Area Governance

The following agencies provided services in the study area. If the area were to incorporate as a city, each of these agencies would continue to provide services through an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). The funding structure for these agencies would not change.

Oak Lodge Water District

Governance: OLWD is a Special District providing water services to area residents. It is governed by five publicly elected Commissioners who are property owners or electors in the district. They serve four-year, staggered terms. The Board establishes district policy through the passage of resolutions and ordinances, approves and reviews programs and projects, and adopts an annual budget.

Funding: The district is funded through user rates and has the authority to issue revenue bonds to fund capital projects.

Oak Lodge Sanitary District

Governance: OLSD is a Special District providing sewer and surface water management services to area residents. It is governed by five publicly elected Directors who are property owners or electors in the district. They serve four-year, staggered terms. The Board establishes district policy through the passage of resolutions and ordinances, approves and reviews programs and projects, and adopts an annual budget.

Funding: The district is funded through user rates and has the authority to issue revenue bonds to fund capital projects.

Clackamas County Fire District #1

Governance: CCFD#1 is a Special Service District providing fire and emergency medical services in the area. It is governed by five publicly elected directors who are residents of, or property owners in, the district. They serve four-year, staggered terms. The Board establishes district policy through the passage of resolutions and ordinances.

Funding: The district is funded through property taxes. The County Assessor determines the tax levy based on the district's permanent tax rate and the total assessed value of the district. The amount of property tax that can be generated is limited by the tax base, state tax law (Measures 5 and 50), and taxes that cannot be collected, such as those frozen by an Urban Renewal District.

North Clackamas School District

Governance: NCSD provides K-12 education services for most of the area being studied for incorporation. It is governed by seven publicly elected directors who are local citizens. They serve four year staggered terms. The board develops policy, establishes educational goals, adopts an annual budget, and evaluates district programs.

Funding: Public schools are funded through property taxes. Funds are dispersed by the State of Oregon, and are paid on a per pupil basis.

Oregon City School District

Governance: OCSD provides K - 12 education services for portions of the southern area being studied for incorporation. It is governed by seven publicly elected directors who are local citizens. They serve four year staggered terms. The board develops policy, establishes educational goals, adopts an annual budget, and evaluates district programs.

Funding: Public schools are funded through property taxes. Funds are dispersed by the State of Oregon, and are paid on a per pupil basis.

North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District

Governance: NCPRD is a County Service District governed by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners (BCC), with an 11-member advisory board comprised of citizens from throughout the district. The district manages about 50 parks and green spaces in unincorporated North Clackamas County and the cities of Milwaukie and Happy Valley.

Funding: The district is funded through property taxes.

Clackamas County Sheriff Office

Governance: The Sheriff's Office is governed by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners (BCC). The area being studied for incorporation is part of the Enhanced Sheriff's District. The purpose of the enhanced district is to provide increased patrols in the urbanized unincorporated portions of the county. Click on the patrol map to see the enhanced district area.

Funding: Under Oregon law cities are obligated to provide police services. If the area being studied were to incorporate, the new city could not be part of the Enhanced Sheriff District, so Clackamas County would no longer collect property taxes for this service. That obligation would fall to the new city. The city could form its own police department, or contract with the Clackamas County Sheriff, the City of Milwaukie or the City of Gladstone to provide police services. Friends of Local Control are studying these options to determine which option will deliver the highest level of service at the lowest cost.

New City Urban Services

The following services currently provided by the Clackamas County would be provided by the new city:

  • Planning
  • Zoning
  • Ordinances
  • Code Enforcement
  • Road Maintenance
  • Policing

The study area, especially the McLoughlin Boulevard corridor, is drawing more attention for redevelopment and increased density. If it remains unincorporated, planning, zoning, development, Urban Renewal, mass transit/light rail, and other decisions having significant long-term impacts will be made by county government. Local control allows local residents more direct input over these decisions. Additionally, cities have more tools and resources available than counties do for economic development and urban revitalization projects.

County ordinances are broadly written because they need to apply to both urban and rural areas. Occasionally the Board of County Commissioners will enact an ordinance that pertains to one area, but not another. The recent adoption of a tree ordinance is a good example of this. However, these types or ordinances are generally the purview of cities. Cities are also better able to write ordinances and create zoning that protects or applies to a narrow area, such as neighborhoods.

Clackamas County is no longer enforcing codes in the urban unincorporated area. This is why there are so many sandwich signs, residential junkyards, abandoned vehicles, unkempt properties, and other forms of blight. The county has all but abandoned road maintenance in the area. City government can deliver these services, as well as police and public safety, more effectively.

Special Districts Legislation

In April and May of 2009, the "New City Conveners" group held three community meetings at Rose Villa Retirement Center. They presented information they had compiled about incorporation, and sought comments and suggestions from the public. In one of these presentations, it was pointed out to the Conveners that incorporation could cause the Oak Lodge Sanitary District and the Oak Lodge Water District to be absorbed by the new city. Many people stated that they were interested in studying incorporation, but would not want to lose these districts as independent agencies.

The Conveners group studied state law and consulted legal counsel. It was confirmed that under law, if the area were to incorporate then Oak Lodge Water and Oak Lodge Sanitary Districts would have to be "extinguished" and become departments within the newly formed city. The Conveners group explored ways to prevent this, but found the only option was to change the law. Members of the group discussed the matter with Speaker of the House Dave Hunt, the State Representative from House District 40. (District 40 encompasses the area being studied for incorporation.) Speaker Hunt agreed to sponsor a bill in the 2010 special session of the state legislature.

Members of the Conveners group worked with the Speaker, his staff and other interested parties to prepare a bill that would prevent Special Districts from being extinguished if the area they service incorporates as a city and to allow such districts to continue providing services to the newly formed city. HB3617 was introduced on February 1,2010. It passed with little dissent on February 23, and was signed into law on March 10, 2010.

HB3617: Text PDF

This statutory change only affects incorporation. It does not address annexation. Special Districts could still be dissolved should the City of Milwaukie or the City of Gladstone annex significant portions of the study area. In the case of Milwaukie, this would cause area property owners to pay one of the highest property tax rates in the State of Oregon.

ORS 222.510 Annexation of Public Service Districts: Text PDF