Across Oregon, City Hall Week events bring citizens together with legislators and candidates

The City Hall Week schedule (see below) does not include a listing for any event in Portland, but there are events in many other cities where Portlanders are welcome. If you’re interested, look underneath the post for downloadable and viewable schedules. And let’s not overlook the gratuitous slam; scroll down until you see bullet points. There it is! Mental health crisis services – right at the bottom. — Eds.

Portland Tribune, Sept. 8, 2014

Cities across Oregon have designated Sept. 8-12 as City Hall Week as a proactive approach to raising awareness of critical issues.

In 21 host locations, city officials will lead a forum with legislators and candidates to share ideas for supporting the economic vitality and stability of Oregon communities prior to the 2015 legislative session.
In Oregon City, City Hall Week will be held 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Museum of the Oregon Territory, 211 Tumwater Drive. The public is welcome to attend.

Cities act as hosts for these events with technical support from the League of Oregon Cities Intergovernmental Relations Department. Discussions will focus on property-tax reform, transportation funding, marijuana regulations, protecting city rights-of-way authority, and enhancing mental health resources.

City governments statewide are facing increased fiscal pressures and would like greater flexibility in managing their affairs.

“City officials know best the issues that impact their communities,” said Oregon City Manager David Frasher. “Local officials have been elected to represent their communities, and legislators are elected to represent the same constituents. City Hall Week will ensure that local voices gain the attention of legislators and candidates.”

One of the more controversial initiatives involves opposing legislation that would pre-empt the ability of cities to manage and receive compensation for the use of the public rights-of-way. In the organization’s newsletter this month, Mike McCauley, executive director of the League of Oregon Cities, didn’t directly reference Oregon City’s current fight with the county over right-of-way fees, but he instead used an example of concerns about unilaterally combining city police with county sheriff’s offices.

“Home rule is about local choices made by local residents who have chosen to pay taxes to be in a city — expecting services associated with urban living,” McCauley said.

Cities are also urging the Oregon Legislature to:

• Reform Oregon’s property-tax system by introducing a constitutional amendment allowing a local option levy outside compression and resetting assessed value to real market value when a property is sold or constructed

• Pass a comprehensive transportation funding and policy package

• Enhance public safety related to medical marijuana by requiring employees and agents of dispensaries to pass the same background checks as proprietors

• Support increased resources across the state for people with mental health issues, especially in crisis situations.

DOWNLOADCity Hall Week Sept 8-12 2014 (PDF, 82KB)

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