Today is Stephen Sykes's last day with Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services. He and his family are moving to Omaha, Nebraska, partly to be closer to other family members, but also to pursue a new position in the private sector.
I met Stephen back in 2007, when I first learned about the issues associated with the BES pump station in the Vista Brook neighborhood. He was handling the difficult communications chores between the agency and the public as both grappled with their respective and competing perspectives towards a sewage transport problem that has plagued Fanno Creek for more than fifty years. Some people placed in such positions are little more than mouth parts for the lead organization; but Stephen brought real intelligence, compassion, and character to the table, and for that we should all be grateful.
Stephen is tremendously excited about his new prospects, and so am I. I will miss him, but I suspect we'll be hearing more about/from him another day. He has a great future in communications. Adios, Stephen!