Mayor's Corner 2018
From picnics in the park with music and movies, to ukulele lessons at the library – it has been a terrific summer in Tigard. It’s also been one of the city’s busiest.
Our maintenance crews have been taking advantage of the sunny weather to improve our roads and test water quality, planning and restoring trails, keeping communities safe and talking with partners about how we want to grow as a region.
I am proud to work with a passionate group of people that work hard to keep our city running smoothly and efficiently.
As we enter the fall season, you will see some changes in city operations. Reductions have been made to General Fund programs and services that reflect the funding priorities of taxpayers.
The Tigard-Tualatin School District will have two instead of four police resource officers serving students and parents. Library programs and book purchases have been reduced and community events such as the Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fest events might be canceled.
It is hard to see these changes take place, but I am committed to being accountable to the budget set by Tigard residents. I am also committed to finding ways to keep the important projects, already underway, moving forward and to realizing our strategic vision of becoming “the most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.”
Here are some of the important projects that are happening with the help of innovative funding resources:
- Fanno Creek Remeander
Jointly funded by Clean Water Services, the city’s Parks and Capital Fund and the Parks and Recreation Fee. The project will reduce erosion, improve water quality and increase bike and pedestrian safety.
- Slurry Seal Application
The Street Maintenance Fee, paid through your utility bill, funds important projects like this summer’s slurry seal application. This is an affordable and effective way to improve and extend the life of city streets that are showing signs of wear and tear from the weather and traffic.
- Wall Street Improvement Project
Funded through federal, regional, and state grants, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici attended the ceremonial groundbreaking. The project will improve streets and sidewalks and update underground utilities paving the way for new development, job growth and access to new development opportunities.
The one thing that won’t change in Tigard is the need for your input. It is essential for making decisions about the city’s programs and services. Add your voice to the conversation by registering for our new engagement tool, https://www.engage.tigard-or.gov/.
My next Fireside Chat is on Thursday, Sept. 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee on Main Street. I hope to see you there.
My September quote of the month is by Marvin Phillips, “The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”
What a summer so far — the Balloon Festival, Taste of Tigard, Old Fashioned Fourth of July and Middle of Millen Drive Independence Day Parade! Thanks to all of the hardworking community members who volunteered at these fantastic events.
We also kicked off a new fiscal year on July 1. I commend the Budget Committee and City Council members for adopting a fiscally responsible 2018-2019 budget. Our work is not done. We have a responsibility to explain how you will be impacted by the 9.4 percent budget reductions, which became necessary after the proposed local option levy did not pass.
In the spirit of the city’s new “Why Wednesday’” feature, I want to address a few of the questions received about the city’s budget challenges.
Why does the city continue to offer free community events?
Tigard’s Parks and Recreation program provides affordable opportunities for people to get out and enjoy fun, healthy activities in the city’s beautiful parks and open spaces. Free events like Movies in the Park and the upcoming concert at Cook Park, offer community members safe and fun activities to connect with each other in the places we all value.
Budget constraints required that we reduce the number of events and staff supporting Parks and Recreation this year, and it is proposed that the entire program be eliminated in the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2019.
Until that time, we are happy to be able to offer the community opportunities to enjoy movies, music and other fun activities with the limited programming remaining this year. For more information about upcoming community events visit Tigard Parks and Recreation.
Why is the city hiring after reducing the budget?
We are committed to making fiscally sound decisions about the city’s programs, services and staff, while maintaining the essential services that keep our community safe and healthy. The reduced General Fund budget means the city’s leadership team must carefully consider decisions about when to fill vacancies.
Some of the positions are funded through other resources. For example, a utility worker in our Water Division is paid through the city’s Water Fund, not General Fund.
Why did the city go ahead with slurry seal application when we are cutting school resource officers?
Ensuring our roads are safe and accessible for people to travel and providing resources to our schools to protect students are both priorities for the city, but rely on different funding sources.
Slurry sealing, which is an affordable method for maintaining residential streets that tend to deteriorate due to weather conditions that wear down the pavement over time, is funded through the street maintenance fee that appears on your monthly utility bill.
Tigard Police school resource officers are funded through the city’s General Fund, which was reduced when the levy failed to pass.
Again, it is important that residents share their ideas and provide feedback on the important decisions made about the city’s resources and funding.
I hope you will share your questions and concerns about the city’s budget through our new “Why Wednesday” feature, or through other city events and public forums.
My next Fireside Chat is on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee on Main Street. I hope to see you there.
My August quote of the month is by Thomas Huxley, “Economy does not lie in sparing money, but in spending it wisely.”
Independence Day: Brought to Us by People Working Together
This July, as we celebrate our country’s independence, it’s important to remember that America was founded as an experiment. At the time, the idea of creating a society governed by ordinary citizens was audacious … and an act of treason. We fought a war for this experiment; people lost their homes, their loved ones and their lives protecting and defending the ideals of equality, liberty, justice and opportunity for all.
Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, later wrote, "The flames kindled on the 4th of July, 1776, have spread across too much of the globe to be extinguished.” Sadly, these days we are seeing some of those flames grow dim. American voter turnout ranks near the bottom among democratic nations — in general, fewer than half of our citizens actually take advantage of their right to vote.
Civic engagement has never been easy. In the period leading up to the American Revolutionary War, about 20 percent of the colonists remained loyal to the British monarchy, and public debates about allegiance, freedom and taxes were common. After the war there was even more public discourse about what form the new government should take. People got involved.
It may not be easy, but civic engagement isn’t that hard, either. It can be as simple as knocking on your neighbor’s door and introducing yourself or attending a City Council meeting; for greater involvement, you could volunteer for one of Tigard’s boards or committees, which are advisory to the council and assist in forming policy and making law. You could even run for office.
When citizens are involved and engaged, their lives and communities are improved and enriched.
July is a time for family gatherings and outings. Whether it is your family reunion, a backyard barbecue, a neighborhood picnic or parade, I hope these bring you joy and memories that will last a lifetime. Speaking of parades, if your neighborhood doesn’t have one, come down to Millen Drive near Tigard High School for a 4 p.m. start.
If you don’t have plans for the Fourth, come on down to Tigard High School for the “Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration.” It is a family event featuring fireworks, live music, kids’ games, police and fire vehicles and a concession stand offering light snacks for sale. Gates open at 6 p.m. with fireworks at dusk.
One other way to meet new people and get more involved in the Tigard community is to come to my next Fireside Chat, which will be held on Thursday, July 5, at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main St.), from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
My quote of the month for July is by George Bernard Shaw, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
Leadership Tigard Inspires Rising Leaders
In May I had the opportunity to speak at the graduation ceremony for Leadership Tigard, the Tigard Chamber of Commerce’s nine-month program designed to inspire/create rising leaders in our community. I love this program…and particularly attending the graduation, where the class members talk about what they learned and what’s ahead.
Some of the best advice I ever received was that if you want to succeed and get ahead in life, the first step is showing up. The members of Leadership Tigard don’t just show up, they step up and start working on projects to help improve our community right away. So congratulations to all who participated in Leadership Tigard 2018, and if you’re interested in being part of Leadership Tigard, check out the Tigard Chamber’s website for information on next year’s class.
And now we’re into June, with kids out of school and the promise of sunshine and warm weather. Better weather means more folks of all ages will be out and about in our parks and on our trails — so please be courteous and drive extra cautiously during this time.
Summertime weather conditions are also ideal for paving and slurry sealing our roads to repair damage and help preserve and prolong their useful life. While the city tries to minimize the impact of this work on citizens and businesses, some disruption is inevitable. If you live or work along these routes, you will be notified about the work in advance and, on the day work is scheduled, you’ll be asked to clear vehicles and other objects from the street. Drivers will also be advised to use alternate routes while paving work is in progress.
My next Fireside Chat will be on Thursday, June 14, at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main St.). I hope you’ll stop by to say hello and let me know what’s on your mind!
My June quote of the month is by Brian Tracy, “Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.”
Balancing the Budget to Fund our Future
Last December the city started putting together its budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2018. In April we began our Budget Committee meetings, which are all open to the public. The Budget Committee is responsible for reviewing and deliberating on the proposed budget.
In May, after three more public meetings, the Budget Committee will send an approved budget to City Council for adoption. The end result is a budget that will guide our decisions for the coming fiscal year, and which is available for anyone to review on both our website and in hardcopy at our library and City Hall.
- As you probably know, property taxes are the primary revenue source for the General Fund, which funds our police department, parks and recreation, library services, and city administration services. Some people are surprised to learn that Tigard collects roughly $15.4 million annually in property taxes for these operations. For perspective, it costs approximately $17.3 million each year to run our police department.
I encourage you to learn more about how our budget is developed, and to participate in the process. There are still three Budget Committee meetings you can attend—May 7, May 21 and May 29 (if needed). All meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and are held in the in the Public Works Auditorium, 8777 SW Burnham St., Tigard.
If you have questions or comments about Tigard’s budget—or any other topic—I will be happy to talk with you at one of my upcoming Fireside Chats at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main St., Tigard). There will be one on May 3 and another on June 7, both will start at 6:30 p.m. and go to 8:30 p.m.
My quote of the month for May is “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”—George Bernard Shaw
After a cold, wet and rather dreary winter, I, for one, am grateful that spring is finally here—our community has so much to celebrate!
This month the Tigard Public Library will honor its 250+ volunteers at the annual Volunteer Recognition Event on April 22. This event is only open to volunteers, but you can show your appreciation for their work when you see them throughout the library. You’ll find volunteers shelving returned books, pulling patron requests, greeting visitors at our welcome desk and helping patrons who need one-on-one tech support. (Fun Fact: Volunteers donate 16,000+ hours to the Tigard Public Library every year!)
In May we’ll have Public Works Day. While this event is ostensibly for kids, I know there are a number of adults who appreciate the great work our Public Works crews do to keep our streets safe during winter weather events, maintain our parks and trails and much more. I hope you’ll all come out to the Tigard Public Library parking lot on Saturday, May 19, and take the opportunity to say hello to our crew members… and maybe even sit in a backhoe.
In June it’s time for seconds! We’ll have the second Tigard Police Department Open House, with opportunities to meet Chief Kathy McAlpine and many of our officers and learn about their important work throughout our community—in schools, on our streets, in partnership with other law enforcement agencies; see equipment displays and demonstrations, and tour our facilities. That same day, a little further down SW Burnham Street, we’ll also have our second Taste of Tigard, which celebrates our local restaurants and food entrepreneurs and Tigard’s continuing economic development efforts.
And throughout the summer our Recreation Program is offering a variety of camps for younger Tigardians. There are sports and fitness activities, nature and outdoor adventures, and many classes focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) for all age levels.
These classes and programs are all great, but what makes our recreation programs even better is that we have scholarships available to help those in need who want to participate—because play is for everyone. These scholarships can cover up to 75 percent of a program’s cost and are available throughout the year. You can learn more about scholarships, as well as all our classes, programs and summer camps, at: www.tigard-or.gov/recreation.
My next Fireside Chat will be on Thursday, April 5, at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main Street, Tigard). If you have questions, comments or suggestions, I will be happy to talk with you and make sure you get the answers.
My quote of the month is by Winston Churchill, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
In February the Tigard City Council voted to place an operating and capital levy on the May 2018 ballot. A local option levy is a tool local governments may use to ask voters to increase funding for general purposes such as public safety, parks maintenance or library services; local option levies are temporary and can be requested for a maximum of five years at a time.
Council has been considering this matter for the past year. Last June they formed a citizen-lead Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force to take an in-depth look at the city’s financial situation, and in December the 15 members of that task force unanimously recommended that council pursue a local option levy. If passed the levy funds would be used to:
- Reduce police emergency response times;
- Maintain current staffing levels involved in community policing and crime prevention;
- Provide maintenance for playgrounds, sports fields and trails;
- Maintain current program schedules at the Library.
In addition, accountability of funds would be provided through annual performance and efficiency audits and an oversight committee.
There is specific information on the levy measure, including how much, what the funds would go toward if the levy passes and what would happen if the levy does not pass. Visit our website: www.tigard-or.gov/tigard_levy.
My next two Fireside Chats will be on March 1 and April 5 at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main Street, Tigard). If you have questions or comments about the levy—or any other topic—I will be happy to talk with you and make sure you get the answers.
My quote of the month comes from former Supreme Court Chief Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., “We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.”
I first started addressing the fact that our City Council would be looking at the possibility of a local option levy to generate more revenue for the city’s General Fund last April. As you know, our General Fund supports core services like the Tigard Police Department, parks maintenance work, recreation programs and the Tigard Public Library.
Over the past 10 months our staff and elected officials have worked hard to help people from throughout the city understand our budgeting processes and the challenges we’re facing. To get input about what’s important to you we’ve conducted surveys; held council outreach events, public meetings, informal gatherings like ice cream socials and Budgets & Brews; and sought input from the citizen-led Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force. In December 2017, the 17 members of that task force unanimously recommended that the council refer a levy that would bolster Tigard's General Fund revenues.
Now we’re down to the wire. On Feb. 6, the City Council will hear proposals from the city manager about both the amount of the proposed levy and what could/should be included in it. Later in the month the council will decide about referring a levy so Tigard residents can vote on what kind of future they want for their city. These are important issues that directly affect every person living in Tigard. Whether you own a home or business, or rent, these meetings will shape the quality of life we have here for at least the next five years, so I encourage you to attend.
Also, I invite you to come to my upcoming State of the City address, Tigard On!, which will be held at the Broadway Rose Theatre (12850 SW Grant Ave.) on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are free but seating is limited, so don’t throw away your shot to hear Tigard High School’s Choralation (and me!) perform in this Hamilton-themed event. You can register for tickets here.
My February quote of the month is by George Pataki, “This budget reflects a choice—not an easy choice, but the right choice. And when you think about it, the only choice. The choice to take the responsible, prudent path to fiscal stability, economic growth and opportunity.”
I love how Tigard is a community that stands together, and, as I reflect on the past year, I realize how much we have accomplished by listening and working together.
- After gathering community input and conducting a nationwide search we brought on our new Police Chief, Kathy McAlpine, who was a major driver behind one of our most successful community events—the Tigard Police Department Open House.
- Thanks to partnerships with schools, parents and teachers, we had more than 1,500 students participate in our grant-funded Safe Routes to School programs to help make walking and biking to schools easier, safer and more fun.
- Working with the Tigard Chamber Leadership Tigard Class of 2017 and Washington County Project Homeless Connect, we helped bring basic services to those in need through a Project Homeless Connect event in Tigard.
- In November, our City Council passed a Statement of Unity Resolution proclaiming Tigard as a welcoming community.
These are just a few examples of how well partnerships with the public and other agencies have helped Tigard. In 2017 we also focused on increasing engagement with residents through a number of events, including:
- A Community Conversation on Affordable Housing,
- Tigard Street Heritage Trail visioning,
- Council Outreach events and Mayor Fireside Chats,
- Latino Festival and Hispanic Open House,
- Budget and Brews events to help residents learn more about Tigard’s budget, and
- Neighborhood Ice Cream Socials.
Looking to 2018, we have a lot of important work ahead. We’re putting together our budget and focusing on what we need to do to ensure we maintain our core services and provide a safe community with a sound future. As I’ve said, this will take a lot of thought, effort and input from everyone—so please be a part of this conversation. Attend a Council meeting, email the Council at CouncilMail@tigard-or.gov or attend one of my upcoming Fireside Chats. Public participation is vital to making Tigard the best community for everyone.
My next Fireside Chat is on Jan. 4, at Symposium Coffee, at 6:30 p.m. In February you are all invited to Tigard On!, my annual State of the City event, which will be held on Feb. 7, at 6 p.m., at the Broadway Rose Theater. Watch our website for details.
My January quote is by Idowu Koyenikan, “There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.” As we enter the New Year, I look forward to working with (and for) all of you!
Mayor's Corner 2017
Message from the Mayor
On Nov. 7, the City Council held a joint meeting with the Budget Committee on the city’s proposed budget approach for the upcoming fiscal year. The meeting was a wake-up call to many about Tigard’s future. It detailed how the gap between the city’s revenues and expenses grows each year, and that this gap will result in a 30 percent decline in service levels over the next 10 years if we stay on our current path.
This didn’t happen overnight. Our city’s staff has been dealing with the gap for years. As our population grows, demands on—and for—city services increase, and Tigard’s dedicated employees have been doing everything they can to meet our residents’ needs and expectations—literally doing more with less. This is not sustainable, and we must take action.
The budget approach proposed at the November meeting includes identifying reductions to programs in the 2018-‘19 budget and completing those reductions with the adoption of the 2019-‘20 budget. This will likely reduce staffing levels and services in every general fund department—the largest of which are police, library, community development, capital projects and city administration.
At the same time, staff and a citizen-led task force are also working on a possible solution: a local option levy that could maintain or even enhance city services. A local option levy is a property tax increase that needs to be approved by voters every five years. My hope is the reductions can be avoided by referring a well thought-out local option levy to Tigard voters in May 2018.
This is a difficult discussion and I want you to have access to all the information we have at the city.
A recap of the Nov. 7 meeting is available on our website, and the video is available on TVCTV’s website. For even more information and updates, and opportunities to ask your questions and share your thoughts, I invite you to:
- Attend City Council meetings—the Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force will be presenting at the meeting on Dec. 12;
- Review materials presented at the Levy Bond Task Force;
- Talk to me at my monthly Fireside Chat on Dec. 14 at Symposium Coffee;
- Email me and the entire City Council at CouncilMail@tigard-or.gov
Why not consider adding a city speaker on this topic at your next homeowners’ association, school PSO, fraternal, business, nonprofit or other kind of meeting? Arrange a speaker by contacting our communications manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My next Fireside Chat will be on Thursday, Dec. 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St. I hope you’ll stop by to share your thoughts.
My quote of the month for December is by Donald Westlake, “As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation and people to whom we are worth the same.”
Message from the Mayor
When I walk around Tigard in the fall—with the brisk air and colorful trees—I am reminded of why my family, like many others, has stayed here over the years. There’s so much to enjoy. Parks, trails, library…Tigard’s a great place for families to grow and age; it’s close to everything, but not a big city.
And when I drive around Tigard, I notice other things: new neighborhoods, more people...and I am reminded that we are a growing city and our increasing population is placing more demands on amenities like our parks and key city services like police.
Then I start to think like an accountant. I know Tigard made a lot of deep cuts in the recession, but the city’s revenues still don’t keep pace with these demands, which means that soon we will need to cut services to preserve core functions.
Tigard’s population is about 50,000, and we continue to grow by almost 2 percent each year because people want and enjoy the quality of life here. In truth, we should be making some modest improvements to maintain this quality of life, not cutting services. We need more sidewalks, more police officers (we still have the same number of officers we had nine years ago!), better maintenance and facilities in all of our parks.
If we don’t take care of what we have now, the quality of our community will decline. This is our city. These are the things we value. We have to decide what kind of future we want for ourselves and our children, and what we are willing to pay—or give up—to get there.
The next Fireside Chat will hosted by Council President Jason Snider on Thursday, Nov. 2, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Starbucks in the Tigard Marketplace (13560 SW Pacific Highway). Please note the new location! I hope you’ll stop by to share your thoughts with him.
My quote of the month for November is by John Burroughs, “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.”
Message from the Mayor
Planning for a Sound Future
I want to give a shout out to our Tigard staff and volunteers. These are the people who keep our city safe and sound every day. They are patrolling our streets, maintaining our parks, serving patrons at our library, ensuring our water and sewer systems are functioning properly, working with our community partners like local businesses and non-profits, connecting with our residents, serving on boards and committees, etc. There is so much they do every day—and while most people don’t notice this work being done, they would definitely notice if it wasn’t.
The day-to-day work to maintain Tigard—or any city, for that matter—is exactly that. It is every day; no matter what. And, as I said last month, we do this work because it is part of who we are: public servants.
We all need and deserve a city that is efficient, effective and answers to the people who pay for it. You have told us—in survey after survey—you appreciate and want us maintain the current quality of life here in Tigard. So we understand that we need to ensure that our streets, parks, buildings and public spaces are safe places for everyone. We also know we need to do it in a smart, strategic manner that looks at the long-term.
This is why we formed the Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force this summer—to get input from the people who live and work here in Tigard to help us set priorities, develop a plan of action and keep us accountable for results.
It won’t happen overnight, and it can’t happen without some changes. The economy is growing, but so are the demands on our systems and amenities like parks, trails and public programs. It will take hard work and there will be challenges for everyone, but the rewards will be in having a city that is reliable, responsible and resilient.
My next Fireside Chat will be on Thursday, Oct. 5, at Symposium Coffee (12345 Main St.) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
My quote of the month for October is by Walt Disney: “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
Message from the Mayor
Doing Good for the People We Serve
No one I know works in local government because they want to feel good; we work in local government because we want to do good for the people we serve every day. Often these are the same people we see at school functions, out along our trails, in restaurants or coffee shops, when we are getting groceries, at our kids’ activities ... but not always.
We also serve people who live here that we don’t necessarily see every day—people who are homebound by illness or injury; people who are homeless or at risk of becoming so; people with language or cultural differences that may prevent them from fully participating; people who are working two or three jobs to make enough money to feed their families and pay the rent and don’t have the time, energy or resources to do anything more.
We, your elected representatives and city staff, do our best to serve the people of Tigard by providing opportunities for more and better interactions between all members of our community—with the belief that, by doing so, people can be more involved, be happy, be more willing to help someone when there is a need and be inspired to keep our city a positive, pleasant place to live.
That is the difference between providing what is necessary for survival (clean, safe drinking water; a responsive police force; a sanitary sewer system to protect water quality and public health) and providing what is necessary for a society (educational opportunities; building standards and safety codes; recreational and cultural pursuits). Survival is about existing; society is about bringing people together and helping them grow by blending the ideals of liberty, equality and solidarity with a necessary concern for the environment and the legacy we leave to future generations.
Throughout the summer we have been presenting information and hosting discussions about Tigard’s budget situation because we want to know what matters most to you and what you want us to bear in mind as we consider different options for funding our future.
I appreciate that so many of you are making the decision to participate, asking the hard questions and letting us know what you really think. Is it always pleasant to hear? No. Is it always necessary for us to invite and listen to these comments? Most certainly, so please do not stop. Let your elected officials know how you feel by attending and speaking up council meetings, getting involved in committees, sending emails, etc. Thoughtful, polite discourse and sharing ideas for solutions are powerful change agents.
You can certainly let me know what’s on your mind by coming to my next Fireside Chat, which will be at Symposium Coffee (12345 Main St.) on Sept. 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
My September quote of the month is by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew: “The budget is not just a collection of numbers, but an expression of our values and aspirations.”
Message from the Mayor
Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force Dives In
On July 20, we had the first meeting of our new Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force. This is a group of Tigard residents and business owners who will advise the Council about future funding for city services and facilities.
Theirs is no easy task. At their first meeting, these 18 volunteers (representing a wide-range of interests and backgrounds in the Tigard community) got a briefing on the city’s budget; a history lesson about the effects of Oregon property tax measures 5, 47, and 50; and a look at our future with the General Fund forecast. Going forward they will take a deeper dive into Understanding City Finances (Aug. 17) and Community Priorities (Sept. 21). On Oct. 19, the task force will host an open house to listen to what you have to say about city services and service levels.
These are serious topics, and the conversations, both within the task force and with other Tigard residents, will undoubtedly be lively—which is exactly what we want. One of the great things about dealing with hard issues like funding city services at a local level is that we all have the opportunity to really listen to each other and take the time to understand all sides.
By the way, all of the task force’s meetings are open to the public—they are held on the third Thursday of each month at City Hall at 6 p.m. If you cannot attend but want to stay informed, and I sincerely hope you will, the task force presentations are available on the city’s website http://www.tigard-or.gov/funding_future.
Tigard is privileged to have a strong and knowledgeable group of devoted volunteers serving on our various boards, committees and commissions. They do a lot to help us maintain the quality of life in our community. My respect and admiration for the people who give their time and talents to help our city every day continues to grow.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on Thursday, Aug. 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My August quote of the month is by Jane Goodall, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Message from the Mayor
Funding of City Services
The property taxes you pay each year help to fund the day-to-day costs of running your city… and are the heart of our budget. They make up about 49 percent of our total appropriations each year, and cover police, library, community events, infrastructure and more.
Here in Tigard our permanent operating tax rate is $2.51 per $1,000 of assessed value. It is the second lowest among the surrounding cities in Washington County. But did you know that only about 17 percent of your property taxes go to the City of Tigard? It is true. The rest of the money goes to other vital community services like our schools, Washington County government services (public safety, road improvements, libraries, elections, public health, etc.), and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
Believe me, there is a certain amount of sticker shock when I look at my own property tax bill each year. This, then, leads to some reflection of where we live and that we have excellent schools, a police department that keeps us safe and provides a variety of important community services, beautiful parks and trails, a great library, and events to help us connect and make Tigard a great community.
And speaking of events… this summer we have a lot of fun activities scheduled, like Pop-Up in the Parks every Wednesday in July and Movies in the Park coming in August. There will also be a series of get-togethers we are calling Budget and Brews. These will be informal conversations—over coffee or other beverages—about city services, service delivery and funding sources; they are designed to open a dialogue about sustainable solutions for our budget situation.
You will find the Budget and Brews schedule on our website, and I hope you will join us for one—or all—of these events!
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on July 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My July quote of the month is from B.F. Skinner, "Education is what survives when what we have learned has been forgotten."
Message from the Mayor
Outreach Begins on Funding of City Services
I am pleased to announce the city’s Budget Committee has approved the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Budget. It will be submitted to Council on June 13. The Budget Committee held multiple public meetings on the proposed budget and discussed how to position the city for ongoing financial challenges. The approved budget aligns with our commitment to remain a fiscally responsible city.
Here’s what is important to know about the approved budget:
- We are investing the small amount of available resources in select existing programs to maintain current service levels in those areas.
- We are committed to hearing from you to inform the city’s decision on whether to pursue a local option levy that would allow us to maintain our current level of services.
To date, we have administered two community surveys to engage more than 1,500 residents on the funding of city services.
We have only begun our public outreach efforts. City staff and elected officials will be available at community events such as the farmers markets, Festival of Balloons and Taste of Tigard, throughout the summer. For the full list of community events, visit www.tigard-or.gov/community/events. We hope you will take the time to talk with us at these events about what matters most to your quality of life in Tigard, as well as ask any questions you might have.
In addition to these efforts, we have formed a Levy and Bond Task Force to explore the advancement of voter-approved measures for city services and facilities. The Task Force is comprised of 18 Tigard residents that will meet throughout the summer to learn about and discuss city finances, how services are funded and community priorities in order to make recommendations to the City Council in October.
We will continue to add opportunities throughout the summer to meet you to discuss balancing the need to preserve what makes Tigard so great while charting a sustainable financial path.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on June 1, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My June quote of the month is by Thomas Jefferson, “We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”
Message from the Mayor
Planning Wisely for Future Challenges
We have officially kicked off budget season! The Budget Committee had two meetings to begin reviewing the proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. The Budget Committee consists of members of the City Council, five appointed citizens at large and one alternate, and myself. A special thanks to Stephanie Veal, Thomas Schweizer, Clifford Rone, William Ludwig, Nathan Rix and Rajendra Patel for volunteering their time to ensure the health of Tigard’s financial future.
The Budget Committee is responsible for deliberating on the proposed budget submitted by the City Manager and for sending the approved budget to the City Council for final adoption.
Through the budgeting process, the City of Tigard staff work hard to plan and budget for our community’s future. From January to April, the Finance Department and the City Manager work collaboratively with all city departments to prepare a proposed budget for Budget Committee review. The end result of our budget process is a plan that guides how we spend every penny of a roughly $137 million budget.
I am proud of the diligence the city applies to maximizing the value of your taxpayer dollars. This has allowed us to do our best to maintain services levels, but has also meant deferring repairs and system investments. This is not a financial path we can continue to sustain any longer.
The city’s average revenues only increase by 3.5 percent annually and, for a city our size, expenses for general services grow at an average of about 4 percent annually. Our general fund resources erode every year, meaning slowly eroding city service levels.
As we plan for the future of our community, the City Council will explore options for correcting the imbalance between resources and expenditures. One possibility is a voter-approved local-option levy to maintain funding for day-to-day city services. The City Council has decided to create a Tigard Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force to advise us on whether or not to pursue a levy, as well as the general scope of the levy. Be sure to apply!
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” on Thursday, May 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St. Joining me this month is new Police Chief Kathy McAlpine.
My May quote of the month is by Dwight D. Eisenhower “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”
Message from the Mayor
Our Challenge Funding Essential Services
Tax season may not be your favorite time of year, but for me it is the busiest season. As many of you may know, I am a certified public accountant and work with people every day to help them plan for their financial future.
In the same way families plan their financial future, the City of Tigard is in the process of planning and budgeting for its future. And, like you, when we set the city budget, we need to balance the community’s priorities and needs. Our city is growing, but our income is not growing at the same rate, which makes the budgeting process more difficult every year.
Our infrastructure is aging, and the demand for city services, such as street improvements or hiring more police officers, is increasing at a rate faster than the revenue we receive from funding sources, such as property taxes and developer fees. This means that the city is consistently challenged to maintain our current levels of service.
Though you may not notice it now, Tigard’s day-to-day service levels are steadily declining. If we continue on our current financial path, this erosion will become more and more evident.
This is why one of our City Council goals is to explore the possibility of a local option levy to maintain funding for core city services. In the coming months, we will continue to educate ourselves on the community’s needs. Along the way, I will do my best to explain how city services are funded as well as possible outcomes of bringing a local option levy to you, our voters. Stay tuned.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on Thursday, April 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My April quote of the month is by Albert Einstein on filing tax returns, “This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”
Our 2017 Two-Year City Council Goals were a little late in coming this year due to the ice and snow. They include: 1) Advance a local option levy to maintain funding for core services, 2) Expand recreation opportunities, 3) Make downtown a place where people want to be, 4) Annex islands, 5) Implement the Triangle Strategic Plan, and 6) Study transit development along the Southwest Corridor.
“If I Were Mayor, I would … .” Please go to our website and learn about the 2017 Student Contest for grades 4 to 12. Prizes at the city and state level are being awarded in three different age groups and categories.
Thank you to the 250 citizens who came out to hear my State of the City address in February. If you were unable to attend and would like to see a video of it, you can find it online.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” takes place on March 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My March quote of the month is by George S. Patton, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
I invite you to join us on the red carpet for Tigard’s 2017 State of the City event. Everyone is welcome. The program takes place on Feb. 8, at the Broadway Rose Theatre, from 6 to 8 p.m.
I hope you are staying warm and dry this winter. It has been quite a tough one for our road crews to keep your roads sanded, ice free and clear. Please thank them as they work 24/7 to make it safer for you to get around.
If you have not seen it yet, please check out the Tigard Parks & Rec Activity Guide. This new publication comes out quarterly to let you know what events are happening in and around our city.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on Feb. 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, at 12345 SW Main St.
My February quote of the month is by Heraclitus: “Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.”
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were filled with joy and glad tidings, sharing time, food and memories with family and friends.
I want to thank each and every one of you who volunteer for our city. It could be as a Police Cadet, library worker, serving on a commission or committee or picking up trash on the trails, you all help make Tigard “a place to call home.”
In November I traveled to Northern California for two conferences. The first one addressed water issues. Mayors from across the United States talked about water shortages, infrastructure and lobbying Congress to ensure that federal policies and regulations are limited and do not hinder local governments ability to serve their communities. The second conference focused on transportation, where elected officials and agencies from more than 30 states discussed roads, transit and ways to fund and lobby for increased priorities to improve this infrastructure.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on Jan. 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
Please join us for the “State of the City” on Feb. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Broadway Rose Theatre Co., located at 12850 SW Grant Ave., in Tigard. I will show a video that features highlights from 2016 and the goals for 2017.
My January quote of the month is by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Mayor's Corner 2016
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were filled with joy and glad tidings; sharing time, food and memories with family and friends.
It is hard to believe I have been in office for three years now. Time goes by so quickly nowadays. Being able to get out in the community and meet as many of Tigard’s more than 50,000 city residents as I can is my overwhelming joy, although I must confess the youth activities are my favorites by far.
I want to thank each and every one of you who volunteer for our city. Whether you serve as a police cadet, library worker, on a commission or committee, or just picking up trash on the trails, you all help make Tigard a place to call home.
Thanks to a generous donation from Comcast, I hope you will be able to join me for the "State of the City" on Feb. 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Indio Spirits (7272 SW Durham Road #100, Tigard, OR 97224). I will show a video we created that shares city highlights from 2015 and the goals for 2016.
Quote of the month by Brad Paisley: "Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one."
In January the Council sat down to review and update the city’s 2015-2016 goals. We set two-year goals last year, and we were proud to have accomplished quite a bit of work in the first year, including the groundbreaking in River Terrace and expanding opportunities to engage residents.
We will continue to work on plans for the Tigard Triangle, making downtown a place where people want to be and providing recreational opportunities for our citizens.
In addition to those important goals, we will continue to work on Pacific Highway congestion, the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership, the Southwest Corridor, future possible ballot measures and the city’s Strategic Plan. The council also discussed adding to our goals with the topics of homelessness and sustainability.
Upcoming items that you may want to follow include discussions about a street maintenance fee, parks utility fee, storm water runoff charges and a sidewalk infill program. Please continue to read the Cityscape, follow us on social media or the log onto the city’s website to find out more information about these and other topics.
Quote of the month by Socrates: “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”
It is time for the annual “If I were Mayor, I would …” student contest. The contest is open to students in grades 4 to 12. Prizes at the city and state level are being awarded in three different categories.
One of the City Council’s goals is to expand opportunities to engage people in the community. I would like to thank the citizens of Summerfield who came out to our Council Outreach session at the clubhouse on Jan. 28. More than 120 people attended. Your accolades and questions were much appreciated, and I hope you came away with a greater understanding of the workings of our city.
Thank you to the nearly 200 citizens that came out to hear my State of the City Address on Feb. 4 If you were unable to attend and would like to see a video of it, you can find it on the city’s YouTube page.
After taking February off for the State of the City, please join me for my next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” on Thursday, March 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Symposium Coffee on Main Street.
My March quote of the month is by Henry David Thoreau, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
Spring is finally here and it brings a number of new and exciting changes.
The best harbinger of spring is the opening of baseball season! Celebrate by attending Opening Day for Tigard Little League at Tigard High School (9000 SW Durham Road) on Saturday, April 2, at 9 a.m.
Go out to lunch. If you find yourself in the neighborhood of City Hall on Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. this month, consider buying lunch from Tigard’s Table, a food cart rotation that demonstrates the city’s updated food truck/cart policy. Maybe this new program could work at your place of business?
Budget season is here. I encourage residents to attend one, or all, of Tigard’s Budget Committee hearings on Wednesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m., in the Public Works Auditorium (8777 SW Burnham St.) and then on consecutive Monday nights: April 25, May 2 and if needed, May 9.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on April 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main St.).
My April quote of the month is by Anne Bradstreet, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
One of the reasons Tigard is such a desirable place to live is because of our amazing volunteers who strive to make our community the best it can be.
Recently I was able to attend the Tigard Public Library Volunteer Appreciation event. I was overwhelmed by the support that citizens (and canine therapy dogs) give this valuable public service. If you have not had a chance to visit, remember that the library has re-opened on Thursdays.
With spring in full swing, why not bring the family downtown for the 2016 Tigard Art Walk? It kicks off May 4 and features juried art displays in local downtown businesses, art on display and for sale in a pop up gallery space. Learn more or submit an application to be an artist.
One of my responsibilities is serving as a member of the SW Corridor Steering Committee. The group continues to meet and deliberate on mass transit routes and modes for future consideration. This is a massive undertaking, and a good way to stay informed is to subscribe to updates from Metro.
From my perspective, our neighborhoods are the living, breathing expression of community. Take a moment to visit your Neighborhood Network page. Learn something new or contribute to your page. It is just one way to strengthen your community connection.
My Next Fireside Chat is scheduled for Thursday, May 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main St.) in downtown. If you have never stopped by before, this is a great time to bring your ideas regarding the city to light. I look forward to meeting you.
My quote for this month is by Boris Pluskowski, “We exist as a community, yet we achieve as a team."
With June comes sunshine and schools letting out for the summer. Both of these attract more people to the streets and paths of Tigard. Please be courteous and drive extra cautiously during this time.
I would like to congratulate this year’s winners of the “If I Were Mayor” student contest. Mason Thomas and Lindsay Drango won the local contest and move forward to represent Tigard in the statewide contest. Keep your fingers crossed and view the winning submissions.
Most of you do not know what kind of lobbying the city does. We have been to Salem to propose our state agenda, and in April I was in Washington, DC to promote our federal agenda. Both agendas include requests for support for transportation funding, economic development infrastructure and brownfield clean-up grants.
The city recently learned that it has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the U.S. EPA for a brownfield clean-up of two parcels in downtown Tigard. Last year we were awarded over $1.5 million in federal, state and regional grants. I hope the other applications we have submitted are just as prosperous.
Art Walk on Main Street was a huge success, but if you have not been downtown lately, please stop by to support our local businesses.
My June quote of the month is by Dr. Seuss, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
July is a time for family gatherings and outings. Whether it’s your family reunion, a backyard barbecue, a neighborhood picnic or parade, I hope these events bring you joy and memories that will last a lifetime. Speaking of parades, if your neighborhood doesn’t have one, make plans to watch the Millen Drive parade near Tigard High School at 4 p.m. on July 4.
If you don’t have plans for the Fourth, head to Tigard High School for the “Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration”. It’s a family event featuring fireworks, live music, kids’ games, police and fire vehicles and a concession stand offering light snacks for sale. Gates open at 6 p.m. with fireworks at dusk.
July is also the month where most road projects in the city happen. Please drive carefully and respect the construction zones and help us keep workers safe this summer. To see where road construction is happening in the city, visit http://www.tigard-or.gov/community/construction.php.
Due to being out of town the holiday week, my next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” will be on Thursday July 14th, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee.
My July quote of the month is by Muhammad Ali, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
National Night Out encourages neighborhoods to host a function that will bring residents out and together. Some neighborhoods host a block party and some a cookout. Others are organizing a dessert potluck. Let’s all give crime and illegal drugs “a going-away party in Tigard” on Tuesday, August 2. Join your friends and neighbors and enjoy the great weather.
Want to meet the Mayor or one of your Councilors? Bring your family and join us for our “Cookout with the Council” on Thursday, August 11 at Cook Park, from 6 to 8 p.m.
In June I was able to attend the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors gathering. There were more than 200 mayors from cities around the nation in attendance. This year’s speakers included the Dalai Lama, Hilary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Dr. Judith Rodin and Lady Gaga. The most impactful speech was given by Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando. Informative topics included transportation, water, policing and education, just to name a few.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on Thursday, August 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My August quote of the month is by The Dalai Lama, “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
September is my favorite month of the year. The weather has cooled down a little, the rain usually does not affect us too much, the kids go back to school and high school and college football seasons get underway.
Every Friday night and most Saturdays, you can find me on a field watching the teams play. Tigard has four high school boundaries within city limits: Tigard, Tualatin, Southridge and Westside Christian. Go out and support your local team in football, volleyball, soccer or cross-country. They do appreciate it!
Please join us for the 2016 Family Fest with a Friday evening movie in the park, Saturday bike ride, fun run and downtown street fair, followed by a tour of Latin America. More information about the event can be found at www.tigard-or.gov/recreation/index.php.
The City of Tigard was incorporated on Sept. 11, 1961, and it has existed as a community since 1852, when Wilson Tigard and his family arrived from Arkansas. Originally, the area was called East Butte, then named Tigardville and finally shortened to Tigard. Please join me in wishing Tigard a happy 55th birthday, and celebrating “A Place to Call Home.”
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St. I will be out of town, so Jason Snider, your City Council president, will take my place.
My September quote of the month is by Jeffrey Benjamin: “You will never find the best when you are always looking for the worst.”
The Tigard City Council has put out three measures for this year’s general election. Also, there are two council seats up for election. Please read the measures and candidate statements carefully, and make an informed decision on each. Whether you feel voting is a right or a responsibility, please vote!
On Monday, Oct. 31, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Tigard Downtown Association will host its annual Trick-or-Treat Main Street. Bring your family downtown in costume and patronize local Tigard businesses and receive treats for your children. I handed out candy down there for years, and seeing all of the cute kids and original costumes makes me smile immensely.
Family Fest weekend was a huge success. I hope you were able to attend the Movie in the Park, Fun Run, Tour de Parks, Downtown Street Fair and new Tour of Latin America. All events were heavily attended and a great time was had by all who gathered for community fun. Thanks to all the volunteers who put on each of the events.
Thank you to everyone who came out for the last council outreach events at Cook Park and Summerfield. The hot dogs and lively discussion were really enjoyable.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on October 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My October quote of the month is by Abraham Lincoln, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Your ballots are due on Nov. 8, by 8 p.m. at a ballot drop box. Please vote! There are three city measures and two council positions on the ballot. Whether you feel voting is a right or a responsibility, the democratic process works best when we have the majority of the electorate involved.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada. It was originally celebrated as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.
Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated in a secular manner as well.
However you choose to celebrate, I hope it is enjoyable. Why not kick off your day with a walk. Join the Tigard Walks Turkey Traipse for an 8 a.m. walk through the city’s beautiful Bull Mountain Park at 13950 SW Alpine Crest Way.
I am honored to have been voted in by my fellow mayors as President-Elect of the Oregon Mayors Association for the year 2017.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” will be one week later this month because on the first Thursday I will be at a U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Task Force meeting. Please make plans to join me for the Fireside Chat on Nov. 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My November quote of the month is by W. Clement Stone “If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.”
Happy Holidays! Time is the most cherished commodity we have, and spending it with loved ones throughout the holiday imprints memories that we remember forever.
I would like to congratulate Jason Snider on his re-election and Tom Anderson on his election to the council for the next four years.
I would also like to thank Marland Henderson for his service to the council over the last eight years and before that, his service as a member of the Downtown Task Force and the Tigard Central Business District Association. The city is a better place for his knowledge and for his long-term advocacy of mental health, drug and alcohol addiction awareness issues.
I look forward to seeing you at Tree Lighting festivities set for Dec. 2, at 6:45 p.m. in the Ride Aid parking lot on Main Street, across from Liberty Park.
Falling leaves are still an issue, so mark your calendar for free leaf drop-off events at Cook Park, at the end of 92nd Avenue near Tigard High School. The last two events are on Saturdays, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Please be courteous to pedestrians by clearing wet and slippery fallen leaves from the sidewalk in front of your house—just make sure they do not get blown or raked into the street. It is against city code and contributes to flooding.
My next “Fireside Chat with the Mayor” is on Dec. 1, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee, 12345 SW Main St.
My December quote of the month is by Mother Teresa, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier