MAY 2017
Message from the Mayor
Mayor Cook

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.”
John L. Cook, Mayor 

Mayor's Corner 2017

APRIL 2017
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.”

March 2017
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.”

February 2017
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.”

January 2017
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

January 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."

February 2016
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.”

March 2016
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.”   

April 2016
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."

May 2016
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 blog 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."

June 2016
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 2016
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

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.”

August 2016
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 2016
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  

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.”

October 2016
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.”

November 2016
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.” 

December 2016
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

Here's how to communicate with your City Council:

  • In Person: Sign up for Citizen Communication @ Council Business Meetings (2 minutes allowed) Anyone wishing to speak on an agenda item should sign on the appropriate sign-up sheet(s) at the meeting. If no sheet is available, ask to be recognized by the Mayor at the beginning of that agenda item. Citizen Communication items are asked to be two minutes or less. Longer matters can be set for a future Agenda by contacting either the Mayor or the City Manager.  
  • Email: E-mail Mayor John Cook: Contact the entire City Council with one, easy e-mail address:  
  • Mail: Tigard City Council, 13125 SW Hall Blvd., Tigard, OR 97223   
  • Phone: Contact Joanne Bengtson in the Mayor's Office at 503-718-2476  
  • Council Meeting Questions? Contact City Recorder Carol Krager at 503-718-2419 or Deputy City Recorder Kelly Burgoyne at 503-718-2410 
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