It will be recalled that we followed the establishment of the City of Damascus with a similar interest. Greater Portland, regardless of its small-town feel, is changing over time, and we feel little fear of contradiction if we note that the various communities (however they define themselves) are either seeking to change with the times or finding themselves forced to do so if thier individual characters are to survive.
Who, 15 years ago, would have thought a City of Damascus, Oregon was feasible? Today, it's a reality.
Tigard's desire to bring the Bull Mountain area (generally speaking, west of SW Pacific Highway, south of SW Scholls Ferry Rd, north of King City and the Tualatin River, and centered on SW Beef Bend Rd and Bull Mountain Road) into its civic sphere were well-documented by The O over a series of months. The drama climaxed in an election which found most applicable voters within the bounds of Tigard approving but an even greater number of voters in the County area of Bull Mountain saying no and, as a result, dooming that effort.
Now, a movement is afoot to create the area a city. While we haven't, at the present time, been able to find a map of the proposed city limits, but the Tigard Times reported it is article of 1 June 2006 "Bull Mountain May Need A Mayor In November", by Barbara Sherman, that "Its boundaries would be the Tigard city limits and Scholls Ferry, Roy Rogers and Beef Bend roads." Lisa Hamilton Treick, a member of the board of Friends of Bull Mountain, expressed the area thus (as also reported by the Tigard Times on 1 June 2006):
And you know the beauty of this effort? No more annexation issues. The City of Bull Mountain would butt up against King City, Sherwood, Tigard and Beaverton. It’s a known quantity.We don't quite see how this new city would butt up against Sherwood unless it subsequently leapt across the Tualatin River and took in at least two or three lineal miles southward, but the rest of the comment makes perfect sense, and leads us toward our point, as does the following remark, als by Hamilton Trieck, and also reported by the Tigard Times:
I firmly believe they’d [meaning Washington County–ed.] like to see this resolved, especially since the county will be doing the planning for the area (when its urban services agreement with the city ends July 1). There is no way we can work with the city of Tigard.Now we get to the nut of the thing. Recall in our commentary about the Damascus process that we felt a defining issue was the one of local control. The Damascians didn't care for someone down on Grand Avenue telling them what to do; they've solved that essential problem (and are now experiencing, perforce, the growing pains). The Bull Montaines are perhaps justifiably tired of being batted about by Tigard, and with the political power of a city government, they will have to deal with the area as a peer.
With power comes responsiblilty, of course, and that means city services. As a new town of about 8,000, Bull Mountain will contract with various local authorities to provide police, fire, and utilities, which is a smart way to go if you want to keep your city government small. At least as far as water goes, Tigard will lose a potential part of the city, but gain a customer, which may be better for the cities in the long run.
Tigard is supportive of the effort, in a fashion that makes us think they've got some jiu-jitsu movement up thier sleeve, but we're not quite smart enough to go there...though it does leave us scratching our head.
In any event, we'll know in November. It looks like they'll get this one on the ballot.
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