It's impossible to argue with the selection of former Gresham Mayor Charles Becker as the 2007 Citizen of the Year.

No one in Gresham likely has donated more hours to the community than Becker, who worked like a full-time employee - a completely unpaid one - for eight years as Gresham mayor before leaving office at the end of 2006.

We cannot quantify or even envision the number of hours Becker has spent in City Council meetings, Metro government meetings or on various committees. But more than simply showing up for these meetings and functions, Becker always has been an active participant - seeking in his quiet, methodical manner to move Gresham forward.

Becker's service to this community didn't start with his mayoral terms. He was a City Council member before that, and he has been an especially effective advocate for transportation issues for years. Now that he is the latest Citizen of the Year - he'll officially get the award in April - we hope that Becker will continue his contributions to the community. He has earned the status of a senior statesman, and his voice will continue to be respected.

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