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Four years ago, after a lackluster first-term, city Commissioner Amanda Fritz was forced into a fall runoff with challenger Mary Nolan, who had nearly upset her in the primary.


But Fritz ran a strong fall campaign and scored a relatively easy victory in November.

That experience seemed to focus the English-born retired nurse, who had a better second term and (for the first time) gets our endorsement.

Fritz’s signature achievement in her more recent term was her leadership role in the successful 2014 parks bond measure, which was correctly sized and will focus money on specific projects repairing playgrounds, paths and pools throughout the city.

Fritz also provided the crucial third vote to block the first version of a misguided street fee being proposed by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick.

On the negative side, we didn’t support Fritz’s push to require Portland’s private employers to offer paid sick leave, but given her background, we understand her motivation. And we did not endorse her rush to impose increased development fees for parks (in a 3-2 vote) without a detailed plan for where the money will go.

Fritz did not intend to run for a third term, but her husband’s death in a September 2014 car crash put her retirement plans on hold.

She concedes that Portland’s commission form of government creates a steep learning curve, and says she looks forward to a third term with a renewed sense of energy.

First, however, she’ll need to defeat a smart and engaged opponent.

Ann Sanderson is the owner of Odango hair studio and active in the Woodstock Community Business Association and the Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition.

Sanderson is best known for leading the fight against the street fee proposal.

She would bring a valuable common-sense, small-business perspective to the council and a passion to provide low-income housing in Portland.

She seems better suited to stand up to bureau directors and city staff than Fritz has been, and politely makes the case that eight years is a long time to get up to speed.

We would like to see Sanderson gain more experience in city issues and run again in 2018, when other council seats are up for election. Portland will benefit from her continued involvement.

For now, however, Fritz has the right credentials for the job. She has enormous grassroots support and a clear desire to help Portland. In the next four years, we would like to see Fritz use her knowledge and political capital in more effective ways. She should focus more on the real issues that frustrate Portlanders, including incomes that lag well behind the price of living in the city, and concentrate less on making it harder for businesses to operate in Portland.

With those caveats, we encourage voters to give Amanda Fritz four more years on the Portland City Council.

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