Betty Dominguez is the new Metro Councilor from District 2.
At a three-hour meeting Thursday in Oak Grove, the council voted 4-2 to appoint Dominguez, an MPAC member and a housing advocate from Oak Grove, to fill the term vacated by Carlotta Collette. Collette stepped down in January after a decade on the council. Two councilors, Shirley Craddick and Craig Dirksen, voted for Lake Oswego City Councilor Joe Buck.
Dominguez’ term lasts through 2018.
She was one of six applicants for the vacancy. Four of the applicants, including Dominguez, are running for a full four-year term as councilor, which would start in the beginning of 2019.
Nearly 30 people testified in support of various candidates at the hearing. Many of the members of the public who advocated for various candidates said they wanted to see the council appoint someone with experience in affordable housing. Others talked about the importance of transportation, equity and sustainability.
Even the Metro Council said it was a hard choice.
“The candidates made this a very difficult choice, and you all (the public) hasn’t made it any easier,” said Metro Council President Tom Hughes. “Thank you for coming tonight and demonstrating the kind of support these candidates have in the public – but it would have been nicer if you had all ganged up (in support of) somebody.”
Dominguez has served as the citizen representative to the Metro Policy Advisory Committee since 2016. She is the East County relations advisor for Multnomah County's housing authority, Home Forward. A 12-year resident of District 2, she moved to Oregon in 1996 from San Diego.
The other applicants for the vacancy included Buck; Christine Lewis, a lobbyist for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries; Carol Pauli, a former Oregon City Commissioner who now lives in Oak Grove; John Gibbon, an attorney from Southwest Portland; and Eric Freed, an architect from Milwaukie. Only Dominguez, Lewis, Buck and Pauli are on the ballot in May's primary for the full council term.
Buck has been a Lake Oswego City Councilor for more than three years, and has lived in District 2 for 26 years. He owns an inn in Dundee and two branches of the Babica Hen cafe.
Lewis, who lives in West Linn, has been a lobbyist for BOLI since early 2017, and was a lobbyist for the Portland Office of Government Relations before that. She has experience in campaigns, including the 2008 capital bond campaign for the Oregon Zoo. She has lived in District 2 for a decade.
Pauli is a native Oregonian who served four years on the Oregon City Commission, and is the president of Oregon City Main Street. She's been active in Oregon City issues but resigned her term as commissioner to care for an ailing family member who lived outside of Oregon City.
“More important than the choice we make tonight is the opportunity that the members of the public have to choose who will have this seat for the next 4 years,” Dirksen said of the 2018 election.
District 2 stretches from Interstate 5 in the west to 172nd Avenue in the east, and includes most of urban Clackamas County, including the cities of Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Gladstone, Happy Valley, Johnson City, West Linn and Rivergrove. It also includes portions of Southwest Portland south of I-5 and the Sellwood Bridge.