Feb 1, 2007

Troutdale City Council Goal Setting

Tuesday night, the city council held its annual goal setting session. It's my blog, so I'll brag about two new council goals for 2007-08 that I proposed.

First: We agreed that reduction of Troutdale's density should be a priority. (Kudos and many thanks to fellow councilor Barbara Kyle, who has also advocated the pursuit of lower density for the past year). The city council has already started this process. We'll be looking at potential areas to downzone in the next few weeks. City staff should also have some answers regarding my suggestion of a building moratorium in Troutdale.

I wrote about this idea on my blog last month. The Oregonian's Gosia Wozniacka discussed the issue further in her article, "Troutdale councilor challenges density" which ran January 25.

Second: we will create a city legislative agenda for county and state issues of interest to the city. Supporting the League of Oregon City's legislative agenda is fine in a generic sense, but I felt it was time we asked our local legislators to carry the water for issues that would be "Troutdale-specific".

Now I'll get back to the goal setting session in general. First, we reviewed the status of the 2006-2007 goals. For instance, our #1 priority has been completion of our Riverfront Renewal Plan (aka Troutdale's urban renewal district). Some progress has been made.

Negotiations for Disposition and Development Agreements are underway with Chelsea Group and Eastwind Development Group. City staff is also working on the RFP for redevelopment of the eastern portion of the site. This should be completed and out to the development world within 30-60 days. Approvals for the City of Troutdale and Union Pacific Railroad riverfront access road have cleared the Troutdale Planning Commission.

Another goal, "Encourage Economic Development", includes items such as "Continue membership and support for East Metro Economic Alliance", and "Continue to support Mt. Hood Community College "back forty" site. "

No matter what happens, we can say we worked on these goals! They're meaningless. Most of the items listed in our council goals are just as generic.

For the last two years, I have encouraged my fellow city councilors to be more specific with their goals. How about being specific, measurable, reachable, with accountability and due dates agreed upon? No such luck. As a matter of fact, two city councilors were quite vocal in opposition to any attempts at accountability or specificity. Nice. But a few councilors have come around. I would say 3 councilors wish accountability, 2 don't, and one will continue to duck and cover on this issue.

I will say this, though. We are extremely fortunate to have John Anderson as City Administrator. He has done his best to create specific and measurable tasks from our generic goals. Many thanks to John and the rest of the city staff for their hard work over the last year.

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