Get the facts on Bull Mountain incorporation
(Soapboxes are guest opinions from our readers, and anyone is welcome to write one. Jeff McCombs is a resident of unincorporated Bull Mountain.)
On July 28, I discovered along with many cosmologists, that there is a vast emptiness very near us. For the cosmologist, it is the vastness of space. For me, it was the vastness of ignorance displayed in Mr. Isadore Morgavi's pubescent article in the Tigard Times titled 'Bull Mountain bickering a three-ring circus.'
Regarding pubescence, he resorts to 'name calling.' Charles Radley is an elected commissioner on the Tigard Water District. His name is Charles. He goes by Charles. Mr. Morgavi knows that he does not go by Charlie or Charley, but for reasons that we can only speculate, he is compelled to insult Mr. Radley with whom he is well acquainted. Mind you, Charlie is a great name. It's just not Charles' name.
Regarding ignorance… well... where to start?
First of all, the economic feasibility study and incorporation effort are paid for by the volunteers and supporters of incorporation. It is not paid for by anyone who does not want to contribute, and is not a burden to the new city once formed.
Regarding the use of Tigard Water District money, there is nothing underhanded there. The vast majority of the Tigard Water District is encapsulated within the incorporation area. When Damascus, Oregon performed its feasibility study, it was entirely paid for by its local water district. The folks working to incorporate were simply attempting to follow that model. The Tigard Water District had significant reserve dollars on-hand which could have been used for such a purpose, but further legal review left the matter of funding the feasibility study questionable. It was best not to go down that road. All of this was above board and public. That's the real story.
Ignorance area number 2: Mr. Morgavi's property is not within the incorporation boundary. Perhaps if he were to review the incorporation information more carefully his indignation would wane.
Ignorance area number 3: Mr. Morgavi demonstrates a significant lack in his understanding of how services are delivered and paid for. The status quo is not an option with respect to incorporation or annexation. Tigard will continue to annex across Bull Mountain (their first choice), or they will watch it incorporate (their second choice.) All of the land that is within the Urban Growth Boundary is destined for annexation or incorporation by design. Pockets of unincorporated areas are service nightmares, and no rational development plan would allow for that.
Most of us, including me, would greatly enjoy remaining unincorporated, but I don't live under the delusion that the status quo will last any longer than a couple of years. That being the case, we need to take the matter into our own hands, or let others decide for us.
Ignorance area number 4: Mr. Morgavi, stands on his expertise as a tax-preparer to criticize how tax monies will be spent within the new city. Well, I know how to fill out a deposit slip for a savings account, but I don't think that gives me the necessary qualifications to wax eloquent about the finer matters of running a bank.
Mr. Morgavi is out of touch with the conversations that are happening now around the feasibility study and the tax rates. He is uninformed about the issue of police coverage and how that issue even came up. There have been many positive discussions with the Sheriff Rob Gordon and his staff on the issue of law enforcement services, and I fully expect to see the same level of excellent coverage we now enjoy without any difficulty. That's because I make the effort to remain informed.
Area of ignorance number 5: Mr. Morgavi doesn't understand why UGB areas 63 and 64 are included in the boundary. The reasons are legion. First, they are within the Urban Growth Boundary and must therefore eventually be incorporated or annexed. If the incorporation effort didn't include them, the Washington County Board of Commissioners probably would have. More importantly, as a city, Bull Mountain would be able to collect development fees from the new construction in areas 63 and 64 in order to create parks that can serve all of the city. That is where much of the capital dollars will come from that Mr. Morgavi asks about. The reason those two areas have yet to start development is there have been significant delays in planning. Consequently, the fact that they look different than the developed areas is meaningless.
The ignorance doesn't stop there, but this response can only be so long. I encourage readers to get the facts. Read the study. Listen to rational discussion from both sides. Get involved and attend local and county meetings. I've been participating when my schedule allows, and the effort has been exciting and educational.
For more information, I suggest you visit the Washington County's Bull Mountain incorporation Web site: http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/lut/planning/BullMt/BullMt.htm