An Open Letter to the Boring Fire District Board


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!


Sincerely yours,

Stephen L. Bates
A 37 year taxpayer and constituent of the Boring Fire District

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3 Responses to An Open Letter to the Boring Fire District Board

  1. Norm Rice says:

    It is a sad day when our elected representatives EXPECT us to be “apathetic” or seem to hope that we will have short term or long term memory loss. This board likes to tell us that their meetings are always open, and that we, the voters that elected them to represent us, are welcome to attend their meetings and voice our hopes and dreams for the Fire District that we as a community built. They expect us to take the time to hunt down their open meeting schedule and agenda – pretend we are looking for a geocache when we are looking for those meeting postings. Are they at the Post Office? No. Are they published in the paper? No. Are they always at the same time each and every month? No

    Apathy is a dangerous thing in a democracy. Democracy is threatened when our elected representatives become apathetic to the promises they made during their union-backed campaigns. Perhaps we as citizens need to help them RECALL what they promised. Perhaps we do need to disrupt their well-planned out agenda by showing up at their meetings and reminding them that we have not forgotten how we built our Fire District over decades of hard work and financial responsibility.

    Join us on May 20th at 7:00 pm and OUR local Boring Fire District hall. It has become evident that this board of 5 needs to be have their memories jogged. We need to help them RECALL their promises to listen and act in our best interest, not theirs. We cannot let a band of 5 systematically destroy what took decades to build.

  2. James C. Hart says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Steve Bates’ comments. This action and the way it has come down has all the markings of a board doing what it wants without asking district residents (who elected the board members) what they prefer. Since this can affect every property owner who pays taxes to support the district, they should be consulted. Take the time to do this correctly. Wait until you hear from all those who choose to comment, and act with logic — according to the will of the people who live in this fire district.

  3. Wayne A. Arnold says:

    Do it the right way ask the people who elected you. We believed in you then help us keep our faith in you now.

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