This month, we asked each of the candidates for Mayor or City Council to prioritize five essential city services from 1 to 5, with 1 being the most important. Additionally we asked them whether they support the Metro Southwest Corridor Plan (light rail extension) and the Metro’s Housing Bond? Remember, ballots must be received by November 6th!
Tualatin Mayor: Paul Morrison vs Frank Bubenik
Being asked to rate Police, Library, Transportation, Parks & Recreation and Housing 1-5 is like being asked which child do you love the most. I have five children and love them all equally. All five items are important to me.
The number one issue, according to both our residents and workforce community, is traffic. We need to find ways to improve the traffic flow along Boones Ferry Road between Tigard and Wilsonville and Borland Road between West Linn, Lake Oswego and Tualatin. Washington County has already approved and begun the planning process to widen Tualatin-Sherwood Road from Teton to Highway 99. That, along with the improvements we will make using the newly approved Tualatin Transportation bond, should dramatically improve that corridor.
The city is working on a new Parks and Recreation Master Plan, and while the needs are many, we must continue to expand our parks in a financially sensible manner that keeps our taxes one of the lowest rates in the Metro area while maintaining our award-winning parks and trails. The new Master Plan clearly shows that the residents would like to see an expansion of new baseball and soccer fields. We are one of the few cities in the Metro area without lighted youth fields, so we need to find a path to make that happen.
Housing is another tough problem, but it is a regional one and solving the housing problem will involve the entire area working together. We need to begin working on a comprehensive affordable housing plan for the city. While we have limited opportunity to develop residential housing in Basalt Creek, we need to leverage what little acreage we have to ensure that affordable housing and apartments are developed in the area. The real opportunity will be working with West Linn and Lake Oswego to develop the Stafford area.
The city is fortunate to have had great leadership for the last twenty-four years, and Mayor Lou Ogden will be leaving the city in very good shape, especially financially. The Police Department and the Library moved into their current locations after voters approved two separate bonds to fund the new buildings. Both buildings are set up to handle the city’s growth.
I support the preferred route of the Southwest Corridor. The Southwest Corridor plan is another tool to provide traffic relief in the Metro area. Metro has reaffirmed, at a council presentation last month, to protect the interests and concerns of the Village Inn.
I am opposed to the Metro Housing Bond because Washington County is already funding low income housing and has done it without raising taxes. Metro’s plan, while raising everyone’s property tax bill, does very little for Washington and Clackamas Counties and has a very high administration fee built into the program.
To learn more about Paul Morrison, visit: www.paul4tualatin.com
1. Police. Safety is paramount – none of the other items on the list mean much if we do not have a safe environment to live and work. As mayor, I will support the continued excellence in delivery of services by the Tualatin Police.
2. Housing. If residents do not have shelter, then that creates a series of problems including difficulty for adults finding stable employment and educational challenges for hungry, sleep-deprived children. As mayor, I will exercise compassion and leverage resources to support the development of affordable housing for both the workforce and vulnerable residents.
3. Transportation. A safe and reliable transportation system is one of the keys to a successful local and regional economy. I was a leading advocate for the recent transportation bond, and, as mayor, I will ensure that the bond proceeds are spent wisely on projects that make a significant difference in the safety and efficiency of our transportation system. I will also advocate for other projects that will reduce congestion in the city and the region while improving safety and expanding routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
4. Library and #5 Parks and Recreation. Part of what makes our city attractive are the services and amenities residents find here. This includes a library rich in resources for all residents and access to beautiful parks and recreation throughout all of our city. These are things our community has repeatedly listed as important and I will always support.
SW Corridor. Tentative Yes. We need a terminus plan that does not displace the Village Inn and will not overburden the intersection and freeway entrances/exits. The SW Corridor has many benefits: it will allow residents of Tualatin a direct, traffic-free route to downtown PDX, Hillsboro, and the airport. Moreover, the connection of the SW Corridor MAX line to the WES line in Tigard will finally bring much-needed utility to the WES service, which may facilitate the growth of our downtown core. But we also need to see the projected construction costs and the cost of the bond to the public. If approved by the voters, I will work hard to ensure that the project is completed on time and on budget.
Metro Housing Bond. I support Metro’s Housing Bond. The bond will provide 3,900 apartments for a region that is tens of thousands of units short. Seniors, working families, veterans, people with disabilities, and others need an affordable place to call home. Today, you can work full time, earn an average salary and still not afford to even rent a one-bedroom apartment in Tualatin. Stable housing is critical for the success of children in school and adults trying to provide for their families. Sadly there is no real combination of market incentives/mandates that will motivate private developers to build low income housing, hence this measure.
To learn more about Frank Bubenik, visit:
Council Position 5: Nancy Grimes vs Chris Burchill
Balancing strong neighborhoods and a thriving business community is very important in our city, and transportation is the key. Our transportation system has to work for our residents, keeping neighborhoods safe, while allowing for customers, employees and freight to reach local businesses. I have many reservations about Light Rail and Metro’s SW Corridor plan (including concerns it will never be fully funded) but I support the bus transit hub it will bring to Bridgeport as well as the TriMet bus line 97 which will finally be an East to West circulating line from Tualatin to Sherwood.
Access to affordable, stable housing for families and seniors is very important to me. However, Metro’s Bond Measure includes no firm plan to bring any affordable housing to Tualatin. It sends our precious tax dollars to other communities, and we need an answer for our city. We need to plan for development in the Basalt Creek area to include flexible housing ideas, multi-family, higher density options that are more affordable options. We can look at opportunity zone funding in our current downtown Tualatin area so we can play a role in our city’s redevelopment and help fund the multi-use, multi-generational housing we need.
Our Tualatin Police Department is a huge source of pride to me. The safety and well being of our city is due to their care, and commitment to community involvement. They reach out to the diverse communities living here and can be seen at every Tualatin event interacting with residents and strengthening their community bond. They have my complete support and commitment to secure funding for the future.
1. Housing; I believe housing is the most important, we must provide the housing for all our residents. Without an affordable place to live, a person can’t function and be productive. We take this for granted but it is far from guaranteed. Illness, accidents, lost job and other factors can put you on the street. Our responsibility is to help provide a safety net for our neighbors and others to help in their time of need. Lets not lose another generation of students, We need to provide low cost housing and to build housing that will be efficient and last for a long time, net zero would be my code goal for all buildings and housing in the future .
#2 Transportation: We can’t build our way out of this problem, there must be many parts of a solution, ride sharing, HOV lanes, alternate days etc.
# 3. Parks would be next on my list as they are important part of the livability in our city. We have beautiful green spaces and l would love to connect them all and add more to the inner west.
#4 Library; we have a great library and need to continue to support it. It is a great place for people to gather, while sharing information.
#5 Police; our police force keeps us safe and is doing a fine job.
Do you support Metro’s Southwest Corridor Plan (light rail extension to Tigard)? I don’t think we have done enough to support a light rail to Tigard. The CIOs voted some years ago not support light rail to Tigard, and yet it continues, we just don’t have the population density. I would listen and support the votes of Tualatin citizens. We have done nothing to get people out of their cars and on to the rail. You would need parking structures for all the cars because of our lack of density, people would need to drive to the rail to ride. Just because metro wants to build a new system doesn’t make it usable.
Do you support Metro’s Housing Bond? I hope that the housing bond will be a start to a great number of low cost housing built to last. However I am afraid it will not provide much and will be substandard and very costly. I believe in multi use buildings that are used 24/7, with shops, offices, parking and housing. Buildings that are efficient and built for the long term, building that serve your needs and help solve some transportation problems.
I am asking for your vote because I will listen and respond, I care about Tualatin and will work hard for the long term LIVABILITY. Let me give back to my city as I am retired and have a particular set of skills.
Council Position 1: (uncontested)
Maria A. Reyes
I would like to also include Businesses on this list.
#1 Businesses and Commerce: Businesses provide a great tax base for our city, which helps us fund various programs like Parks and Rec. In addition, we have a large number of manufacturing companies that provide engineering and skilled trade jobs. These attractive jobs in Tualatin help many of our citizens maintain short commutes, which is great considering the worsening traffic in Greater Portland.
#2 Housing: Having plenty of local jobs available in Tualatin means we have a healthy industrial sector; but, that also means people working in the city need reasonable options to live in this beautiful community. I believe that everyone should have access to basic needs; such as housing, food, education, and a good quality of life.
#3 Education and Library: It is important that we have great educational programs. The Libraries provide so much resources for all ages and generations. It is also a great place to for people to come and gather during the raining days in Oregon. The Library provides resources that kids may not have at home like computers, literature, printers, among others tools to make a student successful.
#4 Transportation: In order for us to have a community that uses all the services and shops in our city, we need transportation to be accessible. I will advocate for us to make sure our community has transportation to help them get around our city. Whether it’s to go to school or a doctor’s appointment or simply a commute to work, we need a good transportation system.
# Police: We need safety. It is our duty to make sure our people are safe as they enjoy the city. We live in a safe city and we want to make sure it keeps being safe.
2. Do you support Metro’s Southwest Corridor Plan (light rail extension to Tigard)? (Yes or No) I will need to do more research on this to be able to give a concrete answer. However, I want to make sure that whatever it is, I look after the citizens of Tualatin.
3. Do you support Metro’s Housing Bond? (Yes or No) No. I don’t believe that raising our taxes to provide affordable housing will help people of low income to ever get out of poverty. This will affect people who can barely pay their mortgage to help a small percentage of people. I support housing, but not government housing or low income housing. In my experience, low income housing doesn’t always help people get out of poverty–it keeps them in poverty. I support home ownership. I will support and help my community to own their home. I will advocate and negotiate with private developers build multi-generational homes that can be purchased by families. When a family owns their own home, they are more likely to take care of it.
Council Position 3: (uncontested)
This is truly remarkable city to call home, and if elected as your newest Tualatin City Councilor, I will be deeply committed to ensuring the well being of Tualatin’s residents, businesses, and visitors.
• Safety is paramount to a thriving community, and it is my utmost priority. Our police department not only provides patrol and emergency services but also offers public safety resources.
• Housing is a fundamental human need. As Portland real estate and rental prices continue to grow, so does the population of Tualatin. We need affordable housing opportunities in our community to provide stability for individuals and families.
• With the increase in residents also comes traffic congestion. Voters passed the transportation bond measure, and I look forward to seeing the bond projects completed successfully, on-time, and on budget, while listening to constituents’ concerns as we strive for more solutions.
• Our parks and recreation unite us, whether enjoying the trails, parks, public art, or one of our many events. The 2018 Park & Recreation Master Plan is being retooled to guide our city through 2035. The Master Plan needs citizen involvement and City Council leadership to foster these enhancements.
• The Tualatin Public Library offers an array of programming for people of all ages and backgrounds, including story time, homework help for school-age children, activities for teens, families, Spanish-language programming, and much more.
I support Metro’s Southwest Corridor plan of a light rail extension to Tigard, with the following concern: the proposed bus turnaround location will increase traffic congestion and negatively impact the Village Inn. On the positive side, the light rail not only will provide an efficient option for residents and businesses, but also will reduce congestion and environmental impact.
If the Metro Housing bond passes, the City Council will have an opportunity to receive grant money for Tualatin. The people in our community need to have more affordable housing opportunities across all socioeconomic levels.
Lastly, expanding our business community will provide employment opportunities and help attract new residents, increasing revenue to Tualatin and improving the city’s livability and vibrancy.
Thank you for your consideration. I hope I’ve earned your vote!
For more information, please visit www.bridgetbrookstcc.com