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Metro just says no to Boring

Metro declines a Boring CPO request to explain its benefits for Boring residents


Metro has effectively given the cold shoulder to the community of Boring and its nearly 3,000 people who pay Metro taxes every year.

Steve Bates, chairman of the Boring Community Planning Organization, gave Metro about six weeks notice, inviting its representatives to attend the Oct. 1 CPO meeting. But Metro President Tom Hughes refused the invitation.

Metro representatives were asked to explain the benefits that Metro provides for Boring and what could be done about the fact one-half of Boring residents live inside the Metro boundary and one-half do not.

During the September CPO meeting, attended by Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick, Bates suggested problems could result if the residents of Boring choose to incorporate at some time in the future.

In his hypothetical example, Bates said some land would be governed by one set of zoning rules and some land would be subject to a different set of rules.

Bates said he was disappointed with the letter from Hughes because he wanted someone from Metro to explain Metro’s benefits.

“(The letter) was sort of a slap in the face,” Bates said, “because they are saying we are (only) a CPO, and we don’t deserve to have them come and tell us what they do.”

Instead, Hughes described the governmental structure with lines of communication between the county commissioners and its CPOs and between the county and Metro. But there are no lines of communication between Metro and the CPOs.

“I will ask Metro staff to contact county staff,” Hughes wrote in his letter Monday, “to determine the best way to have this discussion within the context of their CPO structure.”

Bates said he was upset over Metro’s refusal to attend the meeting, and anticipated many others also would be concerned.

“These are elected government officials,” Bates said, “and they do not want to be responsive to the requests of the people who elected them.”

One of the options is for Boring to withdraw from Metro boundaries, but that process might require a petition signed by Boring residents presented to the Oregon House of Representatives with a bill that would be considered by the Legislature.

Metro was not destined to come to the CPO meeting to face a bunch of angry residents, Bates said. He explained at the September meeting, with Craddick listening, that no questions would be asked of Metro unless its representatives allowed them to be asked. Even then, Bates promised a protocol that removes the possibility of distasteful public confrontations.

Bates will introduce a petition for withdrawal at the Oct. 1 meeting, but just to get approval of its wording.

“It’s apparent to me that (Hughes’ letter) was a challenge from Metro (to Boring) saying, you go ahead and try to withdraw, because there’s nothing in our code that says you can.”

The CPO meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the Boring-Damascus Grange Hall in downtown Boring.

For more information, call Bates at 503-663-6271 or Hughes at 503-797-1540.