Incorporating Bull Mountain not a fixall
- Tim Roberts
- The Times - Opinion
(Soapboxes are guest opinions from our readers, and anyone is welcome to write one. Tim Roberts is a Tigard resident.)
It now appears that we residents of unincorporated Bull Mountain may be voting this fall on whether to incorporate as a new city. Before voting, I sincerely hope that all residents take the time to think about the issue rationally, rather than jumping to an answer just because it is exciting and new.
Some people are under the mistaken impression that this new city will be able to set whatever property tax assessment rate it deems convenient. This is simply not the case.
The citizens of this area demand certain services; those services cost a certain amount of money, and they will cost that amount whether they are being administered by the city of Bull Mountain or the city of Tigard. We are not going to save any money by incorporating. The full report of the Bull Mountain Governance Committee from CPO 4B demonstrates this.
Further, there is a fixed amount of administrative work that every city is obligated to complete. A city of 50,000 is not all that much more difficult to administer than a city of 10,000. By forming a second city, the total amount of administrative work that would be required will be significantly more than if we chose the sensible option of merging with the city of Tigard. We will have two city councils, two mayors, two city halls, two sets of city ordinances, two sets of administrative guidelines, two planning commissions, etc.
Do not be fooled into believing that the new city will be governed by righteous and gracious people who will never make a decision that you disagree with. The new city will be managed by human beings, just like the city of Tigard. If you believe the government of the city of Tigard to be your enemy, then you will certainly find the government of the city of Bull Mountain to be your enemy.
It is reasonable to expect that the early government will be composed of citizen activists, such as the so-called Friends of Bull Mountain. Having seen the heavy-handed tactics used by FOBM, I do not relish the thought of trying to negotiate a building permit with those folks.
The new city of Bull Mountain will need five city councilors and a mayor from this point forward, forever and forever. And because we have a smaller population, there will be fewer people to share that burden. Are you willing to take your turn as the mayor of a medium-sized city of argumentative and opinionated people? If the answer is 'no,' then perhaps you should not vote to incur that additional obligation.