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City councilor and restaurateur says he'll seek appointment and run for a full term

BUCKLake Oswego City Councilor Joe Buck announced this week that he will seek appointment to the Metro Council District 2 seat being vacated by Councilor Carlota Collette.

"I look forward to working hand-in-hand with county and municipal leaders and community members region-wide to create diverse, safe, healthy, connected and economically beneficial communities," Buck told The Review. "Regional housing and transportation plans and environmental protections should create neighborhoods in all areas people live in out of choice rather than economic necessity."

Buck, who was elected to the City Council in 2014, joins former Oregon City Commissioner Carol Pauli in the race for Collette's seat. Collette has announced her intention to resign, but she has not officially done so.

Once a resignation is in hand, Metro councilors will have 90 days to name a replacement. The appointee would be seated for the remainder of Collette's term, which runs through the end of 2018; at that point, the winner of the 2018 election will be sworn in. Both Pauli and Buck have said they intend to run for Metro Council in the general election, whether or not they are appointed.

Buck, who has served on the City Council since 2014, was raised in Lake Oswego and currently operates two restaurants in the city — Gubanc's Restaurant and Babica Hen Cafe — as well as a second branch of Babica Hen in Dundee and a boutique inn in Oregon's wine country.

A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Buck received a degree in business administration from the University of Portland. He initially worked in public accounting and also helped manage Gubanc's, his family's restaurant. He eventually took over operations at Gubanc's and subsequently opened his other three businesses.

Buck says he is committed to helping working Oregonians, and he says his record as a small business owner shows he has pursued policies that promote wage equality, healthy work environments and respect for all. He also lists health care, education and affordable housing as his priorities.

"I have been a strong advocate for programs and policies that promote public health and a sustainable future," he said. "And I will fervently advocate for the changes all Oregonians deserve to ensure bright and prosperous years ahead."

During his time on the City Council, Buck has focused on advocating for a range of progressive policies, including environmental protection, a multimodal transportation infrastructure and engaging youth in local politics. He helped found Lake Oswego's Youth Leadership Council in 2016 and serves as the group's liaison to the council.

"As a very active member of the City Council, Joe can be counted on to bring people of differing viewpoints to the table to realize city-wide goals and objectives," said Council President Jackie Manz. "A person of action and results, Joe's passion for the job and the people, combined with his skill in quickly comprehending and distilling complex issues, make him an excellent choice as our next Metro councilor."

Buck has served on the boards of the Lake Grove Business Association and Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, and he has worked on community projects including the Parks Plan 2025, Lake Grove Village Center Plan and Lake Grove Urban Renewal District Plan. He serves on the City of Dundee Tourism Committee, has chaired the Dundee Urban Renewal Task Force and is the community partnership director for the local food pantry Hunger Fighters Oregon.

Earlier this year, Buck made an unsuccessful run for the appointment to replace former state Rep. Ann Lininger in House District 38. Political lobbyist Andrea Salinas was eventually named to succeed Lininger, who is now a judge on the Clackamas County Circuit Court.

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