Bull Mountain ready for incorporation
Residents of unincorporated Bull Mountain should vote Nov. 7 to form the new city of Bull Mountain and create a permanent tax rate to support the city's operations. For years, we used to think that the best choice for orderly growth and the cohesive and effective provision of community services on and around Bull Mountain was for the area to be annexed to the city of Tigard. But residents of the area voted that idea down two years ago by a 9 to 1 margin. It was a contentious time and proved that most Bull Mountain neighbors and the Tigard City Council are miles apart on matters such as governance, housing densities, public services and most of all, trust and communication.
For those reasons - most particularly managing density and the void of trust - we now think it is best for unincorporated Bull Mountain to become its own city. At this point, let's also state that there is nothing to be gained by asking who is to blame: the city of Tigard or Bull Mountain neighbors? It doesn't matter. Let's move on.
Forming the new city of Bull Mountain will best allow neighbors to elect their own city council to shape public policy decisions on a hillside that continues to see remarkable housing development.
Supporters of incorporation say that forming a city will allow them to choose how local tax money is spent. They also say that it will give Bull Mountain a seat at the table when county and regional decisions are made about transportation needs and other issues. However, we think these county and regional benefits will be limited - at least initially. As for managing taxes, this will be a burden as well as a benefit. The city of Bull Mountain will soon find what other Oregon cities which are largely made up of residences already know: Municipal finance is very tough.
The best outcome of forming a new city really won't be financial or political. It will be the chance for neighbors to build a better community on Bull Mountain after years of annexation strife and frustration watching the city of Tigard and Washington County manage growth. Incorporation won't make growth management any easier, just a lot more immediate.
On Nov. 7, residents of unincorporated Bull Mountain should vote to form a new city.