Many of the most significant issues confronting Multnomah County government have to do with public safety. And for that reason, we recommend that voters in the May 20 primary add a public-safety expert to the county board of commissioners. Of the four people running to serve as District 4 commissioner, Gresham Police Chief Carla Piluso is the one with three decades of public safety experience. In other times, we might not weigh Piluso’s cop credentials so heavily. But consider what county commissioners are dealing with right now: a vacant Wapato jail that the public wants opened; the need to work with the sheriff’s office to reduce overtime and sick leave; and a long-term need to decide what is the best way to deliver law-enforcement services to the county’s unincorporated areas. Our endorsement of Piluso is in no way a criticism of her most formidable opponent, West Columbia Gorge Chamber Director Diane McKeel, who has proven her dedication to east county. We also like ideas advanced by Ken Quinby, a Fairview city councilor. But we are swayed in the end by Piluso’s unique experience and the opportunity voters have to put that expertise to good use on the county commission.

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