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Mayor John Cook takes helm of Tigard

City also welcomes two new councilors


by: JAIME VALDEZ - Tigard Municipal Court Judge Michael O'Brian shakes Tigard Mayor John L. Cook's hand after Cook is sworn in as mayor with his wife, Terri, at his side. When Tigard’s newest mayor was sworn into office Tuesday night, City Hall was so crowded onlookers spilled out into the hallway.

The packed house was there to watch John L. Cook officially take the helm as mayor for the next two years as he serves the remainder of former mayor Craig Dirksen’s term.

Cook, a certified public accountant from Tigard, secured the post in the November 2012 special election.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Marland Henderson takes an oath of office alongside 11-year-old Megan Rose Johnson. Henderson comes to the council as one of the council's senior members.Tuesday was also a big night for Jason Snider and Marland Henderson, the city's newest city councilors who stepped into their roles after running unopposed for two open seats on the council.

Henderson, Snider and Cook wasted no time in laying out issues the city will tackle in the near future.

“The council has been working hard on several initiatives that need to keep moving forward,” Cook told the crowd. “We have several key issues that need to be addressed.”

Those issues fall under one umbrella category, Cook said of Tigard’s continuing population growth.

“Growing up in Tigard, the one thing that I could always count on is that small-town neighborly feel,” Cook said. “While we would like to keep that atmosphere, we have to recognize that Tigard is a major player in the Metro region now. We will likely have big decisions to make about growth and livability.”

One of the most important issues the city will face over the next two years is continuing its plans on a proposed high-capacity transit line through Tigard, the mayor said. Although the line won’t be built by the end of Cook’s term in 2015, he said Tigard would need to continue to partner with neighboring cities to address issues with the line as well as transportation issues along Pacific Highway.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Former Tigard mayors, from left, Tom Brian, Craig Dirksen, current Mayor John L. Cook, his father John E. Cook and Gerald Edwards stand together prior to Tuesday night's swearing in ceremony.One issue that will come under consideration is what type of high-capacity transit line should be built, Cook said.

While Dirksen has advocated for light rail through Tigard, Cook said during his campaign that he favored a cheaper bus-rapid-transit similar to a line used in the Eugene area.

In November 2012, voters approved a referendum that calls for a vote before the city can spend money to build a MAX light-rail line.

The second issue Cook addressed was Tigard’s need for water.

For years, the city has been working with Lake Oswego to develop a long-term water source along the Clackamas River. The West Linn City Council is expected to take up a proposed expansion of a water treatment plant Lake Oswego owns in West Linn on Monday.

Henderson agreed, calling Tigard’s partnership with Lake Oswego one of the city's greatest accomplishments to date.

“Our partnership with Lake Oswego is securing a water source that Tigard has been looking for forever,” Henderson said.

by: JAIME VALDEZ - New Tigard City Councilor Jason Snider ran unopposed for a seat on the council. He previously served on the city's Budget Committee.Another area the city will need to focus its attention is River Terrace, Cook said. The section of land west of Bull Mountain is expected to be developed in the next several years.

The city is in the midst of planning that development.

Cook said he also wants to make city government more accessible to members of the community by hosting town hall meetings and “fireside chats” with residents to discuss local issues and collect public feedback.

“There is a lot of work to do to maintain livability in our city,” Cook said. “I am ready to get started.”




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