Friday, Jan. 7, 2022
News & Notes
New energy in WEA executive leadership
   With the beginning of a new year calendar year, WEA's Board of Directors has elected PGE's Randy Ealy as president and NW Natural's Nina Carlson as treasurer.
   Ealy is the manager of local government affairs for PGE and has served on the WEA Board of Directors since 2018.
   Prior to working for PGE, Ealy was the chief administrative officer for the City of Beaverton.
   Carlson is the government and community affairs liaison for NW Natural.
   She began her tenure on the WEA Board of Directors in 2019.
   WEA wants to thank Kaiser Permanente's Brantley Dettmer, who served as WEA president for the last three years.
   Dettmer led WEA through the hiring process of its new executive director Gail Greenman and its recent strategy and surveying work.
  He will stay on the Executive Committee in a past president role.
   The Alliance would also like to thank StanCorp Mortgage's Mike Morey, who has served as treasurer and was a president of the organization for three years prior to Dettmer's presidency.
   To read more about WEA's Board of Director's visit the organization's website.
Who's in and who's out when it comes to the State Legislature?
Oregon Legislature
   The Oregon Legislature is becoming a bit like watching pitchers and batters in a baseball game, as those who follow it try to keep up with who is still in play and who has stepped away.
   At the end of 2021, Senator Chuck Riley vacated his seat, as did Senator Betsy Johnson, who is running for governor, and Representative Brian Clem, who had a hand in the Washington County urban and rural reserves process back in 2014.
   House Speaker Tina Kotek announced yesterday she will step down to focus on her campaign for governor as well.
   Senate President Peter Courtney has said he will not seek re-election.
   At the end of his tenure, Courtney will have served 20 years as Senate President.
   Washington County's Board of Commissioners will be part of the appointment process for both Riley and Johnson's former seats.
   In November, Washington County, along with Clackamas and Multnomah counties' leadership appointed Akasha Lawrence-Spence to fill the Senate District 18 seat, which was formerly served by Ginny Burdick.
   WEA members will meet online with Lawrence-Spence and other legislators during a Virtual Legislative Reception on January 19.
Metro Council approves funds and priorities for bridge replacement
Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River with a tug boat
   The Metro Council yesterday voted to support the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) Program with some contingencies.
   Metro reports the vote was unanimous to adopt a values statement for the IBR Program, asking that the project shows that it will advance racial equity, resiliency, economic prosperity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
   At the same time, local media outlets are reporting the council voted 5-1 to pass along $36 million in state funding for planning and design of the project.
   Metro is one of eight agencies involved in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the bridge.
Harsch starts new year with a new name
   This week WEA member Harsch Investment Properties announced it is changing its name to Schnitzer Properties.
   Harold Schnitzer founded the company more than 70 years ago, using the first three letters of his first name and the first three letters of his last name.
   Company President Jordan Schnitzer, who is the founder's son, said it was time to simplify the company's name and to align it to its philanthropic work.
   The company owns 28 million square feet of commercial real estate with more than 3,700 tenants across six states.
Odds & Ends

  • Do you have a startup businesses you're trying to grow? You may want to check out the Westside Pitch Competition. Applications are being accepted now through February 4, and the competition is on March 10.

  • Clackamas County is taking a survey on middle housing. Click here to find out more.

  • Hillsboro's downtown Main Street area suffered a devastating loss earlier this week after a 4-alarm fire swept through the Weil building. Twenty businesses were affected. About 24-hours earlier, the city also had 17 residents displaced from an apartment fire. If you'd like to help support those impacted, click here.

  • As Oregon reports record number of COVID-19 cases (10k+ cases reported today), WEA sends a big thank you to all of you who work in healthcare - thank you for showing up to take care of our community members in their most vulnerable state. If you are in need of a COVID test, healthcare providers are asking that you NOT go to the ER, but to look to one of the sites listed on the Washington County website.

  • Kudos to road crews who have been dealing with snow, ice, mud, and floodwater lately. Your efforts are appreciated in keeping our communities safe.

  • As we enter into the weekend, we leave you with video of a different west side - Reser Stadium's west side, crashing down as part of its renovation project.
Events coming up
The Transportation Committee has a date change. It will meet virtually with the Land Use & Housing Committee on Wed. 1/19 12:00 p.m. All members are welcome to attend.

Th. 1/13 at 7:30 a.m. - The Government Relations Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend.

Wed. 1/19 at 7:30 a.m. - A members event - the annual WEA Virtual Legislative Reception. All members are welcome to attend.

Wed. 1/19 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually with the Transportation Committee. The joint meeting will be with the DLCD (Department of Land Conservation and Development) about the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking. All members are welcome to attend.

Wed. 1/26 at 7:30 a.m. - The WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Th. 1/27 at 6:00 p.m. - Mayor Steve Callaway and the Hillsboro City Council will be hosting the "State of the City" address on Facebook live.