AN OPEN LETTER TO THE
Board of Directors
Boring Fire District No. 59
Boring, Oregon 97009
Dear President Strickland and Board Members:
In Clackamas County over the past several years, there has been repeated discussion and several initiatives concerning the rights of the people to vote on important decisions.
As you contemplate the Operation Services Contract with Clackamas County Fire District #1, I strongly suggest that you involve your constituents immediately with a vote on a complete merger for the following reasons:
1) At the May 7, 2013 Boring Fire Board Candidate Forum, each candidate was asked: If you are elected as a Board Member, and you find that the Board is moving to merge Boring with Clackamas County Fire District 1, will you avoid a vote of the people on the proposed merger? Or, will you call for a vote of the people? EVERY CANDIDATE RESPONDED CALLING FOR A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE.
2) According to Fire Chief Stewart’s presentation at the Boring CPO meeting on May 6th, the proposed Operation Services Contract transfers most, if not all, Boring Fire District personnel to Clackamas County Fire District #1, leaving Boring without a force of paid firefighters. In doing so, the Boring-Clackamas Volunteers will also be transferred to the auspices of Clackamas County Fire District #1 as there will not be the appropriate paid staff in Boring to continue the oversight of this program. (Or, perhaps the oversight has already been transferred?)
3) With the transfer of the Volunteers, Vehicle Maintenance, Training, Merging of the Telephone System and other programs and items to Clackamas County Fire District #1, it is easy to develop the perception that a merger has already taken place. Not a legal merger, but, a merger just the same.
4) According to a high ranking official at Clackamas County Fire District #1, there is no plan for a vote of the people until the contract is to expire five years from now. In doing this, the people will be voting to close down a skeleton of a fire department. Five years from now there will not be a viable entity. At that time, even if the people wanted to keep their local fire district, it would be impossible as the sixty year history and development of the Boring Fire District will be negated as our Fire District has been systematically dismantled.
It has been said by many of my Boring neighbors that the proposed contract is a back door process of merging the two departments without a vote of the people.
As I have stated before, please call for a vote of the people concerning a complete merger of both districts forthwith.
ORS 198.885 permits the merger of two or more districts if it is approved by the electors, which is a vote of the people. This law also provides for the two Boards to be systematically dissolved and a new Board elected to allow for appropriate and proportionate representation throughout the new District.
Do not waste time and effort on a contract.
Do the RIGHT thing and let your constituents tell you what they prefer!
CALL FOR A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE!
Stephen L. Bates
A 37 year taxpayer and constituent of the Boring Fire District