FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Petrocine 503.823.3005
Commissioner Randy Leonard will not seek re-election
Portland, OR— After careful consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Portland City Council.
At the end of my current term, January 1, 2013, I will have worked for the City of Portland for 35 years starting as a front-line firefighter and ending my service 18 months from now as a Portland City Commissioner.
I will have served on the City Council for 10 years at the end of my most recent term. I also served 9 years in the Oregon Legislature in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate. I was the President of the Portland Firefighters Association for 12 years, nearly half of the time I worked at the Portland Fire Bureau.
Since my first election to the city council in 2002, I have strived to make the city a better place for all Portlanders. Some of my accomplishments that I am most proud of include:
When I ran for the City Council, the City's permitting agency was so dysfunctional that it was driving good employers like Columbia Sportswear out of town. During my campaign, I promised to reform the City's permitting system to make sure that everyone who needs a permit for a deck, a remodeling project, or a skyscraper finds a helpful professional at the City who is empowered to help them achieve their goals. When I became Commissioner in Charge of the Bureau of Development Services in 2002, I made sweeping changes to the leadership of the organization, and directed the creation of a culture that emphasizes customer service as the foundation of how the City's permitting bureau does business. Since that time, Portland has been recognized both locally and nationally as an excellent model for permitting, and I was very proud that the City received an award from the Home Builders Association for the permitting system improvements I implemented.
I led the effort on the City Council to open a wing of the Justice Center jail for the exclusive use of the Portland Police Bureau to help address rampant drug related crime in the Downtown core that was exhausting the city's resources as offenders would be arrested and released within a matter of hours because of a lack of available jail space. Coupled with the newly available jail beds, we secured drug and alcohol treatment services for offenders, and instituted regular missions in parts of the City where crime was its highest. This innovative effort yielded unprecedented success in reducing crime by helping the offenders treat the underlying issues that were drawing them into drug use and crime. Today the program boasts many "graduates" who have turned their lives around because of this program.
A universal challenge that cities around the country face is how to provide public restrooms in a cost effective way that is also safe and sanitary. In Portland when people had no place to go, businesses in the downtown area would regularly find urine and feces on the sidewalk. The circumstance was both a nuisance to small businesses, and a failure on the part of the City in providing an outlet for the most basic human need. To address these issues, I worked with a designer to create a durable, low-cost restroom design that provided a minimum level of privacy and a maximum level of security, and received the City’s very first patent ever, Patent # US D622, 408 S for the unique design. Today, there are 4 Portland Loos in service in the City with several more planned, and the Cities of San Diego and Victoria, B.C. are in talks to purchase several loos from the City of Portland.
I led the two year effort that resulted in an agreement to renovate Jeld-Wen Stadium and bring a Major League Soccer team to Portland. The protection for the City embedded in the structure of the deal were heralded around the country as an outstanding deal for the City of Portland, and the Portland Timbers are already exceeding expectations on the field and in ticket sales. I am very proud to be known among Timbers fans as "The Negotiator."
When it became clear to me that the City's Independent Police Review function lacked the necessary authorities to provide strong oversight of the Police, I wrote and passed an ordinance that gives the City's Office of Independent Police Review the access and authority necessary to make sure that Portland's police are held to a high standard of accountability.
Here is a list of just some of the other accomplishments I am proud of:
- Passage of Fire Bond Measure 26-117
- The Portland Oregon Sign
- Portland Development Commission Reform
- Portland's Renewable Fuels Standard ( 5% Biodiesel in all diesel sold in the City)
- Negotiation of Joint Terrorism Task Force Protocols
- City Archives Building
- Eldon Trinity Fire Rescue Boat
- Creation of Hydroparks
- John Yeon Visitor's Center renovation/Rose Festival Assistance
- Time, Place, and Manner Ordinance
- Powell Butte II
- Water House
- Dodge Park Renovation
- Bear Creek House/Bull Run Cabins Historic Renovation
- Minority Contracting Ordinance
- 2003 City of Portland School Funding Package
- Tibet Awareness efforts
I have been honored to serve Portland in the variety of capacities I have. I still have much work to do in the next 18 months.
Thank you….Randy Leonard