For much of the past eight years, central Washington County, including Beaverton and Hillsboro, have been underrepresented on the Metro Council.

This can change in the Nov. 7 general election if voters elect Kathryn Harrington for the District 4 seat on the council - the body that shapes regional decisions on growth management, natural habitat protections, transportation investments, solid waste, open spaces, and regional facilities such as the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Convention Center.

Harrington has a long résumé of community involvement in the county, including service in civic organizations, transportation planning committees and the county's road project advisory committee. Such experiences will serve her well in connecting the community and Metro - a link that oftentimes has not been emphasized by current District 4 Councilor Susan McLain. But what's more, Harrington's past employment as an Intel manager will help her analyze complex public policy issues with real-world perspectives.

Harrington's opponent is Tom Cox, a former Libertarian, who has unsuccessfully run for statewide office but now shifts his message of smaller, less intrusive government, and a call for more trust and honesty, to Metro. Cox is bright and well-spoken. He can be entertainingly brash, but such a style, we fear, will not serve well in building partnerships on the Metro Council.

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