A former firefighter and president of the firefighter's union, Leonard also led the Fire and Rescue Bureau while a city commissioner.
Before voting, Leonard's colleagues gave him a giant poster depicting the station -- which is being rebuilt on the eastern edge of the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge.
It displayed a few joking embellishments, including a giant neon rose and a neon helmet and axe. (Leonard famously sidestepped the city's sign rules to put a giant neon rose next to the headquarters for the Portland Rose Festival Foundation.)
Two people testified against naming the station for Leonard, a sometimes polarizing figure at City Hall, saying Leonard had damaged the city's Water Bureau and bullied opponents. "I know you guys want to say goodbye," said Joe Walsh, one such Leonard critic. "So do I."
Council colleagues then showered Leonard with praise, causing Leonard to tear up at least once when Commissioner Nick Fish alluded to the death last year of Leonard's only daughter, who killed herself after a long struggle with drug abuse. Fish said Leonard had endured the tragedy with grace, displaying "the greatest measure of a man."
The city of Portland is rebuilding the station with money from a $72.4 million bond that Leonard pushed in 2010 to benefit the Bureau of Fire and Rescue. The project has been dogged by complications, including unbudgeted costs and a formal contract protest that has since been resolved.
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