After a nail-biting two weeks, the election for Metro president has finally been called: Bob Stacey conceded to Tom Hughes on Friday, November 12. Hand ballot-counting had put Hughes ahead by a stubborn 1,000 votes. Stacey and Hughes were competing for the influential position—the figurehead for land use and development policy in the Portland region—vacated by outgoing-President David Bragdon. Hughes is the more conservative of the two Democrats, and was backed by business groups. Meanwhile many environmental organizations funded Stacey's campaign. Hughes credited his win in part to a rise in suburban populations and says one of the first things he'll do in office is involve Metro in discussions about how to improve the economies of Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties. "A good deal of the business community around the country sees us as a quirky place that just isn't very good to do business," says Hughes. "And that's just not true." SARAH MIRK

Backtracking after outrage and confusion over this year's first-ever plan to have residents pay for leaf removal, last week Mayor Sam Adams' transportation bureau announced a newly simplified system in which residents who don't want to pay the fee ($15-65) can opt out. Maybe you've heard of it? It's called the honor system. Whether you're claiming you already removed leaves yourself or that you don't have any trees in front of your house, all you have to do is give the city one of a handful of approved excuses—no proof required. (There is an affidavit, but officials won't be asking many questions.) The new fee was approved this spring to raise $800,000 to help balance the city's budget. Officials, promising a better rollout of the fee next year, acknowledge that target now appears unlikely, although they have no guess yet as to how much they might fall short. DENIS C. THERIAULT