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Doyle highlights 2013 glories, shares this year's expectations

Reflecting on the state of Beaverton at the end of 2013, Mayor Denny Doyle emphasizes what a difference five years makes.

At the dawn of 2009, Oregon’s unemployment rate was nearly double 5.9 percent, the current unemployment figure for Washington County.

“That’s the lowest in the (Portland) metro area,” Doyle said on Tuesday afternoon. “Washington County always tends to be a little lower than that. That’s teriffic. It’s a vast improvement from five years ago.”

That’s the core of the message Doyle delivered on Wednesday night during his 2014 State of the City Address, held in the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy’s Performing Arts Center at 11375 S.W. Center St. Doyle submitted an advance copy of his prepared remarks to the Beaverton Valley Times on Wednesday afternoon.

Discussing the highlights of the past year in his office at City Hall on Tuesday, Doyle touted city programs such as urban renewal, the new Enterprise Zone, the Business Assistance Program and Workforce Training Assistance program as among the growing box of economic tools that helped lift the city and Washington County further out of Great Recession doldrums.

“We are really open for business,” he said, noting the 150 to 200 building inspections taking place each day. “That is a radical uptick. It’s been very steady, very consistent. People are remodeling and building all over the city.”

Touching on a range of topics, Doyle expressed enthusiasm that the economic gains of 20 13 set the city up for an even livlier and more positive 2014.

Here are some highlights from Doyle’s address on Wednesday night:

Social services: “In Beaverton, we ramped up our social service funding program, which assists our local nonprofits that serve citizens in need. We enlisted CASH Oregon to help some of our poorest residents recover their much-needed tax return money (and) worked with the school district and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon to place homeless Beaverton youth committed to graduating from high school with host families.”

Libraries: “We heavily invested in our award-winning library, including our Murray-Scholls branch, which I anticipate we will be expanding this coming year. Our libraries bring people together, serving all of our residents.”

School safety and higher education: “We fully funded six school resource officers in our Beaverton schools (and) sent 50, first-generation immigrant and low-income students from Beaverton to Portland Community College’s FutureConnect program.”

Home ownership: “We supported a state-wide foreclosure avoidance mediation program to help home owners facing foreclosure discuss options with their lenders and try to find solutions to keep people in their homes.”

Visioning: “We will continue to work with our vision partners as we launch a five-year update to ensure that we are always in touch with our community’s priorities.”

Public Safety and Court Facility: “This is not a want for me, this is a need. Just like hospitals and fire stations need to withstand natural disasters, a police facility is also an essential building that must be built to the same standards.”

South Cooper Mountain Community: “More grassroots concept planning for this area in 2014 will help us create a healthy and balanced community along our southern border."




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