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Metro Councilor Robert Liberty Leaves For University Position


The Metro Council is losing one of its most vocal “smart growth” proponents.

Robert Liberty announced Monday that he’s leaving his position as a Southeast Portland councilor January 15th, to direct the University of Oregon’s “Sustainable Cities Initiative.”

Liberty says he wishes he could’ve done more to change the way Metro manages urban growth in the Portland region.

Robert Liberty: “There are plenty of people available to grease the skids for the smooth operation of the status quo. That isn’t what I set out to do. So invariably, someone who wants to change the status quo is going to face frustration. But I found the work rewarding, satisfying, and in many ways, I helped change Metro’s direction.”

Before serving on the Metro Council, Liberty ran the farmland conservation group, 1000 Friends of Oregon.

Liberty says he’s looking forward to influencing public policy on a national scale through his new position at UO. 

Liberty’s Metro term runs out in 2012. The remaining Metro Councilors will choose a replacement to serve the rest of his term.

Another 1000 Friends veteran who lost in a squeaker in last fall’s race for Metro president – Bob Stacey – has been rumored as a possible replacement.

Without naming names, Liberty says his replacement should share the principles that got him elected.

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