Pendleton Mayor Phil Houk received the "Oregon Mayor's Leadership Award" at a statewide mayors' conference earlier this month. The presentation, which came as a surprise to Houk, happened at an Oregon Mayors Association gathering in Forest Grove.

"It's the highest honor for an Oregon mayor,"?Houk said.

Four past OMA presidents honored Houk - the current association president - with the award for his past leadership at both the city and state level. Houk's involvement has included the Oregon Mayors Association, the League of Oregon Cities and the Blue Mountain Community College board, among others. He's also been a Pendleton city councilor and mayor since 2004.

Pendleton hosted a statewide gathering of mayors last summer, which many of Houk's colleagues were impressed with, he said.

The award was also presented at the Pendleton City Council's most recent meeting last week. Houk expressed gratitude both then and Thursday.

"I thought it was a true honor being recognized by my peers,"?he said. "It is also an honor to Pendleton, because of all the volunteerism that occurs in Pendleton."

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