I am excited to welcome Meghan Turley as the first-ever Youth City Councilor. Councilor Turley’s leadership experience includes terms as a Junior Class Student Government Representative, editor-in-chief for the Tigard High School newspaper, and president of the Politics Club.
Councilor Turley, along with the rest of the Council, will provide key input on the new “City of Tigard Report Card” initiative. The initiative stems from community feedback seeking a better understanding of what the city does and how we do it. You’ll hear more about the Report Card in the coming months.
In the meantime, I want to give you an update on the four vital signs of a healthy city that I outlined in the State of the City address in April.
A City for Everyone
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again now: Everyone is welcome in Tigard. I also want to show you how we’re making progress.
- The city’s workforce is becoming more diverse. (You can track our progress here.)
- We have 14 bilingual staff members.
- We’ve reestablished our ‘Community Roundtable’ of non-profit and faith-based leaders.
- We’ve budgeted for staff and financial resources to establish meaningful relationships in all neighborhoods.
I am proud of our accomplishments to date, but we are just beginning. We need to build long-term relationships and trust with our unrepresentative communities. We will know that we have made progress when we see more diversity on our board and committees, city council, and city staff.
Out of City Hall, Into Your Neighborhood
Is it realistic to connect with every community member? Probably not, but we won’t stop from trying to reach each of the 53,148 people living in Tigard. We will only be successful if you’re on our team—though this doesn’t mean being a cheerleader for everything we do; it means inviting you to have a voice in discussions, a seat at the table, and removing the barriers or challenges that prevent you from participating in city affairs.
To date, you have embraced the opportunity to build an inclusive government. Through the ‘Out of City Hall, Into Your Neighborhood’ initiative, we have received more than 50 invitations to community events, everything from neighborhood BBQs to fun runs. Please continue to extend these invitations and share what is on your mind.
Sound, Transparent Decision-Making
You had a chance to participate via an online survey and a community meeting in the city’s first performance audit in the last 10 years. Completing a performance audit is not an accomplishment, but improving based on the audit recommendations is—and we will do this in the next year.
Protecting You and Your Loved Ones
Our Police Department affects your quality of life every day, from keeping intoxicated drivers off the road to responding to mental health calls. Our officers are responding to an increased number of calls for service, yet officer staffing levels remain stagnant.
We are addressing this issue by proposing a local option levy for police services in May 2020.
This is not a ‘nice to have’ need. This is a ‘must have,’ to meet your expectations of policing in Tigard. We know that minutes matter when we respond to your emergent call for service or to investigate a crime.
I look forward to talking about these vital signs and the City of Tigard Report Card at my next Fireside Chat Listening Session on Thursday, July 11, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at CoLab (11481 SW Hall).
Investing in Recreation
Like many of you, I have fond memories of summertime as a child. I spent summers swimming in the family pool and fishing in Montana.
I’ve noticed in recent years that the child-like excitement for summertime has spread to adults in the Tigard community. I suspect part of this excitement is attributable to the community events held by the city’s Recreation Division.
Residents are relishing the chance to show off their hometown by inviting friends and family to a Concert in the Park or Movie in the Park. Just a few years ago, you had to visit neighboring cities for such opportunities.
Tigard Park and Recreation Advisory Board member Wayne Gross speaks for many in the community when he says, “we believe that recreation is an essential city service and contributes greatly to the quality of life in the community.”
The City Council agrees. Parks and recreation contribute to the livability of our community. Quality parks and recreation help the local tax base and increase property values. They also align with our strategic plan by providing places for health and well-being that are accessible by persons of all ages and abilities.
In the upcoming budget year, the Budget Committee invested in the future of community events, recreation, and park maintenance by increasing the Parks and Recreation Fee. I take fee increases seriously, and I want you to know what you are getting for your money.
The fee supports less than half of the cost to provide parks and recreation services in Tigard. The General Fund supports the rest.
Increases in the fee provide:
- Park Maintenance: Our parks are gathering places, and places where recreation and events of all types can occur and help make living in Tigard more desirable. We will ensure this continues by funding increased maintenance to cover the almost 200 acres of parks added since 2010.
- Pop Up in the Park: You don’t have to go far. We’re bringing sports, games, and crafts to your neighborhood every Wednesday in July.
- Concerts in the Park: You will have two opportunities to sing and dance! Petty Fever breaks out Wednesday, August 7, and Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts tap into the ‘Golden Era of Rock n’ Roll’ on Wednesday, August 21.
- Movies in the Park: Long summer nights are a staple in Oregon. You can enjoy the outdoors and watch a hit movie, like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Incredibles 2, on five different dates this summer.
- Family Fest Fun Run: We’re hosting a fun run for all ages and abilities on Saturday, September 7. The run is part of the festivities surrounding the Downtown Street Fair.
The person leading our delivery of these events is Kimberly Cederholm, our new Recreation Coordinator. She brings extensive experience working for Vancouver-Clark County Parks and Recreation and the Northeast Community Center.
I will be attending many of these events along with members of the City Council. We hope you will let us know if you have questions about the recreation program and its funding. You can also connect with us by submitting a question via What’s on Your Mind, inviting us to a community event or attending the next Fireside Chat Listening Session on Thursday, June 6, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Symposium Coffee.
Jason Snider, Mayor