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City of Tigard

Why Wednesday

Updated 2/25/21
Why Wednesday program identifier

WHY WEDNESDAY addresses the misinformation and rumors that may arise about City policy, decisions, or other actions. We believe that the best discussions relating to Tigard will occur when community members possess all the relevant facts.

Each Wednesday, we will highlight a topic of community importance. Topics will be selected from community feedback that we receive from you at public meetings, on social media, or in-person interactions.

Dwayne asks: Do I need to sign up for the CodeRED app?
Posted 3/3/21, 8:58 a.m.
We’re glad that you signed up for CodeRED. Please encourage your neighbors to do the same. CodeRED is the best way to stay informed about emergencies. 

We recommend signing up for CodeRED and downloading the app. Here’s why. With the CodeRED that you signed up for, you will be notified of impacts to Tigard no matter where you are. 

The CodeRED Mobile Alert app allows you to receive notifications directly to your mobile device whether at home, on the road, or traveling around the country.  These mobile push notifications deliver relevant, location-based alerts based on GPS location to ensure you receive critical information when you are outside of Tigard. For example, if you have traveling in Montana and there is an emergency situation, you would be notified on the app.

Laura asks: Why has the library not reopened yet and when will it reopen?

Answer: Decisions about reopening the library building to the public are based on the ability to provide a safe environment for staff and the community. Those assessments include best practices and guidance from the Oregon Health Authority, City of Tigard, and other Washington County libraries. While we do not have a specific timeline yet, library services will continue to expand as vaccine rollout to our staff continues, county risk level decreases, and safety measures are put in place.

In the meantime, Library Takeout is available Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. for holds pickup, Take and Make craft bags, tax forms, printing services and more. A description of current library services and procedures can be found at

Dev asks: What steps is the city taking to bring on more diverse people that represent all of Tigard's residents?

Answer: For quite a few years, our Human Resources team has been working to attract a more diverse candidate pool and we’re seeing increased diversity in newly hired employees over the past few years.

One way we are working to increase diversity within our pool is through targeted advertising. We advertise each open position on the Partners in Diversity website (an organization in which we are a member), Centro Cultural, and the Urban League. We also changed test vendors for pre-employment police testing and went with a company with a proven track record of attracting more candidates from diverse backgrounds.

Once we have candidates in our recruitment pipeline, we have made efforts to help reduce bias in the hiring process. This includes a “blind review” of applications by the hiring manager involving removing the names and addresses from job applications when determining which candidates will move forward to the interview process. We have also implemented a structured interview process with vetted questions and anchors, consistent scoring, and HR review. Lastly, each person who participates on an interview panel must first receive bias training.

Nancy asks: Why does the Fanno Creek Trail continue to flood?

The trail’s close proximity to Fanno Creek has resulted in flooding at times, which has become more frequent over the years. Some folks have told us they think it is neat to observe the beaver activity in the area, but we mostly hear that people are getting frustrated and concerned about how often the trail floods and that it can stay flooded.

Since 2004, Tree For All partners have transformed more than eight miles of Fanno Creek streamside and 200 acres of greenways into a healthy resource for people and wildlife. As a result of successful restoration, dynamic Mother Nature has taken over parts of the floodplain that were historically wetlands but had drained and were dry enough to build trails. Fanno Creek has been transformed by the benefits beaver and their dams provide for wetland and wildlife habitat as well as water quality. Currently, five dams exist in this stretch of Fanno Creek. 

An unintended consequence of this valuable restoration and subsequent beaver activity is the high water levels which remain longer near Scholls Ferry Road. In recent years, the trail downstream of the crossing between THPRD’s Greenway Park and Tigard’s Englewood Park remains inundated for longer periods of time than before. 

What can be done about it? 

Working with partner agencies, several efforts are underway to address this issue:

Better information  

  • Clean Water Services has made water level information available online to check before you go: Fanno Creek Gauge Report  

  • Signed detour routes are available in both Tigard and Beaverton. View Detour 

Short Term Improvements

  • Raising the Trail under the Scholls Ferry Underpass: This project involves raising the trail elevation under the bridge which will increase the portion of the year that the trail remains dry and passable. This is not an adequate permanent solution because it will reduce the already sub-standard head space from 7’ 10” to approximately 7’ 0” – both below the trail standard of 8’. Clean Water Services is working with partners and a consultant to design and permit the underpass improvementMore info 

  • Trail Relocation: Tigard and Clean Water Services partnered to relocate a portion of Fanno Creek Trail north of Ironwood Loop in Englewood Park. Crews constructed a new asphalt trail segment in approximately the same location as a dirt path trail users have worn into a grassy area to get around the area of the trail that sometimes floods.�€� 

  • Monitoring will ContinueTigard and Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District will continue to clear debris and sediment that accumulates on the trail after flooding. In addition, Clean Water Services will continue to monitor beaver dam activity and flow devices that aim to reduce the flooding impacts resulting from the dams. 

Longer Term

  • Fanno Creek Trail at Scholls Ferry Road at-grade crossing: Based on community support seen in a recent open house, project partners will pursue grant funding opportunities for design and construction of an at-grade crossing of Scholls Ferry Road. More info 

Rebecca asks: Where can I find detailed information on COVID cases in Oregon?

Answer: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) provides a daily report with demographic data, hospital capacity and emergency visits. You can also see the number of reported cases in your zip code using their weekly report.

Additionally, you can find updates on the status of your county and health guidelines. If you are looking for resources, this page will provide you contact information (available in multiple languages).

Parents with schoolkids (K-12) can also find the latest on school reopening and evidence-based metrics that are guiding school boards and school districts throughout the pandemic.

Joe asks: What is the status of the city manager recruitment?

Answer: The city’s practice is to use a competitive application process to fill vacancies. Candidates must submit an application and participate in any selection activities determined by the hiring manager and human resources. In this case, the hiring manager is the City Council. Council is currently working with Human Resources and an executive recruitment firm, Strategic Government Resources, to identify the selection process and related activities. Once the job is open for applications, we encourage community members to share it with others who might be a good fit for the role. You can follow the process on the City Manager Recruitment page

Sofia asks: Curious how you are changing your hiring practices to ensure that they are equitable and reduce barriers for marginalized communities?

Answer: As part of our continued efforts to diversify our workforce and reduce barriers to marginalized groups in our hiring process we are working on the following changes:

  • Requiring all of our panels to be diverse
  • Structured interview questions, rating scales, and rating guides
  • Standard interview scoresheets
  • Requiring three panel members on each interview

In addition to what we are currently working on, we made additional changes to our hiring process in March of 2019. Those changes were as follows:

  • Altered our advertising locations in sync with results of where our hires came from and the majority of diversity in our pool.
  • Initiated implicit bias and common rater errors training, coupled with best practices for an interview process prior to each interview.
  • Moved Tigard applications to a candidate number system, names do not show when applications are being screened.

That is a summary of some of our recent efforts. If there are any suggestions you would like to share with us please reach out to HR Business Partner Mary Ayala and she'd be happy to discuss and hear your suggestions.

You can also submit a topic idea in the form below.


Topic Suggestion:


Previous Questions & Answers

Jeff asks: What is the city’s plan for the $265 collected with each photo traffic enforcement citation? 

We have started photo traffic enforcement at three intersections along SW Pacific Highway (99W): 

  • SW 72nd Avenue and Pacific Highway (99W)
  • SW Hall Boulevard and Pacific Highway (99W)
  • SW Durham Road and Pacific Highway (99W) 

State statute requires that cities must remit a portion of all traffic fine payments to the State of Oregon and appropriate county. Combined, this is $66 per citation (ticket). For every full red light camera fine paid, the City of Tigard receives $199. However, that there are circumstances where traffic fines are reduced and a lower amount is paid by the driver. In those cases, the City is still legally obligated to forward $66 to the State/County. 

Photo enforcement program costs are paid from the remaining traffic fine revenues. These costs include vendor contract payments for camera equipment and maintenance, additional staffing costs associated with reviewing violations in the Police Department as well as staffing costs associated processing citations in the Tigard Municipal Court. 

As per Tigard City Council, if there are remaining revenues after funding program costs, the revenues will be dedicated to support the debt service on a new police facility. After this set-aside, any final remaining funds would be invested in traffic safety programs. 

Cheryl asks: What is the city doing to prepare for the Coronavirus?

Our emergency management staff is tracking the status of the Coronavirus in the US and coordinating closely with Washington County. 

The City's emergency management webpage contains details about emergency management plans. While no plan can replace the common sense and good judgment of emergency response personnel, department directors and other decision makers, the city’s plan provides a framework to guide efforts to respond to and recover from major emergencies, disasters and/or public health impacts like the Coronavirus. 

The Washington County Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for assuring public health and medical services required to cope with disasters in incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county and coordinating other medical services as required. 

Activities conducted or supported by the City include: 

  • Supporting public information programs dealing with Social distancing, personal health and hygiene.
  • Supporting and conducting disease and vector control operations as directed by County Health, including the establishment of quarantines.
  • Monitoring sanitation activities.
  • Ensuring that supplies of potable water are available.
  • Supporting conduct of environmental health activities regarding waste disposal, refuse, food, and water control.
  • Beginning the collection of vital information requested by the County.
  • Identifying potential and/or continuing hazards affecting public health.
  • Distributing appropriate guidance for the prevention of the harmful effects of the hazard. 

I hope this helps answer your question For more info, please contact Mike Lueck. Emergency Services Coordinator,  

Kara asks: Why does my tap water smell like chlorine?

We receive this question from time-to-time. Here's the answer. The water system uses chlorine as a disinfectant, and at levels that ensure public safety. However, when chlorine levels drop due to water age (which occur seasonally during low water use), the water takes on a chlorine odor that is aesthetically unpleasant. When a customer notifies us of this problem, we perform a water flush from a nearby fire hydrant to improve water quality aesthetics.  

This type of problem is common on cul-de-sacs or pipeline dead ends. The water is safe to consume as there is still adequate chlorine to kill pathogens, but the strong odor is difficult to remove unless flushed. We appreciate customers letting us know if a strong chlorine smell problem is occurring, as other nearby customers are probably affected as well. Still have questions? Contact Rob Murchison at

Janice asks: What is the story behind the animal stamps in the sidewalks downtown? I’ve seen a hummingbird, a turtle, a frog with an umbrella… and I’m looking forward to finding more as the weather improves!

Good eye! Animal stamps were added to the sidewalks during the Burnham Street project in 2011. The embossed stamps were designed by school children who drew pictures of local threatened species.

The Burnham Street project:

  • Added 10-18 foot sidewalks to encourage strolling
  • Safer pedestrian crosswalks
  • LED streetlights
  • Green streetscape planters that remove pollutants from stormwater
  • Undergrounded utilities
  • On-street parking
  • Center turn lane

The Burnham Street was our first green street, with energy saving lighting and other sustainable features. The project earned a national engineering honor for excellence in project management, winning the American Public Works Association’s Project of the Year Award.

Stephen asks: What is the city’s role in the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census is an important event for our community, and your participation matters.

  • Census data is used to allocate billions of dollars in federal and non-profit funding to counties and other local governments.
  • Census numbers determine how many representatives a state has in Congress.
  • A complete and accurate Census is paramount to equity, opportunity, and addressing the many issues faced by our region and the nation.

From now through mid-2020, we will be working with partners to raise awareness of the importance of the Census and to ensure a complete and accurate count of all our community.  

Jane asks: The city talks about being a ‘community for everyone.’ What are you doing to improve the accessibility of the city’s website?  

You are correct. Mayor Snider has made it clear that we will create a more inclusive workplace and improve how we serve our growing diverse community.  

Here are two things we’ve done to improve our website. 

  • We’ve added an accessibility icon to the top of every city webpage. Click the icon and an accessibility menu that allows you to adjust text size, fonts, spacing, keyboard navigation, and more.

  • Our website can speak your language via Google Translate. In a click of a button, you can switch an entire page from English to Spanish or any other language. The placement of the ‘TRANSLATE” button varies upon your web browser. On Firefox, you’ll have the option to switch languages at the top of the page. On Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, you’ll find it on the bottom on the page. 

We’re always looking for ways to improve. Share your ideas by contacting

Beth asks: Why did the color of the Main Street sculptures change?

The two gateway sculptures at either end of Main Street were installed in 2015.  They are named “Corylus,” the scientific name for hazelnut/filbert tree, a reference to the orchards that were once widespread in the Tigard area.

We noticed earlier this year that the original paint on the sculptures was fading. A subcommittee of the Town Center Advisory Commission, including representatives of the Tigard Downtown Alliance, was formed to consider new color schemes. The subcommittee reviewed several options before selecting a two-tone option, light green on the exterior and a light pinkish white in the interior. This option was selected because:

  • The two-tone scheme give the sculpture depth, particularly the interior picking up the changing lights that shine on the piece at night.
  • The color had a closer connection to nature and the hazelnut blossom.
  • The color would still be eye-catching from Highway 99W.
Main Street Art

Samantha asks: I am looking for meeting space in Tigard and was wondering whether the house near City Hall is an option.

Answer: Yes, it is! The house near City Hall is the Fanno Creek House (13335 SW Hall Boulevard). It is a unique and beautiful space in downtown Tigard. The indoor and outdoor space is available for rental. So far, it’s been rented for business events, retreats, and wedding showers. Learn more about the amenities and rental process.

Patty asks: "If the Scoggins Creek dam breaks, like from an earthquake, will it flood the Tualatin River?"

Answer: Timely question as it is National Preparedness Month. Our Emergency Services Coordinator has provided the following insight into the potential impact.

The flooding impacts along the Tualatin River will vary on the direction and the extent of any dam failure. Because of our proximity to Scoggins Dam, we will have ample time to send out warnings through our emergency notification system. This Tualatin River Basin map gives you an idea of the distance from Scoggins to Tigard and probable warning time for Emergency Services.

With that said, please note:

  • If a dam failure is caused by a major earthquake, damage to the public telephone system, both landline and cellular, and the Internet may hinder efforts to warn those in the path of the flood.
  • Not all dam failure scenarios allow ample warning, e.g., a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake may cause the dam to fail rapidly, before authorities have time to issue a warning.
  • Damage to bridges and roads, as well as other issues created by a major earthquake could also complicate efforts to notify and/or evacuate the public.

You can learn more on the city's emergency management page

Beverly comments: We need a crossing signal at Walnut and Parkdale Ave to help people (including many seniors and children) who live and play in the area. This would increase accessibility to Summerlake Park and Jack Park. Is this a project the city has considered?

We appreciate your suggestion on increasing walkability in Tigard. Adding a crosswalk along this particular section of Walnut Street is hindered by the limited sight distance for motorists. We are working to finding solutions to difficult crossings throughout the city, and that includes overcoming challenges and barriers to pedestrian safety along Walnut Street.  We’ll keep looking for funding, partnerships and solutions to address the issue.  

Sue asks: Almost every school day I walk my children to Durham Elementary. Our walk would be safer with blinking light pedestrian crosswalks along Hall Boulevard. Why haven’t I heard the city discussing this option?

Thanks for asking about a crosswalks and safer routes to school.  Mayor Snider is a parent of a Durham Elementary student and shares your concern for kids getting to school safely in such a busy area. Durham Road and Hall Boulevard carry a significant number of cars on daily basis given their proximity to the freeway, Bridgeport Village and the business parks.

Unfortunately, the city doesn’t have the authority to make changes like crosswalks, signals, or striping to Hall Blvd. because it’s owned and operated by the Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT). The ODOT website has a page called “Ask ODOT” where you can request improvements to Hall Blvd.

Tina Skiles, Tigard’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator, works with schools including Durham Elementary to identify existing barriers to walking and biking and how those barriers might be addressed. You can learn more about that in the Durham Elementary Action Plan. She is happy to talk about pedestrian safety with community members. Tina can be reached at

James says: I love the new report card! Well-designed and informative. However, I don’t see anything mentioned about population growth and the numbers of vehicles using our roads. Can you share the city’s approach to these topics?

Thank you for your kind words on the new report card! We're excited about the future of our community and the report card is a clear and simple way to highlight our accomplishments and challenges.

Traffic and population are difficult subjects to condense in an understandable graphic but we’re looking at ways to include in the next report card. To include data on Hwy. 99W and Hall Blvd. (two state-owned thoroughfares managed by ODOT) we’ll need to tap local, regional, and state sources. In general, since the great recession, both population and to an even greater extent – vehicle miles travelled (VMT) have been increasing steadily in the Portland region.

Tigard is growing and that’s good for local business and a healthy economy. What we can do is try to accommodate that growth thoughtfully and responsibly through good policy and planning – both on the land use and transportation side. Increases in population don’t have to equate to our local population being stuck in traffic, but to avoid that we must provide good alternatives to driving for every trip. On the transportation side, that means investments in transit, walking, and cycling infrastructure and programs. And on the land use side, that means encouraging mixed uses and destinations that are supported by transit and easily accessible on foot or by bike.

We’re hosting conversations on these topics during the Transportation System Plan (TSP) update starting in the new year.

Keith says: I have seen a number of families carrying bags of groceries as they walk in the Tigard Triangle. Why isn’t the city doing more to offer public transportation to the Tigard Triangle (Winco, Walmart and Costco)?

We are aware that the Tigard Triangle currently has little to no transit access and few sidewalks and pedestrian amenities. We are working hard on addressing these issues from multiple directions and with a multi-layered approach.

Urban Renewal in the Tigard Triangle, the area you are describing, has several projects slated for the area including enhanced, and in some cases, brand-new pedestrian amenities, a trail that follows Red Rock Creek, and added connectivity throughout the area.

Next year, Tigard’s Transportation System Plan will look at pedestrian and transit access, as well as identify ways we can address the needs.  Planning associated with Southwest Corridor Light Rail also includes new sidewalks and increased transit access to the area.

Randall asks: I am tired of hearing leaf blowers while I am sitting on my patio. Is there an ordinance for when they have to stop?

Leaf blowers are allowed between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week. If you are hearing this noise outside those hours, you can submit a code violation complaint online.

Because of limited resources, our policy on code compliance is that all city actions are complaint-driven. If you believe that a neighbor is in violation of a code, you should submit a complaint via the link mentioned above.

Sadie asks: "Why hasn’t the city banned plastic bags?"

Good news. In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed a statewide ban of single-use bags. Stores will still able to offer reusable plastic and paper bags for a minimum 5-cent fee. This becomes law on January 1, 2020.

Over the years, the city has put a lot of effort into partnerships that promote recycling and environmental education, resulting in increased public awareness and modified consumer behavior in Tigard. We’re happy to say that the statewide ban will augment the City of Tigard’s efforts to care for our environment.

Dean asks: "I heard you are surveying the community about a 2020 Safety Levy. Why haven’t I been called to take the survey?"

Answer: You are correct. 
We are exploring a 2020 Safety Levy to fund ten additional police officers and we are doing a survey, just not a telephone survey.

On the ‘Your Tigard’ engagement page, you can give feedback on whether a Safety Levy should include safety projects near schools. The projects would create safer routes by improving paths, building safer crossings and adding sidewalks near schools.

We aren’t completely going away from telephone surveys. This fall, we’ll be administering a telephone survey about the Safety Levy. If you can’t wait until then, send us an email ( or submit a comment online.

Roxanne asks: "The city changed the Community Development Code to allow more affordable housing options such as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), plexes and cottage clusters in residential zones. But how does this impact existing HOA agreements that do not allow ADUs in backyards? And what is a cottage cluster? Are they just tiny houses?"

Excellent questions. 
ADUs, both external and internal, are now allowed in residential zones throughout the city, however this does not supersede any private agreements between homeowners and their Home Owners Association (HOA). So if your neighborhood’s HOA restricts lots to one dwelling unit, you may not be able to construct an ADU on your property. 

Cottage clusters are a grouping of detached houses arranged around a common open space. They provide community-oriented living, reduced landscape responsibilities and smaller housing (under 1,200 sq ft) popular with younger homeowners, retirees and anyone looking to downsize. 

Shawne asks: "I was riding my bike on Main Street and noticed a 6 ft. height restriction sign in front of the post office. Why is this necessary?" 

Answer: This is the first time we’ve been asked this question. We posted the sign originally to provide sight distance for vehicles pulling out of the post office driveway. The sign was not enough of a deterrent so the curb was painted yellow to restrict parking next to the driveway. The sign will be removed as part of the Main Street Phase 2 project. 

Rachel asks: "Why are we doing street maintenance on Durham Road? Why not focus on Hall Boulevard?"

Answer: Our crews have been working on Durham Road this week. Durham Road has some of the highest traffic volumes of city owned streets. The Pavement Condition Index (a measurement of pavement quality) was in the low 70's for Durham, meaning that without an overlay (the current project) the pavement would deteriorate and require much more costly repairs.

Hall Boulevard is owned and maintained by the Oregon Department of Transportation. You can report concerns via this link.

Christina asks: "Recently I’ve seen a number of rats around Tigard. Does the city know? Are you doing anything to reduce the rat population?"

Answer: Timely question. We’ve received other reports of rats around the city and the Portland area. The increase in the rat population is noticeable enough The Oregonian published an article on the subject in 2018

Your question about what the city is doing to reduce the population is not as easy to answer. Pest control is not a city service so we’re like every Tigard homeowner when it comes to controlling the population. We keep public buildings (City Hall, Library, etc.) and parks unattractive to rats, mostly through regular building maintenance (closing up possible entry points), landscaping and eliminating possible food sources. 

Almost universally, pest control companies and others say the first thing to do is remove their food source. If you check out the Metro website they have some good information about urban rats and mice, as does the OSU Extension website.

Michael asks: "Why doesn't the police do more to address illegal fireworks?"

This year we received a number of reports about louder than usual noise levels. Police Chief McAlpine reports that between 6 p.m. on July 4 to 4 a.m. on July 5 we received 52 calls for service, 32 self-initiated calls, and 21 firework-related calls. 

We have taken extra steps to stem the use of illegal fireworks and minimize neighborhood disruptions:

  • Sites that were heavily reported as offenders last year received an in-person police visit prior to this year’s holiday to remind the homeowner that if they allowed illegal fireworks to be used this year, they would be the one receiving an expensive citation.
  • Our graveyard shift reported three hours earlier to handle the streets while swing shift officers were assigned to the fireworks event at Cook Park.
  • Police Officers were not granted vacation on July 4, and Reserve Officers and Cadets were called into service.
  • The traffic patrol unit devoted their time to large community-wide events in Cook Park and the Middle of Millen Drive Independence Day Parade. 
  • We partnered with TVF&R on an educational campaign, asking residents to be considerate of neighbors and think about how loud noises could impact PTSD survivors, service veterans and pets.  

We follows the state law defining legal and illegal fireworks but officers are required to catch a subject in the act in order to cite them. Even with a Municipal Code governing noise limits, people still choose to break the law in order to celebrate this holiday with fireworks and loud noises. 

This is an issue that is frustrating for residents, policy makers and law enforcement.  Even if we had a citywide zero-tolerance policy for all types of fireworks, people must choose to obey the law. We know that we haven’t been able to respond to every report of illegal firework use. The best we can do is respond to the highest priority calls and apply our resources in the most effective way we can.  

Question: Lucy asks, Why are there weeds and dried grass near Dirksen Park?

Answer: Appreciate the question, Lucy! This area is a savanna which is full of native wildflowers that bloom this time of year. You may not be able to see this from the road.

We will be managing this site as a native prairie by staggering mowing, grazing, and haying to encourage diversity of native plants. This area is not meant to be an open grass field. It is meant to be a native area for education, wildlife habitat, and viewing.

Question: I am confused. I know you occasionally do a citizen survey but what’s the reason behind the survey that I see on the city’s website.

Answer: You are right. This survey is different. It’s part of the ongoing performance audit of city services. We are undergoing an audit to make sure that we’re providing the services that you want in the most cost-effective way.

We tasked the Matrix Consulting Group with completing the audit by August. Part of their work includes a community survey which asks questions like:

  • Does the City respond to your concerns?
  • Does the City do a good job planning for the future?
  • Does the City welcome resident involvement?
  • Does the City inform residents of what is happening?

Please complete your confidential survey by Wednesday, June 12, 2019. The results will be included in the auditor’s final report.

Question: My family is new to Tigard and we’re wondering how we can get a library card.

Welcome to Tigard! Summer reading is right around the corner so it’s the perfect time to get a library card. There are two options:

  • General Library Card: This is most commonly held library card. It’s simple and easy for adults and children to get a library card. Here’s what you’ll need. You can check out materials, place holds, reserve computers, request an interlibrary loan and access digital materials.
  • Online Library Card: You can get an e-access library card without getting up from your computer. You’ll need to be a Washington County resident, have a valid email address, and not already have a library card. The card gives you access to e-books, streaming films, online learning, and home tools for your kids. You can sign up here. You can convert your E-Access card to a General library card when you visit the library visit with appropriate identification and a print application.

Why is the city repeatedly decrying that it has to cut services and programs yet you’re hiring for a Digital Communications Coordinator?

Last year, we addressed some of our financial challenges by re-examining our current staffing. We eliminated the Communication Strategist position (40 hours/week) and reallocated the funding to a Digital Communications Coordinator (30 to 32 hours/week). The coordinator position is at a significantly lower salary range than the strategist position. We should have been clearer on the salary listed in the original position. The salary range for the coordinator position is $24.80 - $33.24 hourly. The city determines appropriate wages by evaluating the necessary experience, education, skills, and abilities for each job and comparing wages with other similarly-sized cities in the region in effort to recruit and retain qualified, motivated employees. Most importantly, the coordinator position aligns with two city council goals focused on engagement and communications.

Why are you spending money on low cost housing? Nobody helped me with housing and it was definitely not low cost.

We’ve heard from many residents and prospective residents who are being impacted by the region’s housing crisis. We invest resources in affordable housing because it supports our economy and attracts talented and diverse populations to enrich our community. Businesses build and create jobs in cities where their workforce can find a place to live and commute to their job. These people and businesses also support city services (parks, streets, infrastructure) that benefit the entire community. When market-rate and affordable housing is available, it supports and encourages development of new and existing businesses and services that serve more residents.

We do not pretend to have the perfect answer, but we do intend on being part of the solution. We hope that you will join us by commenting on our online engagement site.

Our staff is always willing to discuss the city’s approach in greater detail. Feel free to reach out to Sean Farrelly, or Schuyler Warren,

I have an idea that will save money for the city. What’s the best way to share this idea with the Mayor and Council?

One of the City Council goal’s this year is “to engage with a wide variety of residents and businesses on important issues.” To help Council meet this goal, we’ve set up a number of ways for the community to share ideas or ask questions to the Mayor and Council. You can reach them online via the new “What’s on your mind?” feature. On the same page, you can invite them to an upcoming neighborhood event.

Mark asks, "Can the city change the left turn signal at 72nd and SW Varns St to a flashing yellow? I am stuck at a red light every morning around 8:00 a.m." 
Recently, Mayor Snider wrote about how we improved traffic signal coordination on Upper Boones Ferry Road/Durham Road. However, the Oregon Department of Transportation controls the signal at 72nd and Varns so we don’t have the ability to make changes. Changing to a flashing yellow would require changing out the signalhead, which is more costly than a change in timing. With that said, I encourage you to make the request to ODOT.

Kate asks, "Why isn’t there a more updated system of reporting graffiti? I should be able to e-mail a picture & location so that Tigard PD can track the activity but then parks/planning code department can follow up on timely removal."

While we don’t have an online system for graffiti, we want to make it easy on you to report graffiti in your neighborhood and around Tigard. When you see graffiti on public or private property in Tigard, please call the police non-emergency number at 503-629-0111 regardless of whether you own the property. An officer will respond and document the graffiti, and issue a notice to the resident or property owner to remove the tag within 14 days.

Why do you leave the holidays lights on the big trees in front of City Hall and on Main Street?

Very perceptive. The holiday lights do remain on the trees throughout the year. Here’s why: The rental cost for a lift basket has increased to $5,000 for each rental. It would cost an additional $5,000 to rent the lift basket to remove the lights. Our staff costs would also double. Rest assured that our parks staff check the lights each year and fix any of the bulbs which no longer work.  

Gloria asks, “Why can't the city work with ODOT to add continuous sidewalks on Hall Blvd between Bonita and the Tigard Library? I have to cross Hall Boulevard to stay on sidewalks or walk in the bike lane.”
Adding sidewalks on Hall Boulevard is in line with our strategic vision to become a more walkable, connected city. We’ve engaged the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) about adding sidewalks along Hall Boulevard before. There are some constraints that would make it expensive, such as utility poles that would need to be relocated.

ODOT does have a mandate to upgrade curb ramps on their properties like Hall Boulevard. However, our project will be competing for funding with projects from across the state. We’ll continue to advocate in county and regional discussions that Hall should be a priority for future grant or future regional funding consideration.
You can learn more about ongoing and upcoming construction projects here.

Donna asks...I am wondering about all the construction at Cook Park. It’s been going on for a while. When will it be done?

Answer: What you’re seeing is a Clean Water Services construction project. Construction activities include installing pipe, constructing trenchless crossing of the Tualatin River, surface restoration, and vegetation enhancement within Cook Park in Tigard. A portion of the west parking lot will be continue to be fenced off as work is completed on the river undercrossing. Work will continue to mid-April and then stop until next Fall.

Sera asks...I'm wondering why the speed limit changes north of the crosswalk near the Library. Heading north on Hall, the limit goes from 40 to 30 after the crosswalk. Going south, the limit goes from 30 to 40 before the crosswalk. It would be a good idea to change the speed limit where the crosswalk is within the 30 mph zone.

Answer:  We’ve received this question from a few people and we wish that we had a better answer. Speed limits are designated by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Hall Boulevard is currently also owned by ODOT. We are not familiar with the history on why ODOT decided to change the speed limit at the point. Their reasoning may date back to before there was a crosswalk at the location. I can tell you that ODOT will be lowering the speed limit on Hall Boulevard to 35 mph in the near future.

During the 2018 levy campaign, there was discussion about performance audits of city services. Why hasn’t that been done?
You have a good memory! The City Council encouraged the completion of performance audits in order to gain objective data about how efficient and effectively we provide services to the community. A few other reasons we are working on audits are:

  • We must be as good, as efficient, and as effective in providing services to the public as possible.
  • With sustained budget cuts since 2010, we have limited funds to provide services in the face of ever-increasing demand for those services.
  • Our staff are eager to identify new, improved ways to work.

We’ve started down this path by signing a contract with Matrix to complete the work. And yes, you will have an opportunity to share your opinion. All members of the community will have the opportunity to complete an online survey about city services.

I am trying to understand my recent property bill. But, with so many acronyms and jargon, I am still confused. What am I paying for? Where is it going?

You are not alone! Understanding a property tax bill is not for the faint of heart, but I think we can help. Here’s one way to look at it.

Dollar Bill Breakdown: Where do your taxes go?

Some items on your property tax bill fund a single service or program. You’ll notice that your $0.17/per dollar to the city funds numerous services, and ones that you use almost every day. Some of these include the:

  • Roads you drive on
  • Story time that your kids attend
  • Trails where you ride your bike or walk your dog
  • E-books that you read on vacation or during your lunch break
  • Sidewalks that use to walk to school or downtown
  • Drop box that you dispose of your unwanted, unused or expired medications
  • Presence of the two school resource offices in TTSD schools
  • Police patrols of your neighborhood while you’re at work or sleeping

If you have sixty more seconds, you can learn more in this video.  

Joel asks... When will the traffic signal timing be adjusted at Hall Boulevard and Sattler. It is too short for people turning left onto Hall. I've also witness someone driving on the sidewalk to get around it.  Good news, Joel! We contacted the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and they have agreed to make an adjustment. ODOT said that their numbers show a high percentage of cyclists unable to make left turn onto Hall Boulevard between 7 and 9 a.m. This means the line of cars turning left in the morning is too long to clear on a single green. ODOT has added extra green time, during morning peak hours, to help drivers and cyclists.

Clay asks...There are a lot of overgrown hedges in the right-of-way in my neighborhood. I am cautious when driving because I am worried that I won't see a walker or biker. Why isn't the city doing anything to ensure a clear right-of-way?  This can be a major safety issue so I am glad you took the time to submit your question. Our code compliance approach is complaint-driven. If you submit details about the issue here, we'll follow up with how we can help. Here are details on what is considered a code violation. Tigard Municipal Code 6.02.340 seems most relevant to your situation.

Why is the city participating in the homeless Point-in-Time (PIT) count?  Because it’s the right thing to do. Last year, five city staff participated in the PIT count which was the city’s first time actively participating. This year, more than 20 staff members will join in the PIT count. Each staff member completed a two hour training which covered the importance of the PIT count for federal funding, the causes of homelessness, and services available for the homeless. During the PIT count, staff will hear firsthand stories of the homeless in our community. We will take these stories with us as we continue to look for opportunities for the city to positively impact the homeless community. In preparation for the PIT count, we held a donation drive to collect toiletries and non-perishables items. We received generous donations from many community members, including Police Chaplain Cottingham from Christ the King Lutheran Church. We’ll distribute the donations throughout the day as we interact with the homeless in Tigard.  Special thanks to Pat Rodgers, Washington County and Jeanne-Marie Ritter and Nicole Swearingin, Luke-Dorf for partnering with the City of Tigard.

Rita E. asks... I would like to know if there are any plans to put an "all way" stop sign at Main Street and Tigard Streets? Sometimes it is difficult and dangerous to turn left onto Main from Tigard.  Thanks Rita! We know that left turns at this intersection can be difficult and we want to find an approach that the railroad will allow. The railroad company will not allow an all-way stop because the intersection is too close to the rails. We’ll continue to work with the railroad company on a solution.

Donna B. asks…Why doesn’t Tigard have its own zip code? I do not live in Portland so getting mail addressed to Portland is confusing. It is also confusing to people coming in from other areas. Tigard is a city of over 50,000. We are NOT a one-stoplight city!  
A task force identified the need, in 2012, for a Tigard specific and distinct zip code. For years, Tigard businesses have suffered from confusion and annoyance from having to explain to customers that addresses that pop up as Portland, are actually in Tigard. We communicated our request to USPS but they were not supportive of our request. But, we didn’t stop there. We worked with Rep. Doherty to gain support from the Oregon state legislature. In 2015, Oregon state legislature voted to formally support Tigard’s request for a Tigard specific zip code. Legislators noted our current zip codes “are at odds with public perception and local government organizational structure in Tigard and the Portland metropolitan area.” Following the show of support from the legislature, we held some preliminary conversations, on the federal level, about a Tigard zip code. Those conversations led us back to the regional postmaster who was unsupportive of our effort.

I live next to Beef Bend Road. Are there plans to add bike lanes and sidewalks to Roy Rogers? How soon until the light at Beef Bend & Hwy 99 is recalibrated to handle increased traffic flows from the new housing? Those are excellent questions. Washington County owns and maintains Beef Bend Road. You can connect with Washington County here. The Oregon Department of Transportation owns and maintains the signal at Beef Bend Road and Hwy 99. You can connect with them here. For the latest on road construction in Tigard, you can visit our weekly project updates page.

What are the next steps for the SW Corridor? How will you communicate with affected property owners?  2019 will be a busy year for the project. TriMet and Metro are leading the light rail project planning, with Tigard as a project partner, so most of the communication to impacted property owners will come from them. (You can sign up for their email updates here.)

Throughout 2019, TriMet will be designing the route in further detail to determine potential property impacts. Through this process the City of Tigard and its residents should have a better idea of which properties and business are being affected. There will be a lot of one-on-one meetings if you are a property owner and public meetings as well. In Winter 2019, TriMet will host open houses to talk about different sections of the route. The first one is scheduled for January 24 and will discuss the end of the line at Bridgeport Village. If you want to discuss the project with a Tigard staff member, contact Lauren Scott, Community Engagement Coordinator,

Why does the city apply for federal grants? 
We've gotten this question from a couple of people. In the past few years, we have applied and received $2,975,000 from four successful grant applications.   

Brownfield Assessment - $400,000, Brownfield Cleanup - $400,000, Hunziker Industrial Core - $2.1 million, Tigard Street Trail - $75,000, COPS Hiring – Unsuccessful

Special thanks to Rep. Bonamici, Sen. Merkley, and Sen. Wyden for supporting our grant applications.  

Why don't the Tigard Police ever cite overweight trucks on McDonald, Gaarde, 121st, and Walnut?
Tigard Police will only cite overweight trucks when they pose a safety concern. One of the challenges is we do not have the equipment to weigh trucks; very few agencies in the state do. With a significant increase in calls for service each year, officers’ attention is focused on 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls, traffic-safety issues such as crashes and speeding, follow up on criminal investigations and locations with chronic criminal activity.   

Why are there only four people on the 2019 City Council?
This is only temporary. Councilor Jason Snider was elected mayor in the November election. To serve as mayor, he has to vacate the council seat which expires December 31, 2020. The City Council will fill the vacancy through an application process. You are eligible to apply if you are registered to vote in Tigard and have resided in Tigard for at least 12 months. Applications will be accepted from December 3 to 27. On January 8, the Council will identify the finalists. The finalists will be interviewed by Council at the January 15 Council meeting. A finalist will be selected on the 15th or at a later meeting.

Why hasn’t construction started on the trail along Tigard Street?  
Construction on the Tigard Street Heritage Trail will begin in April 2019. We are currently finalizing the design that was developed from community input. Included in the design is the Tigard Outdoor Museum which will feature stories, replicas of historic artifacts. This part of the project is funded by a $750,000 federal grant. Visitors to the trail will enter through Rotary Plaza, which features a 13-foot tall clock tower. You have the opportunity to become part of the project by telling your Tigard story. Learn more about the project on our website and in this Tigard Times article.

Why does the City include supplemental questions on the job application? (November 14)
We receive a large number of applications for each of our job postings. Supplemental questions provide the additional information that we need to narrow the list of qualified questions. We employ two types of supplemental questions – multiple-choice and open-ended.

When answering a multiple-choice question, your application should support your answers.  For example, if you indicate you have 2-4 years of experience in budget analysis, your work history should indicate where you got this experience and what your responsibility was in that role.

We sometimes ask applicants open-ended supplemental questions. These questions require the applicant to spend a little more time reflecting on the job opening and how their skills fit into what we’re looking for. Your answers will be used by hiring managers to help decide which applicants get an interview.

Here’s a tip for answering open-ended questions. Approach the question as you would a first interview question. Use the opportunity to explain why you are uniquely qualified for the role.

This sounds elementary but your writing should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. Also, your answers should be concise yet specific - more words are not always better. Generally, we are looking for 250 to 300 words per question. And no, a one sentence answer is not a good idea.

Why do I have to wait so long for the train to pass at the Bonita Road crossing? (November 7)
You’re not alone in your frustration. We’ve received a number of questions about what happens if police & fire are stuck at a crossing while responding to an emergency. Just like you and me, emergency responders don’t get advance notice of train crossings. If a train is blocking a crossing, they will dispatch from another station. This may cause a delay in response time. More bad news… federal law prevents the city or state from addressing excessive delays. This essentially leaves railroads free to stop for as long as they like. Want more info on the topic? Check out this Oregon DOT webpage.

Why does Tigard have such tight building restrictions on detached garages? (October 31)
We allow for accessory structures including a detached two-car garage. This is sufficient for most residential purposes. Larger shop structures tend to support activities that are similar to commercial activities, although they may not actually be commercial activities. So while working on a few project cars in a garage might be a hobby to the resident, to neighbors the impacts are more like those of a commercial garage.

Why is Tigard Police Department carrying Narcan?
(October 24)
Last year, Tigard Police responded to 15 drug overdose calls, including a number of calls involving the use of the opioid Fentanyl. In response, every patrol vehicle is now stocked with Narcan, which is a medication used to block the effects of opioids. Narcan can be a critical intervention for someone who overdoses. It also provides a safeguard to officers who may be exposed to the harmful residue of Fentanyl. The Narcan kits were made possible by a Washington County grant.

Why are you allowing more car dealerships in town?
(October 17)
We are not allowed to limit the number of car dealerships (or any business type) in Tigard. If a car dealership is proposed in one of Tigard's Commercial or Industrial Zones, we then review the proposal to make sure it meets development standards and require that necessary approvals and permits are received.

Why do I see political signs near the city's main roads? (October 10)
We’ve received this question a number of times recently. Political signs in the right-of-way are considered a nuisance. While we don't have the capacity to patrol for them, we'll respond if we're alerted about a potential issue. We respond to sign complaints by:

1. Removing the sign.
2. Contacting the campaign.
3. Informing the campaign where to retrieve the sign. 

You can submit a complaint about a political sign via this online form.

Why can't I register to vote at City Hall? (October 3)
While you can’t register at City Hall, there are two easy ways to register.

  • Register online.
  • Return completed form to the Washington County Elections Office by mail or in-person. Register by October 16 to vote in the November election.

Once you’ve registered, you can visit Use My Vote to track your ballot & check or update your voter registration. You will received a voter’s pamphlet between October 10 and October 12.

Approximately two weeks before the election you will receive your ballot in the mail. Turn in your ballot at the City Hall voter drop box or another drop box site.

Why haven't I seen a recap of Tigard Library’s Summer Reading program? (September 26)

We’ve finished tallying the numbers. Here are the highlights.

  • 2,788 kids and teens participated.
  • 595 adults participated (which is a record). 
  • 562 kids donated a book to those in need.
  • 337 kids and teens signed up at outreach sites, 186 finished and claimed prizes.
  • 31 outreach visits made by Youth Services staff.
  • Librarians created a traveling book collection to encourage kids to make the of most summer reading. 
  • The most popular prize was the Rockin’ Road Trip basket.

Why don't I ever see the city doing work on Hall Boulevard? (September 19)
We hear this question a lot. There's a simple answer. Both Hall Blvd. and Hwy 99W are state highways maintained by Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Contact if you need contact information for ODOT staff.

Why is the city flushing fire hydrants? (September 12)
We flush hydrants to provide high-quality drinking water to our residents. Sometimes, residents may see slightly discolored water from their taps when flushing occurs in their area. The water is safe from harmful bacteria, but unpleasant for consumption and use. There are no health hazards associated with the discolored water. We produced a short video highlighting the process and why it is necessary. Click here for a short video.

Why did the city select pink sculptures as gateway art? (September 5)
A subcommittee of residents and business owners selected the 'Corylus' which reflects the filbert tree blossom and Tigard's agricultural history. Restricted funds, which can only be used in the downtown, funded the artwork. Public art is an important component to a vital downtown. We continue to look for opportunities to add public art to the community. See more on the Downtown Art.

Why do I always see police cars at City Hall in the parking lot? Aren’t officers working? (August 29, 2018)
Answer: The number of vehicles in the parking lot does not correlate with the number of officers on duty. If there is a major incident requiring an amplified response, we need enough vehicles to adequately respond. Our fleet manager works with Tigard Police to determine how many vehicles should be on hand given:

  • staffing levels for day, afternoon and night shifts
  • overlapping schedules from one shift to the next to ensure that officers are always available for emergency calls for service
  • specialty units
  • other factors such as officers’ use of vehicles for training, court and other job responsibilities 

Extra vehicles are needed to cover the ones out of commission for maintenance. Having reliable vehicles is crucial to ensure problems don’t impede an officer’s ability to timely respond to emergencies. Officers also return to the police station to write reports, which can be time-consuming depending on the nature of the incident.

Special Edition - Flags at City Hall? (August 29, 2018)
The Oregon Governor issues flags orders for local governments in Oregon. Flags will be flown at half-staff until sunset, on the day of the interment in honor of Sen. John McCain. We are notified of the times and duration, which may extend for a few hours to a few days, in a notification from the Governor's Office. The city observes all flag notifications regardless of the days or times ordered.

Is it true that the city offers free street trees for Tigard property owners? (August 22, 2018)
Yes, the city's free street tree program offers street trees to Tigard residents annually. Orders will be accepted through Sept. 27. Tree selection and planning typically begin in early November with delivery and planting from November through December. See the approved street tree list to help you make your selection and visit our website to learn more. 

I've seen coyotes wandering around town this summer. Why aren't you doing something to protect us? (August 15, 2018)
This is common question. We do not manage native wildlife. If you spot a coyote and are concerned for your safety, please contact the USDA at 503-201-5547.

Why should I use less water on hot summer days? (August 8, 2018)
Answer: It’s simple. Water is in limited supply, and we cannot live without water. We’re committed to encouraging water conservation. Check out these tips, including how much water to use for your lawn.

So, if the City is really experiencing budget problems, why are you offering free events – Movies in the Park and Concert in the Park?
(August 1, 2018)
Answer: The City is experiencing budget challenges. We reduced the current budget by 9%. We reduced, but did not eliminate, events. Four Movies in the Park and one Concert in the Park are being held this summer. These events have been popular and contribute to a sense of community. Additional cuts are proposed for next year.

If Tigard is a "no smoking" city, why are people smoking at the transit center? I am tired of walking through smoke. (July 25, 2018)
Answer: Smoking & e-cigarette use is banned on city-owned properties, including on parks and trails. We hope this will encourage healthier behavior among all residents. The Transit Center is owned by TriMet, which has a no-smoking policy. Signs for the ban are displayed at the center.

I love the improvements to Main Street! Why haven't they been made to the entire street? (July 18, 2018)
Answer: Planning for Main Street north is underway with construction expected 2020-21. Downtown improvement projects are paid for with tax increment financing that is collected in downtown’s urban renewal area. These are restricted funds that can only be used on the voter approved downtown projects which include street and streetscape improvements.

I have noticed a lot of construction activity around the Fanno Creek Trail. Why is the project being done? (July 11, 2018)
Answer: City of Tigard and Clean Water Services are working to restore the creek closer to its historic location. This will repair floodplain wetlands, replace a pedestrian bridge on Ash Street, add a new pedestrian/bike trail and restore native vegetation to the area.

Why did the city go ahead with slurry seal application when we are cutting school resource officers? (July 5, 2018)  
Answer: Ensuring our roads are safe and accessible for people to travel and providing resources to our schools to protect students are both priorities for the city, but rely on different funding sources. Slurry sealing, which is an affordable method for maintaining residential streets that tend to deteriorate due to weather conditions that wear down the pavement over time, is funded through the street maintenance fee that appears on your monthly utility bill. Tigard Police school resource officers are funded through the city’s General Fund, which was reduced when the levy failed to pass.

Why is the city hiring after reducing the budget?
Answer: We are committed to making fiscally sound decisions about the city’s programs, services and staff, while maintaining the essential services that keep our community safe and healthy. The reduced General Fund budget means the city’s leadership team must carefully consider decisions about when to fill vacancies. Some of the positions are funded through other resources. For example, a utility worker in our Water Division is paid through the city’s Water Fund, not General Fund.

Kent Wyatt
Communications Manager

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