past decade-and-a-half, Doyle doesn't have Drake's credentials.
Doyle's campaign centers on his desire and promise to change the leadership style and openness of city government and the inner workings of city hall. He is critical of Drake and says that he oftentimes has been frustrated to first learn of city matters by reading about things in newspapers. He promises to build more engagement between the city and local businesses. And he says that it is time that Beaverton builds a civic and cultural center of its own.
Doyle's professional credentials are solid, but they are not in public administration, which is a major part of the day-to-day responsibility of serving as Beaverton's mayor.
Some people may say that Drake's four terms in office are too long. We think this is a bogus issue until Beaverton voters change the city charter and employ term limits.
Until then, Beaverton should elect the person who has demonstrated the greatest capacity to administer the city and the best qualities to lead the council and Beaverton citizens.
While Dennis Doyle convincingly displays many great attributes and goals for the city, he falls short in proving that he can best lead the council and administer the day-to-day operation of a huge public government.
Drake has done so. And he has demonstrated - even in his missteps - that he can improve. In the May 20 election for Beaverton mayor, re-elect Rob Drake.