Election 2014: Marc Woodard seeks re-election to Tigard City Council
Incumbent responds to The Times' candidate survey
Family: Married for 29 years to Elizabeth with two daughters
Job and education background: Please visit woodchat.com for full employment history and biography. In short, I served 20 years and retired from two branches of the military service: Air Force and Army. Ive also been employed as a corporate manager, supervisor and technician; health and fitness manager, and recreation director; small business owner (MirrorAthlete.com) and currently serve on Tigard City Council. Education: MBA, B.S., Exercise Science; Graduate of Tigard High 1978; Graduate of Oregon Military Academy in Monmouth, Class 36, commissioned second lieutenant July 1993.
Neighborhood you live in: I live behind St. Anthonys grade school.
Length of time youve lived in Tigard: 45 years
Community service experience: For a full list of other leadership and relative experiences visit Citizens to Re-Elect Marc Woodard Campaign Site at woodchat.com.
During my first tern on City Council:
Council business and workshop meetings
Planning Commission liaison
Parks and Recreation Advisory Board liaison
Intergovernmental Water Board
Metropolitan Area Communication Commission, vice chair
River Terrace Stakeholders liaison
Tigard Transportation Advisory Committee liaison
Transportation Strategy Team
Recreation Project Team
North Clackamas Water Commission
City Center Advisory Committee alternate
Budget Subcommittee Social and Events
Mayor's Appointment Advisory Committee
Southwest Corridor Plan Steering Committee alternate
Washington County Coordinating Committee alternate
Westside Economic Alliance Board of Directors alternate
To read the responses from Woodard's challengers, click here.
What skills, knowledge and experiences would you bring to the City Council?
Ive nearly completed four years on City Council. Im beyond the steep learning curve and what the job entails and am ready to continue doing more of the people's work should I be elected to serve again. I bring skilled leadership, influence, experience and a communicative outreach style that finds common ground while working through and negotiating tough and complicated issues and have proven and positive results.
Why are you running for re-election?
Tigard needs citizens to run for elected office for the right reasons, and I assure you Im here to give back to a community that gave so much to me as a youth. Also, I firmly believe everyone should give back to their community at some point in their life. By doing so, it contributes to the greater good of the city. When we lead by example, the next generation will do the same.
Although volunteering to run and get elected into City Council is not for everyone, there are many other ways to contribute back to community. For example, without an ample pool of willing citizen volunteers to apply for committees and boards, wed not have enough qualified representative voices needed to help the City Council make the best decisions for the good of the whole. I look and work hard at influencing people who have the passion, communicative skill sets, leadership qualities, experience and other relative qualifications to apply and compete for these seats.
What role should the city play with local businesses and economic development?
I believe business creation is predominately determined by the marketplace. However, a good marketplace vision by council working with the citys economic and community development organizations can provide useful business-gap analysis, demographic, county growth and other economic data to assist the City Center Development Committee in determining the best commercial reuse or development projects to prioritize throughout Tigard.
I believe more business and sustainable housing projects in the community are essential to our tax base and commerce activation, which sustains and influences our cost of living, livability and affordability of city services. The city can support these efforts with well thought-out public-private partnership opportunities, creative financial tools and policies that ultimately lead to catalyst project implementation to stimulate job creation and commerce throughout the city. We need to continue supporting these things.
How should the city prioritize spending on infrastructure and other projects?
City boards, Budget Committee and council process the public input on project prioritization basis, in a way that insures projects are in-line with comprehensive plans, within budget and are a good public investment. With that being said, there is also a timing challenge in matching grant dollars that must be a consideration. For example, if there is a matching grant opportunity that would leverage the taxpayer dollar in a significant and timely way, and the match grant criterion is met, then the council must have the tools in hand to recognize this opportunity and act upon it.
Ive worked diligently in supporting a projects/grants opportunity oversight tool where multiple departments enter input and council gets real-time project priority and timely grant match information. In the past, some projects never transpired, or were severely delayed because of missed opportunities waiting on a matching grant(s) to leverage a financially constrictive project that was not likely to materialize without other efforts. This project/prioritization council oversight tool is near completions for council use.
What should the citys role be in regional issues such as planning for transportation and urban growth?
Metro manages the boundary that separates urban land from rural land in the Portland region and works with communities to plan for future population growth and meet needs for housing, employment, transportation and recreation. Metro and TriMet must continue working together with city governments in support of forecasting future growth, land use, transportation and recreation services that meet all needs. Without city government involvement in this type of planning effort, we cannot sustain and meet the social justice needs of our future population growth projections.
What issues have you tackled in the community? Have you worked to resolve or address a concern that went before the Planning Commission or City Council?
Since Im currently on City Council, Ive tackled many tough policy, legislative and quasi-judicial discussions and decisions around land use, housing and transportation; River Terrace annexation and developmental planning, Urban Renewal Downtown and Triangle Area planning and economic and city recreation. Im more than willing to continue participating in many cross-committee communication liaison efforts to ensure our city services and programs are competitive with other 21st century developing cities throughout the region in order to sustain livability and affordability standards comparable to neighboring cities.
Whats one project the city tackled that you wish had turned out differently? What went wrong?
We were not successful in educating the public on what, where, when and how the Southwest Corridor high-capacity transit project could look in various formats and its eventual alignment. And once the public believed that rail would go down Pacific Highway through Tigard, this was a very tough public relations' correction to make. Regardless, Ballot Measure 34-203 and 34-210 spelled out loud and clear that voters want a choice and vote on a HCT project. Not only because of the tax investment price tag, but because of the impact it will have on lifestyles, residents and business owners.
In hindsight if there would have been more outreach to educate and get more public input, I believe the public would have understood the citys spirit and intent was to get a public vote on such a massive transportation project and that HCT, whatever form, was not going to go down the center of Tigard 99W.
Ive learned when you leave out words, or terminology, in a ballot measure, its amazing how many different ways an attorney can interpret and spin what otherwise you assume is correct messaging. In these lessons learned, I know we can do better as a council, but it requires a huge time commitment that requires extraordinary outreach efforts by council members. Im willing to continue putting out these efforts.
What is an initiative you feel turned out well, and what made it work?
The two programs I was able to take the initiative on and have success during my first two years in office: economic development and city recreation. I was influential in getting the support of council to add two programs within the annual city goal-setting sessions that would become city priorities. In doing so, these programs will eventually balance out the needed city service and program resources to ensure Tigard remains a competitive place to live, work and play.
I believe I was successful in these two areas because of my personal experience, education and communicative skillsets. Of course passion also helps. These needed city services and programs either didnt exist, or partially existed. For example, an economic development organization was non-existent. Now we have a full-time employee who has the skill sets, providing council the economic tools leading to sustainable and viable catalyst projects and supporting small business development throughout Tigard.
The current city recreation program is what I kindly refer to as a passive activities program thats made up of parks and trail systems. But whats missing is the activation, sustainment and development piece of city recreation that requires a leadership voice. The city is now in the process of determining the city's recreational needs assessment and what voters would likely to support by way of city recreation services and programs. There must be someone in place with the right recreational skill sets to activate and grow this needed city service. But before this can happen, we must ensure we understand what the community needs and is willing to support.
The city faces a number of issues and potential projects. What should it deal with now, and how? Which should be priorities for later?
The city's highest priority, which also consistently ranks high in citizen attitude surveys, is traffic congestion. We must continue prioritizing our projects, keeping in mind the cities new vision The most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives." Although the vision is aspirational, it sets the ideal and vision. If we create more walkable, healthy environments for our kids, residents and small business owners, not only is our physical environment more sustainable and healthy, but so will our physical bodies become.
Health and fitness statistics prove, whereever trail systems and active recreational programs exist, these places result in healthier bodies, activated commerce space and investor interest once these facility systems are connected.
Transportation systems equal recreational activity, but connecting these dots to the overall traffic congestion problem is tough to grasp and sell. Some would say all transportation resources must go toward highway expansion and intersection improvements. Although some of this capacity shortfall can be improved upon, it will not solve our regional traffic congestion. Thinking outside the box requires a new, innovative approach to help in this situation.
Within this context, a congestion-relief effort will require a multiplatform transportation facilities option that the voters will support, and it must include more trails and sidewalk connections to help our city environment become more sustainable, healthy and less congested. Aside from congestion, other high priority commitments the city has made is focused in the areas of the Triangle, Downtown and newly annexed River Terrace area.
What should voters know about you?
I dont easily get discouraged. Im persistent in finding solutions. And enjoy talking one-on-one outside a large group setting. Although I enjoy small groups of up to 10 or more, often its the 1:1 personal exchange of ideals that can be gotten across the aisle even when the most controversial and adversarial exchange occurs, and it can be done civilly. Ive been known on occasion to spend up to four to six hours in one session with one person.
Sometimes there are no winners within this format because we both agree to disagree. Thats OK, because were all entitled to think differently. But in ending any 1:1 discussion, regardless of my personal preferences or thoughts on the matter, I work for the people of Tigard. If the majority want change, and its reflected by a vote, or strong public process input thats supported and proved to be represented by a majority of Tigard residents and businesses, then its my job to find a way to meet the majority need.
I walk 10 miles per day on an average. During this time, I find many solutions to city business problems. Because I garner great outdoor air quality and reduce stress during this exercise time, my mind, body and spirit is very clear and energized. This walking habit keeps me healthy and reinvigorated and allows me to come up with answers and solutions I may not otherwise receive.
How do you plan to encourage citizen involvement/engagement with the council?
I will continue to do public outreach work by doing the same communicative efforts Ive been doing, in small groups, 1:1s and working behind the scenes in preparation for the next meeting. These are the hours nobody sees and are often thankless ones, but somebody has to do it. If a council person hopes to influence a city policy, change a code, service, process flow, or program thats good for business owners, residents, community and our regional and state partners, then the time commitment must be there.
What distinguishes you from your opponents?
My 20 years of military service and business background has provided the communicative, management and leadership skill sets that differentiate myself from others.
What is your leadership style, and how will you work with the mayor, other members of the council and city staff?
My leadership style is a partnership style. Partnerships are necessary to negotiate in good faith for any type of public relations, legal, council or business matters. Since the city supports an economic development and recreation program, my partnership-leadership style fits perfectly in this wheelhouse. Since I have an extensive military service background, I also know when to follow and lead, and this makes me a good team player as well as leader. I work well with the mayor and council members and respect their contributions of volunteer service to the city in their council role.
Interchanging these leadership and communicative hats is a skill set thats necessary to be successful in anything ventured within life. I believe a council person without these skill sets are less effective in meetings and may cause public relations' harm unintentionally and disharmony within the council working relationships and public at large.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT