CPO News July 2020

CPO July meeting

Tuesday, July 14, 7-9 pm, via Zoom webinar

Meeting followup

Exhibits and links to documents mentioned during our meeting are below.

Meeting video on CPO 1 Facebook page: (begin around 3 minutes 30 seconds)


Books and articles mentioned:

Pacific Office Automation

Participants’ contact information:

Documents and web pages

The next session of the Community Participation Organization for this area (Cedar Hills, Cedar Mill, Bonny Slope) will include information about the ongoing work by Washington County to address the way the county allows development in areas designated as Significant Natural Resources (SNR). Theresa Cherniak, Principal Planner in the Land Use and Transportation (LUT) division, will discuss the current status of the SNR Assessment, and next steps.

The county issued a “Draft Program Review & Assessment” on SNRs last fall, and in March they presented an update to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) that included responses to public comments and BCC responses to the draft. 

One of the significant changes from the initial draft is increased support for the possibility of a tree code that would protect some trees in urban unincorporated areas. We are working to get a representative from Audubon or another agency that can advise the community on how to help make that happen.

Cherniak will also address the county’s response to the recent ruling by the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission that found the county is out of compliance with aspects of the state’s Goal 5 (natural resources) regulations. We also hope to bring the plaintiffs in that case to explain their side.

Use the link at the top of this article to join the Zoom meeting, or view our “simulcast” on the CPO 1 Facebook page. If you use Zoom, you’ll be able to ask questions. The Facebook video will be available after the meeting if you can’t join live.

The June CPO 1 meeting focused on “Cedar Mill Town Center.” A presentation from Andy Back, Division Manager, LUT Planning and Development Services, gave us the history of the effort and where it currently stands. John Southgate, Economic Development consultant for Washington County, then discussed how economic conditions affect the plan and its future. 

Our county commissioner Pam Treece also attended the meeting, joining in the discussion of economic development for the county’s unincorporated areas, in addition to providing an update on the issues the Board of County Commissioners is working on, from the COVID-19 response to the proposed charter amendments below.

Video of the meeting is available on the CPO 1 Facebook page here.

Changes proposed for County Charter would remove “Ordinance Season” and change how Commissioners are paid

A public hearing has been scheduled on July 28 for two proposed charter amendments. It’s expected that these two measures will appear on the November ballot. 

One amendment would eliminate a Charter section prohibiting the county from hearing land use ordinances between November 1 and March 1 each year. Pressure to complete all ordinances by November 1 often leads to rushed decisions or to important issues being deferred to the following “season.” It can also limit the variety of issues the staff is able to work on.

The second proposed amendment will delete provisions that set the Chair’s salary at a rate that is 80% of that of a circuit court judge and sets Commissioners’ salary at a rate of 40% of the Chair’s salary. A five-member salary commission will be created, composed of qualified human resource professionals with compensation experience. 

This could pave the way for full-time Commissioners to handle the business of the county, where a large portion of the population lives in urban unincorporated areas (no city government). 

CPO leaders have been pressing for both of these changes for several years. Our leadership group, CCI, has submitted letters encouraging these changes and has lobbied with staff and commissioners about the need for full-time board members and for removing the artificial limits on ordinance submittal, consideration, and passage.

Pam Treece, the Commissioner representing our District 2, has been the driver for these changes. The majority of the BCC seems to agree. We thank her for working on these important changes that will bring more effective governance.

Leadership changes at Washington County

Tanya Ange

Tanya Ange has been appointed as County Administrator, following the retirement of Robert Davis in late 2019, after 13 years of service in that role and 36 years of service to the county. Stephen Rhodes has served in interim capacity since then. Ange is currently deputy city manager for the City of Boulder, Colorado, where she has served for four years. She begins at Washington County on August 24.

The County Administrator and Administrative Office staff oversee County programs and projects; select and evaluate the performance of appointed department heads; perform analyses leading to the improvement of County services; prepare and administer the annual budget; and provide direct administrative and clerical support to the Board of Commissioners. Learn more here.

 “Tanya comes to Washington County with a demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion and a data-driven approach to making the most of limited public resources for community benefit. After a national search with exceptional candidates, it was Tanya’s managerial experience and values-driven approach to local government that set her apart,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington. More information about Ange is in the county media release.

Chris Gensler was appointed as Chief Information Technology Officer in June. He has worked in the IT Services Division since 2011. In his new role as CITO, Gensler is responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of the overall information systems and technology architecture for the County. We look forward to working with him and his department to improve public access to information.