NWC Endorsement: Save the City of Damascus
We urge a NO vote on Measure 93
On May 17th, the question of Damascus disincorporation will be decided once and for all. The Northwest Connection recommends that city voters defeat Measure 93, and save their city.
We’ve covered the issue of Damascus’ municipal viability for years, through multiple administrations, tumultuous disagreements, and controversial rulings. We’ve been consistently against the dissolution of the city. We believe that the best hope for Damascans to chart their own course as a community is for them to stick together.
Should disincorporation succeed, the 11-year-old city will be forced to surrender its charter, and will become part of unincorporated Clackamas County. At that point, important decisions about land use, development, the business of selling marijuana, and just about everything else will be permanently taken out of the hands of the people who call Damascus home.
The county will step in to fill the void, bringing with it uncertainty about decisions that will be made, administrations that will come and go, taxation policy, and the incursion of outside influences (like regional government Metro). The very future of the community and how it is governed is at stake.
There is no doubt that citizens of Damascus and their elected officials have been unable to agree on an all-important and legally required comprehensive plan. The reasons for the intractable civic loggerhead have been varied, with both sides of the argument making substantive points along the way.
Connection contributor and Damascus City Council President Bill Wehr has been indefatigable in his monthly column, laying out the issues, investigating the incongruities, and promoting the unity that he believes best serves the community.
In our April issue, Councilor Jim De Young, former councilor Mel O’Brien, and other concerned Damascus citizens unequivocally spelled out their reasons for wanting to defeat the disincorporation forces.
Yes, it’s been a hard road. But there are reasons to hope that the people and their representatives will be able to iron out the problems and realize the vision put forth when the prospect of Damascus as a city first appeared on the horizon.
Give Damascus another chance. Vote NO on 93. –the Northwest Connection