City defends utility billing change, say land-use decision should be reversed, defend Roy Moore

Utility billing change 'driven by customer requests'

Thank you to the Hillsboro Tribune for highlighting the benefits of monthly utility billing for city of Hillsboro customers in the Tribune's article on Oct. 2, 2017 ("Hillsboro to switch to monthly utility billing"). That article answers the questions asked in the letter to the editor of Nov. 24, 2017 ("Why has utilities commission gone to monthly billing?"). City staff have also shared this information directly with customers and posted the information online on the city website.

The city of Hillsboro bills for the following utility services on a single utility bill: sanitary sewer, surface water management, transportation and water. Each of these utilities has had rate adjustments over the last seven years to meet the operational and capital needs of the services. The city of Hillsboro's decision to move to monthly billing was driven by customers' requests to align with monthly billing offered by other utilities, such as electric, telephone, and natural gas services.

Tribune readers can learn more about other monthly billing benefits, and the resources available for customer assistance, by visiting or by calling 503-615-6702. Thank you again.

— Lindsay Wochnick, Hillsboro's public relations and information officer

Northwest Hillsboro land decision should be reversed

Now you, too, have "a dog in the fight." Unsavory as the origin of this phrase may be, it means what happens here impacts you personally. Oregon's 2014 House Bill 4078, the "Grand Bargain," changed the intended land-use designation of 1,700 acres in northwest Hillsboro from Urban Reserve to Rural Reserve.

The hasty and ill-begotten tradeoffs that produced HB 4078 now negatively impact every citizen in Hillsboro and Washington County.

How? In addition to taking away land desperately needed for housing close to the work sector (which would help reduce commuter traffic) and increasing future costs of utility infrastructure, it stymies plans for a park and trail network in northwest Hillsboro. These plans are on the desks of planners in Hillsboro's Parks Department, but they cannot be completed on rural land.

Hillsboro should push to make them happen, starting with urging our legislature to reverse the northwest Hillsboro land-use designation from Rural Reserve back to Urban Reserve, a designation that was approved by Washington County, Metro and Oregon's LCDC after years of public process and studies.

Once the designation is changed to UR the land becomes eligible for inclusion in the Urban Growth Boundary. Only after these hurdles are overcome can it be added to the city. A completed park and trail network certainly adds to the enjoyment and livability of all of Washington County. This benefits you!

Your part in this is to make sure you understand the position of each state and local candidate regarding the proposed park and trails. Even though they may not directly represent the northwest Hillsboro area, they certainly could become part of a body at the state, county or city level that has jurisdiction over the changes required to make the city's proposal a reality. And then, you vote!

— Larry Sullivan, Hillsboro

'No proof' judge groped women

One month before the special election in Alabama, several women suddenly come forward and accuse Judge Roy Moore of things that supposedly happened 40 years ago with no proof, period — some of them after having been shown to be democrat activists and/or worked for the Hillary campaign. Their stories started falling apart, yet the media, McConnell, McCain and the establishment have all but hanged Judge Moore.

Now, here's where it gets funny. Sen. Al Franken, (D-MN), gets accused of unwanted attention. The first [woman] has a picture of Franken groping her, and if that wasn't enough, the second one has two pictures. Seems Franken chose to ignore the rule about not having a photographer there when groping women.

I am tired of watching them try to destroy a good man (Judge Moore) and some (Hillary Clinton) defending the real monster (Sen. Franken).

— Ken Bellamy, Hillsboro

Get on your soapbox

The Tribune offers a soapbox to stand on every week on the Opinion Page of our newspaper, and online. The Soapbox is a guest column written by any reader on any local issue of public interest.

They should be no longer than 800 words (about three double-spaced typewritten pages in length) and should include the name, address and phone number of the writer.

Soapboxes are due Mondays at noon and can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

An online form is available for readers to submit shorter letters.


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