Beaverton voters are fortunate to have several accomplished and engaged candidates running for City Council seats in the May 20 election. While one position — the one occupied by council veteran Betty Bode — is going unchallenged in this election, two other seats have attracted quality contenders.

Voters should first be thankful that they have a choice in those races, and then they should opt for the energetic Lacey Beaty for Position 1 and the experienced Marc San Soucie for Position 5.

Neither of those recommendations is a slam dunk, as both Beaty and San Soucie face formidable opponents. However, we believe Beaty and San Soucie are in the best position to move Beaverton forward on shared community objectives such as downtown redevelopment.

Here’s a brief look at the two races:

Position 1: Lacey Beaty

Beaty is challenging incumbent Ian King, who has served one term on the council. We have no real problems with King’s performance, but we are swayed by Beaty’s demonstrated enthusiasm for community improvement.

A former U.S. Army combat medic and current business consultant, the 29-year-old Beaty promises to be a dynamic force if elected to the council. She has proved her willingness to become involved through volunteer roles on the city’s Visioning Advisory Committee, Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Beaverton Board and HomePlate Youth Services Board.

Beaty is brimming with ideas to improve Beaverton’s business climate, to get citizens involved and to move ahead on major city priorities. She has reached out to a wide spectrum of community residents — from fellow young people to older veterans involved with Beaverton American Legion Post 124. She brings a new voice to the council as well as impressive organizational leadership skills.

A third candidate in the race, longtime community volunteer Alton Harvey Sr. should be thanked for his willingness to step forward and for his continued commitment to serve Beaverton. It is Beaty, however, who makes the most compelling argument for her ability to help lead Beaverton toward a more vibrant future.

Position 5: Marc San Soucie

San Soucie was first elected to the council in 2008, and he has shown he can be a thoughtful and cooperative community leader. San Soucie has deep knowledge of city operations and recognizes that Beaverton has opportunities to invest in specific initiatives to move the community forward.

His chief priority is to fix, preserve and replace facilities that the city has some control over — such as roads that need repaving or water and sewer pipes that need replacing. Beyond the issue of basic services, however, San Soucie advocates pressing ahead with targeted investments to improve downtown streets and streetscapes and to support other quality development in the city.

San Soucie is opposed by John Somoza, a higher education program manager at Intel who makes the case that Beaverton has been stagnant for too long. Somoza raises valid concerns about whether the City Council always has all the data in front of it before acting, and he also has valuable community volunteer experience.

On balance, however, we believe San Soucie has the right experience and the ability to work with other city councilors on shared objectives that are gaining momentum. This will be especially true if his re-election to the council is accompanied by the election of Beaty, who will give the council a needed jolt from a new perspective.

Beaverton voters should cast their ballots for Lacey Beaty and Marc San Soucie.

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