I wrapped up my two terms on the Milwaukie City Council this week. I have had the opportunity to work with an incredible staff, meet incredible volunteers, and make some tough decisions. Along the way I learned patience, stamina, and a whole lot about regional wastewater. I debated over bringing light rail to Milwaukie and faced angry phone calls, email, and public disdain. I worked with some incredible regional partners and enjoyed watching our major streets begin to be repaired thanks to our decision to enact a small gas tax in Milwaukie.
I had an opportunity to go on police ridealongs, a trip with the crew on the snow plow when we had our big snow storm. I took part in numerous hearings, quasi-judicial land use hearings, attended a few new business openings and numerous parades.
I have a great deal of appreciation for those that worked on my campaigns, calmed me down when I grew angry over a lack of funding for our City and our residents. I laughed when the Mayor brought in ice cream cones and Santa hats during council sessions. I enjoyed the bonding moments when the Council went on retreats.
My term is over after 8 long years. My Tuesday nights will not mean long meetings and long hearings. My hope now is that more of the residents of Milwaukie take an active role in their City and government. I hope that the young students I have a chance to work with in our school district get the political bug and prepare to lead the next generation. I hope that the economy improves and more small businesses come to Milwaukie to open their doors.
Being in public service, both as a teacher and lawmaker, has given me a gift that is priceless. Now it's time, at least on the local level, to support the next group of leaders.