The deadline for filing for the potential council seats is Aug. 29
BULL MOUNTAIN - Fourteen potential city council candidates for a new city on Bull Mountain attended a workshop last week to get advice and information about becoming elected officials.
At least three, 49-year-old Lisa Hamilton-Treick, 66-year-old Kinton Fowler and 28-year-old Kevin Bauerle, decided to run for one of the five at-large seats. All three said they intend to file their candidacy soon with the Washington County Elections Office. The deadline for filing is Aug. 29.
'I see it as an opportunity to really set the tone and the right direction (for the mountain),' Bauerle said. 'It's an exciting time.'
The candidates' forum occurred in response to last week's unanimous decision by the Board of Washington County Commissioners to ask registered voters on Bull Mountain if they want to form their own city.
The question will be on the Nov. 7 general election ballot. At the same time, voters will also be asked to choose city council members. The five candidates with the most votes will become the city's first elected officials - if a majority of voters approve incorporating the mountain.
If that happens, the city of Bull Mountain will have about 8,000 residents. Its boundaries would include about 1.7 square miles and roughly encompass land south of Barrows Road, north of Beef Bend Road and east of Roy Rogers Road to the city of Tigard's limits.
'From a personal side, I'm very excited about the whole process of starting a city,' Fowler said. 'It seems like a very interesting experience to be a part of.'
At the forum, candidates received candid advice from Washington County Sheriff Rob Gordon, County Commissioner Roy Rogers, Beaverton City Councilwoman Kathy Stanton and Damascus Mayor pro tem John Hartsock. A campaign consultant and a representative from the League of Oregon Cities were also present.
Members of the media were not permitted to attend the forum, which was held in a private residence on Bull Mountain.
According to several people who attended, the potential candidates were told that starting a new city would be similar in process to starting a new business. They were also told that building relationships was the single most important job of an elected official, and that sustaining the effort is not always easy.
'Meetings are late at night and can be difficult. There will be times when you just want to go home,' said Rogers, describing the advice he offered at the forum.
Rogers also said he was impressed with the turnout.
'To have that many people with that much enthusiasm for open seats is unusual,' Rogers said.
The three confirmed candidates, Bauerle, Fowler and Hamilton-Treick all have business backgrounds, they said.
Bauerle, who said he has been self-employed since he was 19 years old, owns a catering business, Hot Off the Grill, and a credit card processing business, American Bankcard Corp. He said he also invests in real estate.
Bauerle has lived on Bull Mountain for a little more than a year, he said.
Fowler said he is semi-retired. He is a licensed realtor, although he said the bulk of his working experience has been in accounting for manufacturing companies. Before retirement, he said he spent 14 years as a comptroller and IT manager for Atlas Topco Wagner.
He has lived on Bull Mountain for about five years.
Hamilton-Treick is the principal broker of her own company, Hamilton Realty Group.
She has been involved in the effort to incorporate Bull Mountain from the beginning and is a director of the political action committee, Residents of Bull Mountain for Incorporation.
She has lived on Bull Mountain for 12 years.
'I'm dying to see the first park dedicated on the mountain,' she said.
How to start a city from scratch
- Step 1: Registered voters within the proposed city of Bull Mountain boundaries will decide in the general election on Nov. 7 if the new city is to be formed. If the majority votes 'yes,' Bull Mountain will officially be incorporated (for taxing purposes) on election day.
- Step 2: On the same Nov. 7 ballot, registered voters will also choose five Bull Mountain residents to fill the seats of the first city council. If voters approve the incorporation, the new councilors (the top five vote-getters) will serve staggered terms based on the number of votes they get, and will be responsible for setting up the new city's infrastructure.
- Step 3: The city council would set the tax rate. The maximum they could impose is a rate of $2.84 per $1,000 dollars of assessed value on real property. Residents would receive their first tax bill calculated with the new rate in November 2007, if the new city is approved. Under the maximum tax rate, those tax revenues would net the city about $2.26 million. The city would borrow money to cover operating expenses for its first year.
- Step 4: Police and fire protection, water, sewer, and road maintenance will continue in the status quo as will the county taxes for those services until the city's new councilors adopt a city budget and decide what services to provide.
- Step 5: The councilors will decide what kind of government Bull Mountain will have. In most Oregon cities with more than 2,500 residents, the city council hires a chief executive officer (a city manager or administrator) to oversee the daily operation of the city. Portland and Beaverton are the only such cities to do things differently. Beaverton has an elected mayor who acts as the chief executive officer and Portland has a commission form of government - where the commissioners serve both as city councilors and administrators of city departments.
- Step 6: After the framework for the government is chosen and a city budget is adopted, the councilors may adopt landuse plans and regulations for the new city - as well as other local rules such as noise ordinances and alarm permit fees. Any new regulations will need to be consistent with Metro and state government regulations.