Stepping into 2023: Governance & Vision in Beaverton City Government
Over the past couple months, Beaverton City Council has been working through a series of governance trainings that will help clarify our roles, responsibilities, and expectations with each other.
Many of you know that Beaverton transitioned to a council-manager form of government after the November 2020 election, and this has brought with it some major changes in how our local city government operates. Most notably, the Mayor and Council now oversee a professional city manager, whereas it was previously the elected mayor who ran the administration. It’s been a challenging process, but I believe it’ll be well-worth it. After all, there’s a reason why a majority of cities our size use this council-manager form of government.
Our new charter outlines much of the higher-level details of management and structure; however, some of the finer details are still left unclear. These include anything from deciding how our City Council meeting agenda is structured to how we propose proclamations and ordinances. It’s not flashy work, but it’ll dictate how well we are able to move forward with the actions our community needs.
Those community needs are heavy lifts, and we are getting to work on some of them right away. In January, we are reworking our street design standards so that our streets are safer and more efficient for people who are not driving cars. We are also finalizing our state and federal legislative advocacy agenda, which will play a large role in how much external funding is coming into Beaverton.
This just scratches the surface, and it leaves me grateful that we have such high-quality staff and management to implement the vision our Mayor and Council are bringing forward this year.
We’ll continue to keep our community (you all) empowered, engaged, and informed in all of this work, as I always believe the strength in local government is rooted in its proximity to the people of our community.
Here’s to 2023!
Kevin Teater is a Beaverton City Councilor whose term started in January 2023. He is the Partner of Streetview Planning LLC and serves as a board member of WakeUp Beaverton.