Don’t Sit on the Sidelines

Oregon City Bridge
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We all live busy lives, but there are certain things that should not be ignored or taken for granted – our fundamental right is to stand up and be heard. Being involved in the City gives you the voice and chance to make a positive difference in our community. Let’s get involved!

Article published in West Linn Tidings:

My wife and I moved to the city of West Linn in 2004. During our first few years within the city, we were what people would define as the typical bedroom community couple. That meant we would work outside of the city and only come back home in the evenings. We didn’t partake in many of the different activities available, and we didn’t get involved in any of the city’s activities. In 2006, the unfortunate financial mismanagement was discovered and our then finance director was arrested and charged with 114 felony counts. I was stunned.

Later that same year, I read about openings on various boards that was included in our water bill. I decided at that moment, I wanted to be more than just a person sitting on the sidelines, paying their tax bills, and not caring. I wanted to understand what was happening to each and every hard earned tax dollar and work with the city to move it forward. My first appointments were to the Tri-City Service District Budget Committee and Transportation Advisory Board. As the years went along, I was appointed to the Citizens’ Budget Committee and had the (good) fortune of being its chair.

Within the years of sitting on this committee, our city has continued to move forward in positive directions with respect to our finances. We have balanced biennium budgets that won consecutive governmental awards. The budgets are well presented and now finance department is the strongest ever with Richard Seals at the helm. Highlights over the last several years include: catch up and completion of all audits, reinstatement of outside credit ratings that were suspended, refinancing of all current outstanding debt passing on the savings to the tax payers, increasing our city’s credit ratings to AA, and the sale of new general obligation bonds for the police station at 2.25 percent, a historic low level.

As I leave the Citizens’ Budget Committee moving on to the Planning Commission, I am satisfied that the foundation we have set will continue to move this city forward in a positive direction. As I look at the other openings among the other boards, I encourage each of you to consider giving back to your community. Get involved. Getting involved is how we build better and strong communities for our future and beyond. Citizens and staff working together to move our city in a positive direction, and, there is no better time to start than today.

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