To me, what happens here matters: I grew up here, the third generation of my family to live in this beautiful corner of the state.
My grandparents, Tony and Anne Gubanc, moved here more than 40 years ago and opened Gubanc’s Restaurant in Lake Grove. My grandfather passed it to my father, Michael Buck (that's him with me in the picture above), and as soon as I was old enough, he brought me in to learn the ropes. We worked side-by-side and I learned a lot from my dad, not only how to operate a successful small business, but how to do it with heart, taking care of our family of employees and always looking for ways to be active stewards of our community.
After a tour in the Coast Guard, I graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in business administration, focused on accounting, and worked for several years as a staff accountant at a Portland CPA firm. I already knew a lot about the bottom line helping my father run our business, but here I really learned the power of mastering the details, and after my father retired, that held me in good stead as I took the reins at Gubanc’s and then founded Babica Hen Cafe, now with two locations, and a small inn in Dundee. I'm proud to say my businesses employ over 100 Oregonians, and offer healthcare to everyone who’s full time.
That feels pretty good, but as I mentioned earlier, I wanted to do more for my community. So in 2014, I ran for and was elected to the Lake Oswego City Council. People talk a lot about how government should be run more like a business, and I agree that government can always use more discipline and attention to the bottom line. But running a business is simply different from running hearings and digging into policy. In a small business, you get to call the shots; in government, you need to – I believe it's your duty to – listen to the opinions of a lot more people: the people who elected you. In small business, your big picture is the care of your employees and the future of your business. In government, it’s the care of hundreds of thousands of your neighbors across entire region.
That's exactly why I'm glad I have experience in both worlds. The big picture and the details. The needs of the people you see every day, and those of all the people sharing this beautiful region with you. And it's why I think that despite budget constraints, I've been able to deliver real wins for my constituents that make this place better:
I brought residential composting to Lake Oswego but by looking hard at the numbers, found a way to do it without a fee hike for people who use less
I helped steer the city toward buying clean wind power energy, exceeding EPA guidelines
I brought the Healthy Eating Active Living campaign to the city
I pushed for a City Climate Action Plan
I secured stable funding for active transportation projects like bikeways and pathways.
And I fought against the sale of public open spaces that should be everyone’s to enjoy, and pushed for new parks and natural areas.
If you see a theme running through those accomplishments, you're right:
Once you invest in people and a truly healthy community, everybody wins.
Once you keep an eye on the bottom line and you sweat the details, there’s more room for the things that matter.
Once you realize that the issues facing our region – Jobs, housing, transportation, equity, and the environment – are all interconnected, you can craft better and more long term solutions.
I'm so proud of what I've helped accomplish at City Council, and just as proud of what my small businesses create for the people who work there and for the community we serve. Help me put my unique blend of experience to work for Metro District 2. What happens here matters.