Mayor receives James C. Richards Memorial Award

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Pendleton Mayor Phillip Houk recently received one of the highest honors a mayor in Oregon can receive – the James C. Richards Memorial Award, which recognizes exceptional contributions by elected city officials at the local, state and federal levels.

Created in 1980 by the League of Oregon Cities, the award honors the memory of the late Jim Richards, a city councilor in Bay City and an administrative officer for Tillamook County. In addition to his local responsibilities, Richards served on the League of Oregon Cities’ Board of Directors and Legislative Committee and contributed his time selflessly to the cause of cities around the state.

Mayor Houk, who has been mayor of Pendleton for 7 years and served on the City Council for 18 years prior, was lauded for his 28 years of public service on a variety of local committees, including the city’s budget and water committees, capital investment committee, urban renewal board, the community’s progress board (which he founded), and the arts committee.

Statewide, Mayor Houk has been involved with the League of Oregon Cities’ Board of Directors – including a term as president – the board of directors for the Oregon Mayors Association – including a term as president – the Special Courts Advisory Board to the Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice, and the Blue Mountain Community College Budget Committee and Board of Directors.

The mayor also founded Leadership Pendleton, a leadership program which gives participants an overview of the inner workings of business, government, agriculture, health services, education, public safety, and communications in the area.  The program has graduated over 200 participants in the past 15 years.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber had this to say about Mayor Houk:

“My confidence and faith in his ability to seize opportunities and solve problems is why I’ve appointed him to serve on a number of committees, including the Oregon Solutions Steering Committee, the Eastern Oregon Regional Solutions Advisory Committee, and the Non-Roadway Transportation Funding Work Group. He has demonstrated the highest level of professionalism, dedication and vision in his service to the State of Oregon.”

Congratulations, Mayor Houk, and thank you for your ongoing service to this community!