SOREL CEO meets with city leaders over safety issues

Boyle said more needs to be done to make Portland safer

Columbia and SOREL CEO Tim Boyle on November 14, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Columbia and SOREL CEO Tim Boyle met with Portland city leaders after writing a column in the Oregonian about safety concerns near SOREL’s downtown office.

Boyle wrote that employees are often “hassled, harassed and threatened” outside headquarters on SW Broadway and Taylor, where it relocated just last year.

A SOREL sportswear display at the Columbia store in downtown Portland. (KOIN)

In the meeting, Boyle and Mayor Ted Wheeler, along with other city officials, discussed what can be done to not only protect his employees, but everyone who works and lives in the area.

“I just want folks to know how much we love Portland,” Boyle told KOIN 6 News. “We want to be here and we want to have a place we can all be proud of, but when it starts to impact the health and safety of our employees, we have to raise our hands and say ‘hey we have a problem.'”

Boyle said he’s a fan of Wheeler and that “the mayor has his heart in the right place but the mayor needs more help.”

He reiterated what he said in the Oregonian column about the city needing more police officers.

“We can see real action as it relates to additional police officers that can help enforce the laws,” Boyle said.

The city council must agree as it recently approved the over-hiring of 85 new officers. But Boyle thinks more needs to be done to address the larger concerns in order to keep SOREL in Portland.

“Homeless issues — they are mental health issues, they are drug and alcohol use,” Boyle said. “Those all exist in our place of business, but when it starts to impact the safety of our employees, that’s when we have to say, ‘Hey this is a deal breaker.'”

Boyle plans to make a final decision about whether or not to relocate the SOREL headquarters in the next few months.