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Surprise choice takes park board seat

The Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District board tapped Rock Creek resident Bob Scott to join its ranks.

'It was a surprise to me to see that I was still in the running,' said a pleased Scott on Tuesday. 'This is a pretty exciting opportunity.

'I'm really looking forward to working on the board. This is a great time to be involved.'

In a unanimous vote Monday night, the park district board chose to appoint Scott to the interim post.

He replaces Bruce S. Dalrymple, who resigned in early April to take a seat on the Beaverton City Council. His term will last until June 30, 2007, at which time the seat will be filled by public election.

Scott was one of nine candidates who emerged in the race for the third seat on the board.

Applicants Fred G. Meyer and Spence Benfield later withdrew their applications. Janet Allison promptly removed herself from consideration for the post Monday night after becoming frustrated with the appointment process.

Allison was one of four leading contenders for the position along with Steven Sparks, William Halpert and B. Scott Whipple.

A misunderstanding about Scott's commitment and willingness to take a more visible leadership role with the park district prompted the remaining board members to consider other candidates for the post.

'In his first interview Bob seemed a bit tentative,' said Board President John Griffiths.

After clearing up the misunderstanding, Scott surfaced as a front runner among the contenders.

'In the end, it was between Bob and Steven Sparks, both were excellent candidates,' Griffiths said. 'Either one would have worked out really well.'

With some board members leery of possible conflicts of interest with Sparks' role as a principal planner for the city of Beaverton, the board picked Scott as its top choice.

'Bob brings a lot of experience to the board,' Griffiths said. 'He's been driving the budget committee for the last few years.

'He has a good understanding of the budget and budget priorities as well as a volunteer track record with the park district. He's known by all of us. His appointment feels like a good fit.'

Crash course

For Scott, the chance to serve for a year term is a unique opportunity.

'Serving on the board is something I have considered for a long time,' he said. 'I thought once both of my kids were in college, I would be more apt to run.

'This is a good way for me to make sure this is the right fit.'

Scott has served 15 years on the park district's budget committee and is the acting committee chairman.

In addition to his role in managing the district's finances, he has volunteered as a basketball and soccer coach. He also enjoys hiking and biking along the district's many trails with his wife Sandy.

'I bring a good understanding of the park district and the challenges coming up,' he said. 'I understand the big issues coming down the road, but there's still a lot I have to learn.'

He didn't waste any time getting down to business after being sworn into office during the meeting.

'Now, I'm on a crash course to learn everything else about the park district,' Scott quipped.

When asked if he was a quick study, he said, 'I like to think I am.'

Scott said he's ready for a 'trial by fire.'

He is a commercial lender for Northwest Bank in Lake Oswego.

Prior to joining the start-up bank's team a year ago, he served 16 years with U S Bank.

He earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Oregon State University.

Scott also serves on the board of directors for the Columbia River Council of the Girl Scouts and is actively involved with Junior Achievement.

As a longtime user and park district supporter, he values the variety of programs, services and recreational opportunities Tualatin Hills offers.

He hesitates in labeling himself as a sports guy, trail enthusiast or open-space advocate.

'I'm not so passionate about one area that it is going to sway my decision making,' Scott said. 'I love the park district and appreciate everything it offers from sports to classes to swimming programs to natural areas.'