Metro Councilor Bob Stacey announced Thursday that he will resign his seat Oct. 15.
Shortly after being elected to the Metro Council in 2012, Stacey was diagnosed with meningioma, which causes tumors to grow in and around the skull. The disease was managed with limited impacts in his 9 years on the council, including a surgery to remove the tumors in late 2013.
“Managing these tumors without surgery requires strong medications to reduce swelling,” Stacey said Thursday. “These affect my energy and ability to analyze and think clearly about complex subjects.”
He said he had no reason to think he had a poor long-term prognosis, emphasizing that the condition, and its treatment, primarily inhibited his ability to think clearly.
“I wish I could continue to serve my constituents and the public interest as a Metro councilor,” Stacey said. “But I no longer have the capacity to do that job – and manage my health.”
Stacey has a long history with Metro and in Oregon land use policy. He grew up in outer southeast Portland, attended Reed College for his undergraduate degree and went to law school at the University of Oregon. He was an attorney for 1000 Friends of Oregon starting in 1975, famously battling the Rajneeshee cult’s attempts to build a city in rural Wasco County – at one point even becoming a target for their poisoning of prominent Oregonians.
“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.”
He later was the director of the Portland Bureau of Planning, director of policy and planning for TriMet, chief of staff for Rep. Earl Blumenauer and executive director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. In 2010, he ran for Metro Council President, losing by 0.25 percent – 1,003 votes out of 397,033 cast – to Tom Hughes. In 2012, he won election to represent District 6, most of the southern City of Portland, and he was most recently re-elected in 2020.
“Bob is all of the things you hate in a competitor and love in a colleague,” said Hughes, who served with Stacey on the Metro Council from 2013 to early 2019. “He is wicked smart, articulate, and passionate about finding ways of doing the right thing.”
The Metro Council will have until Jan. 13, 2022 to appoint Stacey’s successor.