01-30-2023  6:57 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Bernie Foster, Publisher of The Skanner
Published: 22 July 2009

In 2009, more than ever, Portland needs strong, effective leadership. The current economic downturn shows no sign of letting up - at least as far as jobs are concerned. Oregon has the second highest rate of joblessness in the nation. Poverty is rising, pushing families into crisis and onto the streets. Not to mention the serious long-term challenges of climate change and energy.

We need a mayor who can strengthen partnerships with business and civic leaders in the United States and internationally. We need a leader that can help bring 21st century ideas, jobs and training opportunities to Portland. Our mayor should command respect and confidence from state, city and national decision makers. And from city employees and citizens.

A mayor is expected to exemplify the standards of conduct the city demands of its employees.

Mr. Mayor, no-one doubts that you are one of the most gifted politicians in the city. You are a big-picture guy, who also sweats the details and knows how to make projects happen. We believe you care about Portland and that is why we are asking you consider resigning from your job.

Does Portland need a mayor with a large question mark hanging over his head? Will the city really benefit from a mayor who has damaged his credibility as a youth advocate, and his reputation for honesty and straight talking?
You have not succeeded in carrying forward everything on your agenda, but you will leave a valuable legacy and we commend you on that. Bike paths, the tram, and changed thinking about transportation are just the beginning.

When you ran for mayor you promised the kind of leadership Portland needed, but now you cannot deliver. Instead, Portland is facing a recall effort. (www.citizenrecall.org). The city is divided and the recall could continue to drain energy, waste resources and force us to look backward for months to come -- no matter what the outcome.

We said in our previous editorial that citizens would decide your fate as mayor. But let's not drag it out. If the petitioners cannot summon 50,000 signatures the people will have spoken, and clearly believe that you are the mayor Portland needs right now. But if enough  people with verifiable signatures sign the petition to recall you, then The Skanner says, please: Resign and spare us all the grief.

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