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Citizens group takes pulse of community


Survey geared to spark more local involvement

A citizen involvement group that covers much of Hillsboro is inviting residents to take an online survey to determine their interests in various local issues.

Citizens Participation Organization No. 9 is one of 14 similar groups in Washington County formed in the 1970s. The county pays the Oregon State University Extension Service to staff them.

CPO 9 is the only one completely within an incorporated city, and although participation in the group has lagged in recent years, its steering committee hopes the survey will help revive it.

"Some of the CPOs attracted dozens of people to every meeting, but there have been times when only a few people have shown up to ours," said Tom Black, chairman of the CPO 9 steering committee.

Black said the purpose of the community planning organizations is to help inform citizens about issues of local concern. Some CPOs have become more directly involved in political issues, however. For example, CPO 8, which represents North Plains, went on record against the county renewing the composting permit to Nature's Needs because of odor complaints.

CPO 9 is bordered by Evergreen Parkway on the north, Cornelius Pass Road on the east, and Dairy Creek on the west and south. It covers the Orenco area and includes approximately 95,000 people, which is about one out of every six residents in the county.

General meetings have been held the second Monday of odd-numbered months from 7 to 9:30 p.m. in the Washington County Public Service Building, 155 N. First St. The survey asks if there is a better time for them.

The survey also attempts to gauge interest in the following issues: transportation improvements, economy/job growth, land use/development, citizen participation in local government, environmental issues, public safety and other. It also asks which government agencies residents want to learn more about. And it asks the best way the group can communicate with residents: newsletters, emails, Facebook, Twitter?

According to Black's message in the most recent newsletter, priority issues have been closely clustered by those responding to the survey so far.

The survey will continue through the end of May. It can be found at surveymonkey.com/s/CPO9_Survey_Spring_2013.