Robert E. Stacey, Montavilla’s elected representative on the Metro Council for over eight years, died September 8th at the age of 72. He resigned from his position a year ago due to further complications from a health condition. Metro Council appointed Duncan Hwang, a Director at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), to the vacant 6th District seat in January. Councilor Hwang recently secured 68.7 percent of the vote during the 2022 primaries, allowing him to serve out the reaming years of Councilor Stacey’s term.
Bob Stacey came to Metro Council after a long career serving Oregon. His early work with 1000 Friends of Oregon secured the urban growth boundary, protecting farms and forests by limiting an endless suburban sprawl. He led Portland’s planning bureau from 1989 to 1993, and as an executive at TriMet, he helped plan the MAX Yellow and Red lines. Pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the MAX Orange Line at SE 14th Avenue do so via the Bob Stacey Overcrossing, named in his honor for decades of service to Portland. Stacey’s impact across the State was impressive, and the programs he supported within this neighborhood are ongoing.
Bob Stacey’s work with Metro touched many points within Montavilla. Most residents will associate his local efforts with the affordable housing project underway at 432 NE 74th Ave. However, councilor Duncan Hwang recounted several other impactful projects that his predecessor brought to the community. “Councilor Stacey did so much for livability for the entire region but also worked directly on projects in Montavilla, including advocating for the jurisdictional transfer of 82nd Ave to the City of Portland, improving neighborhood connectivity through the Jade Montavilla Multimodal Improvements Project, and was a particular champion of the Jade District and APANO’s work in developing affordable housing and community spaces.”
Although holding an elected position, Bob Stacey focused more on his work for the community instead of building name recognition. Representative Earl Blumenauer expressed that sentiment after Stacey’s passing. “Oregon just lost the most important person that most people never heard of.” Despite the lack of public recognition for his work, those who continue his efforts recognize that they stand on his shoulders and vow to follow Stacy’s example of civic leadership. “Oregon lost a true leader, and I hope to carry on his vision for our region and legacy of public service as his successor at Metro,” stated Councilor Hwang.
Images in this article are provided by Oregon Metro
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Every ten years, in response to new national censuses data, Metro Council reevaluates its district borders. Although all portions of the greater Portland region gained new residents over the last decade, that growth did not occur evenly among the current districts. Each of the six Metro Council districts must contain roughly the same number of residents. As part of the 2021 redistricting process, Metro is asking for feedback on five redistricting scenarios.
All but one of the five scenarios offers little change to Montavilla’s representation on the Metro Council. However, Scenario B2 would move the neighborhood from District 6 into District 5. This proposed realignment groups most of SE Portland with NE Portland and moves East Portland beyond I205 into district 1.
Mary Nolan currently represents District 5. She started a four-year term on January 5th, 2021. Councilor Bob Stacey represented Montavilla’s District 6 for many years, until recently stepping down to address health concerns. Voters will elect a replacement for Stacey’s vacated seat next year in the November general election. However, if redistricting efforts change Montavilla’s district affiliation, residents will not vote on a new Metro representative for several years.
The Metro Council works with community leaders and constituents across city and county boundaries to shape greater Portland. In addition to operating many parks and venues like the Oregon Zoo, Metro fosters low-income housing projects throughout the region. Metro is behind one recent affordable housing development on NE Glisan Street between 74th and 75th Avenues. That project is in the planning phase, having just recently secured a development team.
The Metro Council has less than two months to draw new boundaries for the six districts. The Metro redistricting scenario survey is the public’s opportunity to provide input on redistricting. Survey comments will remain open until 5 PM on November 14th. Residents may also provide testimony at the November 9th or November 10th public hearings.
Last Thursday, one of Portland’s representatives on the Metro Council announced his resignation. Effective October 15th, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey will step down from the position he has held since 2012. Not long after first being elected to the Council, Stacey was diagnosed with meningioma, which causes tumors to grow in and around the skull. Although his prognosis continues to be favorable, treatments for the tumors have begun to impact his ability to work full-time.
Bob Stacey represents Oregon Metro District 6, mainly covering Southeast and southwest Portland. Metro serves more than 1.5 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The agency’s boundary encompasses Portland and 23 other cities. They provide region-wide planning and coordination to manage growth, infrastructure, and development issues across jurisdictional boundaries.
Bob Stacey’s work with Metro touched many points within Montavilla. However, most residents will associate his local efforts with the TBN redevelopment project at 432 NE 74th Ave. Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program acquired this site for residential development in 2019. The 1.65-acre property will become low-income housing within a few years featuring commercial use on the ground floor. It will be a transformative project for that section of NE Glisan, bringing an active residential density to the street and removing a block-wide parking lot. As seen in other areas of Portland, constructing socially active street-side projects increases safety and prosperity along those roads.
Councilor Stacey won reelection in 2020 for a four-year term. The Metro Council has until January 13th to appoint Stacey’s successor. According to the Metro Charter, that appointed person will serve until an election for the remainder of the term is held at the next primary or general election. This next election cycle, candidates will run for the remaining two years of the Metro District 6 Council seat.
Bob Stacey’s contributions to Oregon predate his work with Metro and will likely continue for many years after he vacates his elected position. Colleagues of Stacey were quick to celebrate his career up to this point and thank him for his decades of service. “Bob is a titan of Oregon’s land conservation movement,” said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. “His service and vision are obvious in all corners of our state, and his wisdom and nearly 50 years of experience is going to be missed on the council.”
Images in this article are provided by Oregon Metro
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