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Tigard 'State of the City' expands outside City Hall

Yearly address moves to new location, promises to revamp celebration

TIMES PHOTO: GEOFF PURSINGER - Tigard Mayor John L. Cook took his yearly address on the road, delivering the State of the City address from Indio Spirits, near Bridgeport Village.Tigard’s Indio Spirits distillery is used to bringing life to a party with its drinks, but it seldom that the party comes to them.

But that's just what happened last week, when Tigard Mayor John L. Cook hosted his annual “State of the City” address at the quiet distillery on Thursday, Feb. 4.

The mayor’s annual address is meant to showcase the city’s good works over the past year, and to offer a look ahead at what’s to come.

For years, Tigard mayors have held the State of the City as part of their regularly-scheduled city council meetings, but Cook said he wanted to take a page from other local mayors, who turn their yearly addresses into a time for celebration.

“I said, 'I’m going to be different,'” Cook told the crowd at last weeks gathering. “(Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden) does videos, too, but mine won’t be 90 minutes long.”

Since taking office, Cook has brought a few changes to the yearly address.

Cook said he’d continue to build on the address each year, to highlight area businesses and talk about the accomplishments of the past year.

What do Tigard residents have to look forward to in 2016? Likely more of the same, Cook said.

“The city will continue working on our priorities,” Cook said” (Including) water, the downtown, economic development, and the Tigard Triangle.”

The Triangle — a section of town bordered by Interstate 5, Highway 217 and Pacific Highway, has long been an area the city would live to revitalize.

Cook said work will continue to change how the city funds its parks maintenance. A parks levy has been proposed for the November ballot, and councilors are also considering pulling parks funding from the city’s general fund, in place of a fee that would appear on residents’ utility bills.

But overseeing every decision, Cook said, is the city’s “strategic plan,” a years-long effort to become the most walkable city in the Pacific Northwest.

“We will wisely continue to allocate city resources that support our long and short term goals for our strategic plan,” he said. “… We want to hear from all of you, our community members, (about) how we can advance the city’s priorities and bring the city’s visions and goals closer to reality.”

TIMES PHOTO: GEOFF PURSINGER - A crowd gathers at Indio Spirits in Tigard for the annual State of the City address, by Mayor John L. Cook

By Geoff Pursinger
Assistant Editor, The Times
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