Analysis finds deficiencies in Bull Mtn. study
(Soapboxes are guest opinions from our readers, and anyone is welcome to write one. Isador Morgavi is a resident of unincorporated Bull Mountain.)
Erik Gellatly took exception (The Times Soapbox, Aug. 3) to my comments of a couple of weeks ago. He can be pardoned for some of his inaccuracies; he's a new kid on the block. His only participation in community activity is his involvement with the proponents of incorporation. As far as I know, he never attended any IC meetings where the current situation has developed. It seems that his only source of information is FoBM (Friends of Bull Mountain).
As for my 'inflammatory' language, if he can't stand the heat, as the saying goes, get out of the kitchen. Where does he get the right to decide on what is 'proper context?' Neither he nor the other FoBM activists set the standards of correctness.
He begins by saying that nothing happened while I was away. Did BMRIFoBM discontinue their private meetings? Were there any public meetings held then or at any other time? That is the period when EcoNorthwest did the EFS (Economic Feasibility Study) based on information provided by Friends of Bull Mountain, without any public input.
That report recalls the joke about three applicants for an accounting job. The first two, taken aback by the question, 'How much is 2 plus 2?' answered 'Four'. Number three quickly answered, 'How much do you want it to be?' Of course he got the job
Gellatly urges readers to read that report. I urge readers to read the Washington County staff report that analyzed their report. It can be found at: http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/lut/planning/BullMt/BullMtIncorp_Staffreport.pdf. This impartial analysis found numerous deficiencies with the EFS.
Additionally, at hearings Gellatly evidentially missed, government professionals criticized many aspects of that report. I too have comments that are available at http://www.bullmountaininformation.com.
He claims land-use laws require areas inside a UGB (Urban Growth Boundary) 'must become part of a city.' This is absolutely incorrect; I challenge him to cite specifics. He's obviously quoting from something Chairman Tom Brian said early in 2004. Much has changed since then, but I guess Gellatly can't be expected to know that, being new to the scene.
His naïve statement, 'the only way to gain local, effective control over issues like land use, planning, development, parks, natural areas and deforestation is to become our own city,' might lead one to believe that the new city of Bull Mountain would not have to comply with state, county or Metro land-use requirements. He ignores the fact that by the time any new city could be in place, all of the property, except UGB 63 and 64 will have been developed. Are residents of unincorporated Bull Mountain interested in this new land that is not at all part of the Bull Mountain community?
I take serious umbrage with his comments about striving 'for some accuracy, reality and proper context before forcing that viewpoint on the public through the newspaper,' coming from a newcomer whose only source of information is the skirt tails of the ladies of FoBM.
As to 'personal swipes,' when people knowingly and publicly claim a membership of over 200 when the correct number is zero, I call that a lie. When people contrive to obtain money under what they know are false pretenses, I call that a scam and stealing
As to law enforcement, here is what Sheriff Rob Gordon said: 'After reviewing the EFS, the sheriff's office believes that a small stand-alone police department of four deputies is probably not adequate. This view is underpinned by 18 years of ESPD experience and a key ESPD founding principle emphasizing that ESPD service levels are a minimal acceptable level of protection for urban areas within the UGB. Small police departments face significant challenges when responding to emergencies that require expanded resources.'
In my opinion, funding vital police services based on estimated risks, (especially an estimate done by biased novices) is … sorry, I can't find a nicer word, stupid. Funding these services has long been done on a population basis. Years of cost cutting and service enhancing technology, plus a good deal of trial and error, have shown that about 1.2 officers per 1000 residents is necessary to adequately protect life and property.
This is not the finding of politicians; it is the determination of professional law enforcement officers. If you want them to put themselves in harm's way to protect you and all that is important to you, as they do every day, then pay your fair share.
Gellatly appears unaware of the interface between police services. If you call with a complaint about noisy neighbors, you wait for your officer (if he is not busy booking someone or the many other things they do routinely). But if life is in danger, all officers in neighboring areas respond. When you under-fund your police services, you reduce the overall law enforcement resources available to everyone.