Heidi Lueb broke the mold when the Tigard City Council unanimously appointed the businesswoman to a vacant seat on the dais last month.
Not only does she bring a younger perspective along with business acumen to the council since being sworn in Jan. 29, she is now the second woman on the current council, which has traditionally been comprised mostly of men.
Lueb and her husband Brian moved to Tigard three years ago, “and I’ve been itching to get involved,” said the comptroller at Grady Britton, which calls itself a Portland creative agency that specializes in brand strategy, digital marketing, public relations and media strategy.
“I applied to the (Tigard) Budget Committee because I thought with my finance background, I could make a difference,” said Lueb, adding that during the interview process last year with (former) Mayor John Cook and (future) Mayor Jason Snider, “they brought up the opening on the council. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I thought it would be a way to get to know the city in a different way and to give time to my community and take on new responsibilities.”
Lueb was appointed to the Budget Committee, but she applied for the council seat too and became one of four finalists interviewed at the council’s Jan. 15 meeting. During the council members’ discussion following the interviews, Council President John Goodhouse said, “I am looking for a different perspective from what we have on the council. I don’t want someone who thinks like I think.”
After the vote, Councilor Tom Anderson said, “Heidi will bring strength to the table.”
Lueb also is willing to put in the time that the position calls for and said that her husband and company are fully supportive of her new commitment, while Lueb is already hard at work learning how the city operates, meeting city staff and figuring out how to serve the public.
“There is a level of service that residents want and are willing to pay for,” she said. “City leaders also must set up the city for future generations.”
Lueb and her husband, who own two dogs and one cat, are marathoners, so one of her biggest issues is safe streets and intersections for not only jogging but also for people pushing strollers and walking dogs. City officials have worked to make Tigard more walkable, “but the city is not walkable if the intersections are not safe,” she said. “Strollers will never win a battle with a car.”
Lueb, who has participated in several Ironman competitions, has found drivers in Tigard to be considerate, saying, “I don’t encounter nasty drivers when I’m riding my bike, and I feel safe in the community as a woman who sometimes runs alone. My husband and I train together, so there isn’t much couch time!”
There is probably even less now as Lueb navigates her new role at the city. “I’m excited to dive in, and everyone has been so welcoming,” she said. “City Manager Marty Wine and her staff have gone above the call of duty to make me feel comfortable. I have met with some of the staff and will go around to the different departments.
“I also am trying to get to as many events as possible to meet people in the community. This is especially important for me because I was not elected. I am passionate about living in Tigard, and I want to make it the community the residents want. If people are concerned about something, someone else is too. We (on the council) want to make everyone’s lives better so we need to hear about the issues they are concerned about.”
A native of Central Point in southern Oregon, Lueb was active in student government in high school and college, graduating from the University of Oregon with a bachelor of science degree in business administration accounting, and she wants to be an example to the next generation of women.
“It’s important to have diversity on the City Council, and it is important to me personally because maybe a little girl will see in me someone who looks a little like her and realize the possibilities of what she can do,” Lueb said. “If people look at the City Council members, they will see different perspectives, and I bring yet a different one. I think in picking me, they wanted someone to make them better as a whole.
“One of the things that impressed me the most is that people are passionate about serving Tigard, and it makes me want to jump in and work with them. I am looking forward to getting my council liaison appointments (to city boards and commissions) because where you really get to know people is in smaller groups. And the staff is a testament to the city. They care deeply and are there for the long haul.”
Lueb’s current goal is “to dig in and get up to speed and be effective as quickly as possible. My husband and I feel very lucky to be here. We wanted to live in a Portland suburb and looked all around. Tigard checked all the boxes.”
Besides being big UO fans and football season ticket holders, the Luebs also go to Tigard High School home football games and other sports competitions as well. “I love hanging out with the kids and getting more involved,” Lueb said. “I was in their shoes and got support from my teachers. They changed my life. I believe in the power of education.
“I never thought I could be a marathoner, but when someone brings something to your attention and tells you that you can do it, it can change your world. We need to give everyone the opportunity to contribute.”
To contact Lueb, email [email protected].