Looking back at city's success
- Keith Mays
- Sherwood Gazette - Opinion
This month I thought it would be a nice change to look back over the successes we've experienced in the six years on City Council
Anyone who keeps a file system knows how quickly it can pile up. In 2000 Sherwood had files organized in boxes stored in closets and mini-storage units. We now have a centralized record system with a full 80% of our records available electronically. Redundancy has been reduced by 50% and staff efficiency has improved greatly. The building department alone has archived over 100,000 files electronically and is currently upgrading to web-based permitting and inspection software.
We may be known best for our schools, our quality of life, or perhaps for the Tualatin River Refuge, however many times I've thought our motto should be 'Sherwood: We Build Things'. Since 2000 we've completed an amazing array of projects, here are some of them: the artificial turf fields at Snyder Park and at the High School, lights for two fields, a baseball complex at Hopkins, a Teen Center at the YMCA, a field house in the public works building, a complete rework of Meinecke Road including two roundabouts and a new Hwy 99 intersection, a new railroad crossing on Sunset Blvd, several small parks, a new regional park (Snyder) including baseball, playground, restroom, walkway, and picnic facilities, a new Oregon Street roundabout, a new water reservoir on Krueger Road, a new Police Station, a new Library/City Hall, and the complete rework of Old Town Streets. The majority of these projects were completed on time and under budget. That's a lot of work for a city of our size to complete in six years! With only one exception - the Police Station - all projects were done using existing funding sources and did not result in any property tax increases.
While I can't think of a single conversation I've had with a citizen where I was told 'I really like how you guys keep adding people to our city'. The planners/leaders before me and the changes we've adopted over the last several years have guided our soaring growth rate in a tolerable direction. It's an unfortunate reality that we can only react to the changes in growth boundary decided by Metro. Our planners have done a fantastic job of aligning growth to best fit with our infrastructure and impact existing residents the least. Further, we have become an area leader in recovering infrastructure costs from development through System Development Charges, and therefore keeping these costs away from existing residents.
These successes, however, are not what I'm most proud of. Through the Council's guidance and the leadership of our City Manager we have recruited some of the most talented managers and staff that I have ever worked with. These are people who are proud to be here and will continue the Tradition of Success in the years to come.