Bruce Warner, executive director of the Portland Development Commission since July 2005, has announced he will retire. He originally intended to leave Dec. 31, but has agreed to stay until April 1 2011, at the urging of Mayor Sam Adams and PDC Board Chair Scott Andrews.
The Skanner News Video: Bruce Warner
"Bruce Warner has enjoyed a long and illustrious career, making a positive impact on the quality of life for the citizens of Portland, the region and the state," said Mayor Adams. "Bruce's steady leadership has allowed PDC to become the outstanding agency it is today. It is further testament to Bruce's commitment and dedication that he has agreed to stay on through this spring."
When Warner joined the $228 million agency, it was seen as something of a maverick operator that frequently butted heads with the City Council – especially under its former director Don Mazziotti. Under Warner, the agency forged an amicable partnership with city leaders.
The agency's mission is to create development that maintains the vitality of the city center and the city as a whole and promotes job growth. It's funding comes from taxes paid in urban renewal areas across the city.
"My time at PDC has been fascinating and incredibly satisfying," said Warner. "We have completed many outstanding projects and launched a number of exciting initiatives during my tenure, but it is the PDC staff who have made the biggest impression on me. Their commitment, professionalism and passion for making Portland a better place are what I have always found most rewarding."
Under Warner, the agency placed a new emphasis on supporting small businesses and making sure developments included multi-income inner city housing.
"It has been an enormous pleasure to work with Bruce during my time on the Commission," said Board Chair Scott Andrews. "The projects he has led have touched virtually every corner of Portland and should be counted as part of his legacy to the city."
Warner's successor will inherit an agency facing an uphill battle to maintain momentum during the worst economic environment since the Great Depression.