A balanced city budget is crucial to Tigard’s long-term economic health. Right now, the City of Tigard has $128.9M in outstanding debt. While that number should come down slightly in the next year, we are still forecasted in the red for the foreseeable future. Rather than deal with this problem head on, city council has simply turned a blind eye and has kept on spending.
This has to end.
As mayor, I will stop frivolous and excessive city spending. I do not believe in adding new taxes or increasing your water bill by adding new fees. We must prioritize spending cuts before any other measures are taken to reduce the deficit.
Trust between government and Tigard citizens can only be established through transparency. That is because transparency builds accountability among elected and hired officials.
That is why you should always know what the city is doing with your tax dollars. Additionally, every decision that is made by city council should automatically come with a clear explanation. And if it isn’t, you should be able to reach out and ask questions with a prompt response.
As mayor, I will see to it that every bit of city data is made available in easy-to-find dashboards located on the Tigard website. You–a Tigard citizen–should always be able to audit city finances and decisions at any given point.
Support all businesses and foster growth
Current Tigard leadership has disproportionately focused their attention on our downtown corridor. We have a thriving business community along Highway 99 and in the Tigard Triangle that has largely been ignored.
It’s time to do better.
Simplifying city sign and design codes to streamline the process for developing new projects and updating existing buildings. Providing excellent customer service with quick responses on behalf of the city. The City of Tigard must be working as a partner of the businesses in our community.
Expanding the business incubator program
It’s time Tigard took a bigger step in supporting the next generation of business leaders. The current business incubator program only accommodates one emerging business at a time. Not only that, but it also caters only to food-related businesses.
We need diversity within the program while also fostering multiple participants. To accomplish this effectively, the city needs to lease an office space, have a dedicated person in charge of the incubator program, and have a program that chooses the next set of businesses and ideas. Tigard must also recruit local business owners into a volunteer program and create a partnership with the Tigard Chamber program.
The future of Tigard
Tigard is in need of diversity when it comes to types of businesses. To keep Tigard from being a pass-through town, we need to encourage a broad and diverse amount of businesses to come to Tigard and incentivize them to stay. It is integral to recruit new businesses to Tigard, especially those looking to grow and expand within Tigard.
Establish a business district
Tigard city leadership needs to focus on revitalizing the Tigard Triangle. With easy access to 3 main thoroughfares, the Tigard Triangle has the potential to be the new face of Tigard. Because of the ease of access, it is a desirable location for many businesses.
To make the Tigard Triangle desirable, a lot of infrastructure needs to be planned for and added. That includes high-density residential like apartments and condos, restaurants, meeting spaces, roadways, walkways and greenspaces.
The Tigard Triangle is designated as a TIF tax district. With that, $188M over 35 years has been set aside by voters for projects in the area. Those funds can be used to jumpstart development projects without incurring additional funds from voters.
The downtown district
In its current state, Downtown Tigard does not have the draw or excitement that other places like Progress Ridge or Bridgeport offer. Part of the problem is that city buildings take up the back half of the downtown district. City Hall and the Police department are already overcrowded and overdue for a new building. To combat this problem, it’s time that the city gets creative and builds a new city hall complex and maximizes vertical space.
Downtown Tigard is classified into its own TIF (tax increment financing) tax district. This means funds have already been set aside for projects in the downtown corridor. This then frees up additional land to build a downtown parking structure or to add more mixed-use developments that entice more visitors to Downtown Tigard.
Filling the need gap
More than businesses, Tigard is lacking a community feel. We are overwhelmingly a pass-through city and that can be felt the hardest by our business community. By prioritizing key projects in the Tigard Triangle and Downtown districts, we can slowly change the spirit of Tigard.
It is time city leadership focuses on infrastructure projects that will make Tigard enjoyable and entice people to stay. That means widening roads, easing traffic congestion, and prioritizing trails and greenspaces. It also includes adequate and easy parking and transportation options.
Beyond that, the city must be attracting new businesses that help establish a community feel. That includes meeting venues, activity spaces, restaurants, and retail spaces. The final piece is encouraging people to stay by offering a variety of residential options that allow people to work and live in Tigard.