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City Council veteran eyes run for county commissioner District 1 seat

Bode stresses business development as a goal for the county position

Betty Bode, a Beaverton city councilor since 2003, is considering trading her seat for another public-service veteran's position on the Washington County Board of Commissioners in 2013.

Bode has organized the Friends of Betty Bode group to raise campaign funds for the District 1 seat Dick Schouten has held since 2000.

The May 12, 2012, election will determine who will take the position for the next four-year term, which begins in January 2013.

Schouten's current term expires in December 2012.

Elected to the council in 2002, Bode, a retired nurse epidemiologist with the Washington County Health and Human Services, was re-elected to the council in 2007 and again last November. She is in her seventh month of a four-year council term.

Bode said area citizens encouraged her to put her health-care and local government experience to work at the broader county level.

'I've been looking into it for a couple of months,' she said on Wednesday of the commissioner run. 'I was approached by some citizens in the county who asked if I would ever consider going to the county.'

District 1 encompasses unincorporated areas around Beaverton, including Aloha, Cooper Mountain and Reedville.

Bode emphasized her experience working within the county's health care infrastructure and at the city council level provides insight into both tiers of government.

'I've got a vision from the services the county provides to the community,' she said. 'I think I can bring a broader base to the conversation and a clear voice for Beaverton and Aloha.'

Schouten was not available by phone to comment by press time.

Bode's fellow councilor Marc San Soucie said it's too early in the process for him to comment on the board of commissioner's race.

Bode said despite her new ambitions, she enjoys her role on the council and is pleased with the group's effectiveness in leading Beaverton.

'I think the council's been working well together,' she said. 'It's been a positive experience. I'm just looking for a way to move the county and cities forward.'

If elected to the board, Bode said she would put her efforts into expanding the county's employment base and infrastructure to increase opportunities and relieve pressure from overburdened social services.

'I would like to (work toward) developing industries that will support employment and opportunities for our citizens and families,' she said. 'That's really why I'm doing it.'