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Volume 16, Issue 9
September 2018


Park news
Fall Native Plant Sale

Saturday, October 6, 10 am-noon, Tualatin Hills Nature Park, 15655 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton

Fall is the perfect time to plant! Visit the plant sale and select from a wide variety of trees, shrubs and flowering plants. Native flowering shrubs and plants attract pollinators and birds, require less water, and are naturally pest resistant. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions.

Proceeds support the Friends of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park and go toward future park improvements.

Bethany Creek Trail

Monday, September 10, 7 pm, Bethany Presbyterian Church , 15505 NW Springville Road

A neighborhood meeting will be held to discuss Segment 3 of the Bethany Creek Trail, a new community trail segment located in the North Bethany area of Washington County. It will extend from THPRD’s Westside Trail north to Springville Rd along the east edge of Kaiser Woods Natural Area and Kaiser Woods Park.

The current proposed alignment of Segment 3
The current proposed alignment of Segment 3

The proposed trail alignment is approximately 0.44 miles and runs almost entirely within a Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Right-of-Way (ROW). The project spans multiple jurisdictions including Washington and Multnomah counties and project permitting will need to address the requirements of each jurisdiction as appropriate. It is anticipated that multiple easements, such as utility and access easements, will be encountered and considered within the project. There are multiple THPRD properties and parks within a half-mile radius of the trail, and this new community trail segment will provide connectivity to adjacent trails, parks and neighborhoods/streets as appropriate within the North Bethany area.

Project planning for THPRD's newest trail project is under way. THPRD's design consultants began conducting site surveys and base mapping of the project area for site analysis in March 2018. Public outreach and master planning efforts also began in March 2018. Construction is anticipated for the summer of 2020.

Why annex into THPRD?

Deadline Sunday, October 14

White areas are not paying taxes to THPRD
White areas are not paying taxes to THPRD

You may have received a mailer from Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District with a limited-time offer to annex into the District. If you did, it means that your property, while it in the “Ultimate Service Boundary” for the park district, is not paying taxes to support THPRD. It also means that you have to wait a few days to register for classes and programs, and you may pay a little more.

This offer has several special perks for those who accept it. The district will cover all fees associated with annexation, and you will get a $500 voucher towards classes and programs, including fees to use Center facilities like pools and exercise rooms.

As an “in-dstrict” resident, you’ll also have the opportunity to participate on THPRD advisory committees and you’ll be able to vote in elections and levies. Whether you love our parks, or have needs or issues that you feel they should address, you need to be “in-district” to really have a say.

Why isn’t everyone already in the district?

Up until 2003, new development inside the Service Boundary wasn’t required to annex in. Much of Cedar Mill and Bethany developed this way. In addition, some of our older areas never annexed in, including quite a swath of “downtown” Cedar Mill. A county ordinance has required all new development to “annex in” since then.

Several of the properties owned by THPRD are surrounded by out-of-district areas, including the Northeast Park at Laidlaw & Saltzman, and the Lehman property at Thompson and Saltzman. It’s likely that they will get developed faster if a significant number of neighbors join the district. While newer developments, like Bonny Slope West, pay System Development Charges to THPRD, those fees are not earmarked for nearby parks.

What does it cost?

Once you are in the district, you will see a line item on your property taxes for THPRD. The current tax rate is $1.63 per $1000 of assessed (not market) value. A property assessed at $200K would pay $326 per year in THPRD taxes.

Why should I pay for parks if I don’t use them?

Some people feel that since they already belong to an athletic club, or have recreational facilities provided by their subdivision, that they don’t need parks. However, just like with schools, who wants to live in a place without adequate public amenities? County taxes are pretty low compared to nearby cities, so please consider stepping up to support our parks.

Board and Admin changes at THPRD

A rash of retirements and a Board resignation has shaken up the leadership teams at Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District. We asked Aisha Panas, Director of Park & Recreation Services, to help us figure out “who’s on first.”

Last year, Holly Thompson and Felicita Montebianco were elected to the five-person Board of Directors. This body makes the big decisions about budget, park, and program development. Early this year, one of the previously elected Board members resigned, and Wendy Kroger was selected to fill out that term. Last month, we learned that Holly Thompson was resigning from the Board.

Panas explains, “The board has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, September 6, at 6 pm, to interview potential board appointees and select a fifth board member. The meeting will be held in the Dryland Training Room at the HMT Complex. The board will be utilizing the list of candidates that were assembled for the search that resulted in Wendy Kroger's selection given how recently that process was conducted.”

Bob Wayt has been the Director of Communications since 2007. He retired at the end of July 2018, and Holly Thompson, the City of Beaverton's Public Involvement and Communications Manager, was chosen to serve THPRD as the new Director of Communications. The Director of Communications is responsible for communications and marketing strategy development and implementation, community engagement, media relations, and public information.

Thompson competed in a hiring process conducted by a consulting firm that specializes in executive recruitment and was the top choice in a field of nearly 100 candidates.

Panas also notes, “Three longtime department managers retired from THPRD this summer. Sabrina Taylor Schmitt, formerly the center supervisor of Conestoga Recreation & Aquatic Center, was hired to replace Eric Owens as the Recreation department manager following his retirement after 21 years at THPRD.

“Julie Rocha, formerly the Athletic Center supervisor, was chosen to succeed Keith Watson as Sports department manager following his move to department manager of Community Programs following Deb Schoen's retirement after 38 years with the park district.

“Christine Hoffmann, previously the assistant director of Human Resources for Benton County, will take over as the Human Resources department manager from Nancy Hartman Noye, who retired following 20+ years at THPRD. All three began their new roles in August.”

The special events and volunteer coordinator role formerly held by Deb Fife has not been filled. Other staff members are currently covering those duties [until a replacement is hired???].

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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
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Portland, Oregon 97291
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