Why is the city repeatedly decrying that it has to cut services and programs yet you’re hiring for a Digital Communications Coordinator?
Last year, we addressed some of our financial challenges by re-examining our current staffing. We eliminated the Communication Strategist position (40 hours/week) and reallocated the funding to a Digital Communications Coordinator (30 to 32 hours/week). The coordinator position is at a significantly lower salary range than the strategist position. We should have been clearer on the salary listed in the original position. The salary range for the coordinator position is $24.80 - $33.24 hourly. The city determines appropriate wages by evaluating the necessary experience, education, skills, and abilities for each job and comparing wages with other similarly-sized cities in the region in effort to recruit and retain qualified, motivated employees. Most importantly, the coordinator position aligns with two city council goals focused on engagement and communications.
Why are you spending money on low cost housing? Nobody helped me with housing and it was definitely not low cost.
We’ve heard from many residents and prospective residents who are being impacted by the region’s housing crisis. We invest resources in affordable housing because it supports our economy and attracts talented and diverse populations to enrich our community. Businesses build and create jobs in cities where their workforce can find a place to live and commute to their job. These people and businesses also support city services (parks, streets, infrastructure) that benefit the entire community. When market-rate and affordable housing is available, it supports and encourages development of new and existing businesses and services that serve more residents.
We do not pretend to have the perfect answer, but we do intend on being part of the solution. We hope that you will join us by commenting on our online engagement site
Our staff is always willing to discuss the city’s approach in greater detail. Feel free to reach out to Sean Farrelly, firstname.lastname@example.org or Schuyler Warren, SchuylerW@tigard-or.gov.
I have an idea that will save money for the city. What’s the best way to share this idea with the Mayor and Council?
One of the City Council goal’s this year is “to engage with a wide variety of residents and businesses on important issues.” To help Council meet this goal, we’ve set up a number of ways for the community to share ideas or ask questions to the Mayor and Council. You can reach them online via the new “What’s on your mind?” feature. On the same page, you can invite them to an upcoming neighborhood event.
Mark asks, "Can the city change the left turn signal at 72nd and SW Varns St to a flashing yellow? I am stuck at a red light every morning around 8:00 a.m."
Recently, Mayor Snider wrote about how we improved traffic signal coordination on Upper Boones Ferry Road/Durham Road. However, the Oregon Department of Transportation controls the signal at 72nd and Varns so we don’t have the ability to make changes. Changing to a flashing yellow would require changing out the signalhead, which is more costly than a change in timing. With that said, I encourage you to make the request to ODOT.
Kate asks, "Why isn’t there a more updated system of reporting graffiti? I should be able to e-mail a picture & location so that Tigard PD can track the activity but then parks/planning code department can follow up on timely removal."
While we don’t have an online system for graffiti, we want to make it easy on you to report graffiti in your neighborhood and around Tigard. When you see graffiti on public or private property in Tigard, please call the police non-emergency number at 503-629-0111 regardless of whether you own the property. An officer will respond and document the graffiti, and issue a notice to the resident or property owner to remove the tag within 14 days.
Why do you leave the holidays lights on the big trees in front of City Hall and on Main Street?
Very perceptive. The holiday lights do remain on the trees throughout the year. Here’s why: The rental cost for a lift basket has increased to $5,000 for each rental. It would cost an additional $5,000 to rent the lift basket to remove the lights. Our staff costs would also double. Rest assured that our parks staff check the lights each year and fix any of the bulbs which no longer work.
Gloria asks, “Why can't the city work with ODOT to add continuous sidewalks on Hall Blvd between Bonita and the Tigard Library? I have to cross Hall Boulevard to stay on sidewalks or walk in the bike lane.”
Adding sidewalks on Hall Boulevard is in line with our strategic vision to become a more walkable, connected city. We’ve engaged the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) about adding sidewalks along Hall Boulevard before. There are some constraints that would make it expensive, such as utility poles that would need to be relocated.
ODOT does have a mandate to upgrade curb ramps on their properties like Hall Boulevard. However, our project will be competing for funding with projects from across the state. We’ll continue to advocate in county and regional discussions that Hall should be a priority for future grant or future regional funding consideration.
You can learn more about ongoing and upcoming construction projects here.
Donna asks...I am wondering about all the construction at Cook Park. It’s been going on for a while. When will it be done?
Answer: What you’re seeing is a Clean Water Services construction project. Construction activities include installing pipe, constructing trenchless crossing of the Tualatin River, surface restoration, and vegetation enhancement within Cook Park in Tigard. A portion of the west parking lot will be continue to be fenced off as work is completed on the river undercrossing. Work will continue to mid-April and then stop until next Fall.
Sera asks...I'm wondering why the speed limit changes north of the crosswalk near the Library. Heading north on Hall, the limit goes from 40 to 30 after the crosswalk. Going south, the limit goes from 30 to 40 before the crosswalk. It would be a good idea to change the speed limit where the crosswalk is within the 30 mph zone.
Answer: We’ve received this question from a few people and we wish that we had a better answer. Speed limits are designated by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Hall Boulevard is currently also owned by ODOT. We are not familiar with the history on why ODOT decided to change the speed limit at the point. Their reasoning may date back to before there was a crosswalk at the location. I can tell you that ODOT will be lowering the speed limit on Hall Boulevard to 35 mph in the near future.
During the 2018 levy campaign, there was discussion about performance audits of city services. Why hasn’t that been done?
You have a good memory! The City Council encouraged the completion of performance audits in order to gain objective data about how efficient and effectively we provide services to the community. A few other reasons we are working on audits are:
- We must be as good, as efficient, and as effective in providing services to the public as possible.
- With sustained budget cuts since 2010, we have limited funds to provide services in the face of ever-increasing demand for those services.
- Our staff are eager to identify new, improved ways to work.
We’ve started down this path by signing a contract with Matrix to complete the work. And yes, you will have an opportunity to share your opinion. All members of the community will have the opportunity to complete an online survey about city services.
I am trying to understand my recent property bill. But, with so many acronyms and jargon, I am still confused. What am I paying for? Where is it going?
You are not alone! Understanding a property tax bill is not for the faint of heart, but I think we can help. Here’s one way to look at it.
Some items on your property tax bill fund a single service or program. You’ll notice that your $0.17/per dollar to the city funds numerous services, and ones that you use almost every day. Some of these include the:
- Roads you drive on
- Story time that your kids attend
- Trails where you ride your bike or walk your dog
- E-books that you read on vacation or during your lunch break
- Sidewalks that use to walk to school or downtown
- Drop box that you dispose of your unwanted, unused or expired medications
- Presence of the two school resource offices in TTSD schools
- Police patrols of your neighborhood while you’re at work or sleeping
If you have sixty more seconds, you can learn more in this video.
Joel asks... When will the traffic signal timing be adjusted at Hall Boulevard and Sattler. It is too short for people turning left onto Hall. I've also witness someone driving on the sidewalk to get around it. Good news, Joel! We contacted the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and they have agreed to make an adjustment. ODOT said that their numbers show a high percentage of cyclists unable to make left turn onto Hall Boulevard between 7 and 9 a.m. This means the line of cars turning left in the morning is too long to clear on a single green. ODOT has added extra green time, during morning peak hours, to help drivers and cyclists.
Clay asks...There are a lot of overgrown hedges in the right-of-way in my neighborhood. I am cautious when driving because I am worried that I won't see a walker or biker. Why isn't the city doing anything to ensure a clear right-of-way? This can be a major safety issue so I am glad you took the time to submit your question. Our code compliance approach is complaint-driven. If you submit details about the issue here, we'll follow up with how we can help. Here are details on what is considered a code violation. Tigard Municipal Code 6.02.340 seems most relevant to your situation.
Why is the city participating in the homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) count? Because it’s the right thing to do. Last year, five city staff participated in the PIT count which was the city’s first time actively participating. This year, more than 20 staff members will join in the PIT count. Each staff member completed a two hour training which covered the importance of the PIT count for federal funding, the causes of homelessness, and services available for the homeless. During the PIT count, staff will hear firsthand stories of the homeless in our community. We will take these stories with us as we continue to look for opportunities for the city to positively impact the homeless community. In preparation for the PIT count, we held a donation drive to collect toiletries and non-perishables items. We received generous donations from many community members, including Police Chaplain Cottingham from Christ the King Lutheran Church. We’ll distribute the donations throughout the day as we interact with the homeless in Tigard. Special thanks to Pat Rodgers, Washington County and Jeanne-Marie Ritter and Nicole Swearingin, Luke-Dorf for partnering with the City of Tigard.
Rita E. asks... I would like to know if there are any plans to put an "all way" stop sign at Main Street and Tigard Streets? Sometimes it is difficult and dangerous to turn left onto Main from Tigard. Thanks Rita! We know that left turns at this intersection can be difficult and we want to find an approach that the railroad will allow. The railroad company will not allow an all-way stop because the intersection is too close to the rails. We’ll continue to work with the railroad company on a solution.
Donna B. asks…Why doesn’t Tigard have its own zip code? I do not live in Portland so getting mail addressed to Portland is confusing. It is also confusing to people coming in from other areas. Tigard is a city of over 50,000. We are NOT a one-stoplight city! A task force identified the need, in 2012, for a Tigard specific and distinct zip code. For years, Tigard businesses have suffered from confusion and annoyance from having to explain to customers that addresses that pop up as Portland, are actually in Tigard. We communicated our request to USPS but they were not supportive of our request. But, we didn’t stop there. We worked with Rep. Doherty to gain support from the Oregon state legislature. In 2015, Oregon state legislature voted to formally support Tigard’s request for a Tigard specific zip code. Legislators noted our current zip codes “are at odds with public perception and local government organizational structure in Tigard and the Portland metropolitan area.” Following the show of support from the legislature, we held some preliminary conversations, on the federal level, about a Tigard zip code. Those conversations led us back to the regional postmaster who was unsupportive of our effort.
I live next to Beef Bend Road. Are there plans to add bike lanes and sidewalks to Roy Rogers? How soon until the light at Beef Bend & Hwy 99 is recalibrated to handle increased traffic flows from the new housing? Those are excellent questions. Washington County owns and maintains Beef Bend Road. You can connect with Washington County here. The Oregon Department of Transportation owns and maintains the signal at Beef Bend Road and Hwy 99. You can connect with them here. For the latest on road construction in Tigard, you can visit our weekly project updates page.
What are the next steps for the SW Corridor? How will you communicate with affected property owners? 2019 will be a busy year for the project. TriMet and Metro are leading the light rail project planning, with Tigard as a project partner, so most of the communication to impacted property owners will come from them. (You can sign up for their email updates here.)
Throughout 2019, TriMet will be designing the route in further detail to determine potential property impacts. Through this process the City of Tigard and its residents should have a better idea of which properties and business are being affected. There will be a lot of one-on-one meetings if you are a property owner and public meetings as well. In Winter 2019, TriMet will host open houses to talk about different sections of the route. The first one is scheduled for January 24 and will discuss the end of the line at Bridgeport Village. If you want to discuss the project with a Tigard staff member, contact Lauren Scott, Community Engagement Coordinator, email@example.com.
Why does the city apply for federal grants? We've gotten this question from a couple of people. In the past few years, we have applied and received $2,975,000 from four successful grant applications.
Brownfield Assessment - $400,000, Brownfield Cleanup - $400,000, Hunziker Industrial Core - $2.1 million, Tigard Street Trail - $75,000, COPS Hiring – Unsuccessful
Special thanks to Rep. Bonamici, Sen. Merkley, and Sen. Wyden for supporting our grant applications.
Why don't the Tigard Police ever cite overweight trucks on McDonald, Gaarde, 121st, and Walnut? Tigard Police will only cite overweight trucks when they pose a safety concern. One of the challenges is we do not have the equipment to weigh trucks; very few agencies in the state do. With a significant increase in calls for service each year, officers’ attention is focused on 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls, traffic-safety issues such as crashes and speeding, follow up on criminal investigations and locations with chronic criminal activity.
Why are there only four people on the 2019 City Council? This is only temporary. Councilor Jason Snider was elected mayor in the November election. To serve as mayor, he has to vacate the council seat which expires December 31, 2020. The City Council will fill the vacancy through an application process. You are eligible to apply if you are registered to vote in Tigard and have resided in Tigard for at least 12 months. Applications will be accepted from December 3 to 27. On January 8, the Council will identify the finalists. The finalists will be interviewed by Council at the January 15 Council meeting. A finalist will be selected on the 15th or at a later meeting.
Why hasn’t construction started on the trail along Tigard Street? Construction on the Tigard Street Heritage Trail will begin in April 2019. We are currently finalizing the design that was developed from community input. Included in the design is the Tigard Outdoor Museum which will feature stories, replicas of historic artifacts. This part of the project is funded by a $750,000 federal grant. Visitors to the trail will enter through Rotary Plaza, which features a 13-foot tall clock tower. You have the opportunity to become part of the project by telling your Tigard story. Learn more about the project on our website and in this Tigard Times article.
Why does the City include supplemental questions on the job application? (November 14)
We receive a large number of applications for each of our job postings. Supplemental questions provide the additional information that we need to narrow the list of qualified questions. We employ two types of supplemental questions – multiple-choice and open-ended.
When answering a multiple-choice question, your application should support your answers. For example, if you indicate you have 2-4 years of experience in budget analysis, your work history should indicate where you got this experience and what your responsibility was in that role.
We sometimes ask applicants open-ended supplemental questions. These questions require the applicant to spend a little more time reflecting on the job opening and how their skills fit into what we’re looking for. Your answers will be used by hiring managers to help decide which applicants get an interview.
Here’s a tip for answering open-ended questions. Approach the question as you would a first interview question. Use the opportunity to explain why you are uniquely qualified for the role.
This sounds elementary but your writing should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. Also, your answers should be concise yet specific - more words are not always better. Generally, we are looking for 250 to 300 words per question. And no, a one sentence answer is not a good idea.
Why do I have to wait so long for the train to pass at the Bonita Road crossing? (November 7)
You’re not alone in your frustration. We’ve received a number of questions about what happens if police & fire are stuck at a crossing while responding to an emergency. Just like you and me, emergency responders don’t get advance notice of train crossings. If a train is blocking a crossing, they will dispatch from another station. This may cause a delay in response time. More bad news… federal law prevents the city or state from addressing excessive delays. This essentially leaves railroads free to stop for as long as they like. Want more info on the topic? Check out this Oregon DOT webpage.
Why does Tigard have such tight building restrictions on detached garages? (October 31)
We allow for accessory structures including a detached two-car garage. This is sufficient for most residential purposes. Larger shop structures tend to support activities that are similar to commercial activities, although they may not actually be commercial activities. So while working on a few project cars in a garage might be a hobby to the resident, to neighbors the impacts are more like those of a commercial garage.
Why is Tigard Police Department carrying Narcan? (October 24)
Last year, Tigard Police responded to 15 drug overdose calls, including a number of calls involving the use of the opioid Fentanyl. In response, every patrol vehicle is now stocked with Narcan, which is a medication used to block the effects of opioids. Narcan can be a critical intervention for someone who overdoses. It also provides a safeguard to officers who may be exposed to the harmful residue of Fentanyl. The Narcan kits were made possible by a Washington County grant.
Why are you allowing more car dealerships in town? (October 17)
We are not allowed to limit the number of car dealerships (or any business type) in Tigard. If a car dealership is proposed in one of Tigard's Commercial or Industrial Zones, we then review the proposal to make sure it meets development standards and require that necessary approvals and permits are received.
Why do I see political signs near the city's main roads? (October 10)
We’ve received this question a number of times recently. Political signs in the right-of-way are considered a nuisance. While we don't have the capacity to patrol for them, we'll respond if we're alerted about a potential issue. We respond to sign complaints by:
1. Removing the sign.
2. Contacting the campaign.
3. Informing the campaign where to retrieve the sign.
You can submit a complaint about a political sign via this online form.
Why can't I register to vote at City Hall? (October 3)
While you can’t register at City Hall, there are two easy ways to register.
- Register online.
- Return completed form to the Washington County Elections Office by mail or in-person. Register by October 16 to vote in the November election.
Once you’ve registered, you can visit Use My Vote to track your ballot & check or update your voter registration. You will received a voter’s pamphlet between October 10 and October 12.
Approximately two weeks before the election you will receive your ballot in the mail. Turn in your ballot at the City Hall voter drop box or another drop box site.
Why haven't I seen a recap of Tigard Library’s Summer Reading program? (September 26)
We’ve finished tallying the numbers. Here are the highlights.
- 2,788 kids and teens participated.
- 595 adults participated (which is a record).
- 562 kids donated a book to those in need.
- 337 kids and teens signed up at outreach sites, 186 finished and claimed prizes.
- 31 outreach visits made by Youth Services staff.
- Librarians created a traveling book collection to encourage kids to make the of most summer reading.
- The most popular prize was the Rockin’ Road Trip basket.
Why don't I ever see the city doing work on Hall Boulevard? (September 19)
We hear this question a lot. There's a simple answer. Both Hall Blvd. and Hwy 99W are state highways maintained by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need contact information for ODOT staff.
Why is the city flushing fire hydrants? (September 12)
We flush hydrants to provide high-quality drinking water to our residents. Sometimes, residents may see slightly discolored water from their taps when flushing occurs in their area. The water is safe from harmful bacteria, but unpleasant for consumption and use. There are no health hazards associated with the discolored water. We produced a short video highlighting the process and why it is necessary. Click here for a short video.
Why did the city select pink sculptures as gateway art? (September 5)
A subcommittee of residents and business owners selected the 'Corylus' which reflects the filbert tree blossom and Tigard's agricultural history. Restricted funds, which can only be used in the downtown, funded the artwork. Public art is an important component to a vital downtown. We continue to look for opportunities to add public art to the community. See more on the Downtown Art.
Why do I always see police cars at City Hall in the parking lot? Aren’t officers working? (August 29, 2018)
Answer: The number of vehicles in the parking lot does not correlate with the number of officers on duty. If there is a major incident requiring an amplified response, we need enough vehicles to adequately respond. Our fleet manager works with Tigard Police to determine how many vehicles should be on hand given:
- staffing levels for day, afternoon and night shifts
- overlapping schedules from one shift to the next to ensure that officers are always available for emergency calls for service
- specialty units
- other factors such as officers’ use of vehicles for training, court and other job responsibilities
Extra vehicles are needed to cover the ones out of commission for maintenance. Having reliable vehicles is crucial to ensure problems don’t impede an officer’s ability to timely respond to emergencies. Officers also return to the police station to write reports, which can be time-consuming depending on the nature of the incident.
Special Edition - Flags at City Hall? (August 29, 2018)
Answer: The Oregon Governor issues flags orders for local governments in Oregon. Flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset, on the day of the interment in honor of Sen. John McCain. We are notified of the times and duration, which may extend for a few hours to a few days, in a notification from the Governor's Office. The city observes all flag notifications regardless of the days or times ordered.
Is it true that the city offers free street trees for Tigard property owners? (August 22, 2018)
Answer: Yes, the city's free street tree program offers street trees to Tigard residents annually. Orders will be accepted through Sept. 27. Tree selection and planning typically begin in early November with delivery and planting from November through December. See the approved street tree list to help you make your selection and visit our website to learn more.
I've seen coyotes wandering around town this summer. Why aren't you doing something to protect us? (August 15, 2018)
Answer: This is common question. We do not manage native wildlife. If you spot a coyote and are concerned for your safety, please contact the USDA at 503-201-5547.
Why should I use less water on hot summer days? (August 8, 2018)
Answer: It’s simple. Water is in limited supply, and we cannot live without water. We’re committed to encouraging water conservation. Check out these tips, including how much water to use for your lawn.
So, if the City is really experiencing budget problems, why are you offering free events – Movies in the Park and Concert in the Park? (August 1, 2018)
Answer: The City is experiencing budget challenges. We reduced the current budget by 9%. We reduced, but did not eliminate, events. Four Movies in the Park and one Concert in the Park are being held this summer. These events have been popular and contribute to a sense of community. Additional cuts are proposed for next year.
If Tigard is a "no smoking" city, why are people smoking at the transit center? I am tired of walking through smoke. (July 25, 2018)
Answer: Smoking & e-cigarette use is banned on city-owned properties, including on parks and trails. We hope this will encourage healthier behavior among all residents. The Transit Center is owned by TriMet, which has a no-smoking policy. Signs for the ban are displayed at the center. https://trimet.org/guide/rules.htm
I love the improvements to Main Street! Why haven't they been made to the entire street? (July 18, 2018)
Answer: Planning for Main Street north is underway with construction expected 2020-21. Downtown improvement projects are paid for with tax increment financing that is collected in downtown’s urban renewal area. These are restricted funds that can only be used on the voter approved downtown projects which include street and streetscape improvements.
I have noticed a lot of construction activity around the Fanno Creek Trail. Why is the project being done? (July 11, 2018)
Answer: City of Tigard and Clean Water Services are working to restore the creek closer to its historic location. This will repair floodplain wetlands, replace a pedestrian bridge on Ash Street, add a new pedestrian/bike trail and restore native vegetation to the area.
Why did the city go ahead with slurry seal application when we are cutting school resource officers? (July 5, 2018)
Answer: 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.
Why is the city hiring after reducing the budget?
Answer: 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.