BEAVERTON, Ore. – Today, longstanding community volunteer and civic leader Forrest Soth passed away after a brief illness. Soth was 93 years old.
“It’s a very sad day for our community,” said Mayor Doyle. “Forrest accomplished many wonderful things for our city. His enduring advocacy for Beaverton was astounding. He was a role model to all generations. The city will never forget his years of service, leadership and compassion.”
To recognize Soth’s years of dependable leadership for the city, going back 38 years, Mayor Denny Doyle has declared Jan. 8 as Forrest Soth Day.
Soth began his community involvement in 1977 when he was appointed to the Planning Commission and the city’s Board of Design Review. Soth has been a strong leader for Beaverton ever since serving as a City Councilor from 1981 to 2004. In 1999, the City Council chamber was named after Soth for his dedication and instrumental leadership (specifically with the 911 system.) In 2010, he was named the city’s Honorary Historian.
Soth’s accomplishments as a Beaverton City Councilor included:• Serving on the Urban Renewal Board from 1981 until the 1990s, completing eight projects that the community enjoys today (including eight through streets, four parking lots and an interconnected traffic signal system for the urban renewal area.)• Helping direct the 911 system since it started evolving in the 1980s.• Attending approximately 840 City Council meetings (missing only five.)Soth had served on the Regional Water Providers Consortium (RWPC) since its inception in 1997. From February 2008 to June 2011, he served as Consortium Chair. In addition, he served on the Executive Committee from 2001 until September 2011.
Starting in 1987, Soth served as a representative of the city of Beaverton (one of three Beaverton Commissioners) to the Joint Water Commission (JWC). In 1994, he joined the Barney Reservoir Joint Ownership Commission as one of three Beaverton commissioners. Soth was a leader on both commissions, serving as chair for four separate years from 1999 to 2012. During that time, the two commissions had major accomplishments, including:
• Raising the dam at Barney Reservoir to increase its storage capacity from 4,000 to 20,000 acre feet which was completed in 1999.• Expanding JWC’s capabilities through the construction of a new 12-mile, 72-inch diameter North Transmission Line.• Expanding the JWC water treatment and construction of a 20 million gallon finished water reservoir in 2006.• Developing and implementing JWC’s plans to improve the resiliency of the water treatment plant against vulnerabilities, including earthquakes, equipment failures, and security issues.
Soth stepped down from his seats on the JWC and the Barney Commission in October 2012.
Many city staff and members of the Consortium recognized Soth as a visionary leader. He has been described as diplomatic, professional and a loyal city of Beaverton representative.
A funeral will be held at St. Matthew Lutheran Church (10390 SW Canyon Road), the date and time are to be determined. Donations can be made to St. Matthew Lutheran Church Memorial Fund. Soth has donated his body to the Oregon Health and Science University for research. Soth’s son, Phil Soth, and his family will attend the Jan. 8 City Council meeting in his honor.
ABOUT BEAVERTON Beaverton enjoys one of the most diverse populations among Oregon cities. Most recently, the city was awarded the 2012 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. It was one of just four cities of its size recently recognized as a "Smarter City" energy leader by the Natural Resources Defense Council and one of the 100 Best Places to Live in America by Money magazine. In addition, Beaverton has been named one of the safest cities in the Pacific Northwest for three consecutive years, as one of the best places to raise kids by BusinessWeek magazine, an All-America City finalist, as one of the top 25 Suburbs for Retirement by Forbes.com, one of the 100 Best Walking Cities in America by Prevention magazine, the Recycler of the Year from the Association of Oregon Recyclers, a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, a Bronze Award Bicycle Friendly Community designation by the League of American Bicyclists and as one of the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Communities, the Beaverton Community Vision program was named Public Involvement Project of the Year—Best Planning Project by the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Cascade Chapter. For more information, visit BeavertonOregon.gov or follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CityofBeaverton.