Villages at Mt. Hood 
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This page is seriously out of Date

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.     What is this "village" thing, anyway?. 1
2.     Why are people here in the Hoodland corridor applying to become one?. 1
3.     What do I get from this Villages at Mt. Hood thing?. 2
4.     What will I have to pay?. 2
5.     What are the projects/activities that will be the "work" of the Villages at Mt. Hood?. 2
6.     Why should I believe unpaid volunteers can deliver results on these Activities?. 2
7.     Why should I believe this isn't a ploy to raise taxes?. 2
8.     What is the process to become a village?. 3
9.     What areas will be included in the Villages at Mt. Hood?. 3
10.       Can another area join the "Villages" so that they get in-district rates?. 3
11.       Who can participate in the Town Hall Meetings?. 3
12.       How often are Town Hall meeting. 3
13.       What will the "Board of Directors" do?. 3
14.       What are the positions on the Board of Directors. 4
15.       What are the requirements (besides willing to do a lot of work) for a Board member?  4
16.       Why aren't Board members being paid for their work?. 4
17.       What are the restrictions on the Board members to avoid "conflict of interest"?. 4
18.       I want you to do my project, why won't you do it for me?. 4
19.       How are activities added to the list of "supported" activities?. 5
20.       How are activities removed from the list?. 5
21.       How will the activities be funded?. 5
22.       Why can't we get the County/State/Federal Funding without becoming a Village?. 5
23.       Why a "village" instead of a "hamlet"?. 6
24.       How does the "Villages" relate to the Hoodland and Rhododendron CPOs?. 6
25.       Why aren't you incorporating as a city?. 6

1.         What is this "village" thing, anyway?

Through a series of public meetings over a number of years, the Clackamas County Commissioners identified a need and a proposed solution to allow residents, property owners and business in unincorporated Clackamas County have a "governmental organization" that actually responded to their needs.

Unfortunately, the "respond to their needs" is done by unpaid volunteers from the areas.  The Village framework provides those volunteers with a "standing" to apply as "Clackamas County" for state and federal grants.

Additionally, all "real" decisions must be confirmed by the Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners.

2.         Why are people here in the Hoodland corridor applying to become one?

ODOT is requiring that we become a "governmental agency" in order to continue getting grants for the very successful "Mountain Express Bus" (that is allow seniors to get to Sandy and kids to get home from after school activities).

Additionally, some of the other projects are finding that they need to be a "government agency" to be successful and others will benefit greatly from having "standing" as a "governmental agency".  Much of the work will continue to be done through the various 501(c)(3) such as the Women's Club and the Barlow Trail Association [donate today!]

3.         What do I get from this Villages at Mt. Hood thing?

The benefit to residents in the Mt Hood area include:

1.    Improved quality of life: more recreation trails, parks, community connector trails, etc generally build with readily available local, state, and federal funds.
2.    A new Community Center, design tbd, next to the old Women's Club building that is currently maxed out as a child daycare center and a senior center.  Ideas on the new building include recreation facilities, meeting rooms, and complete kitchen area.
3.    stronger continuation of the civic services of the Mountain Express Bus, Forest Sanctuary, PAL Youth center, etc.

4.         What will I have to pay?

While there may be fees to use specific facilities, current plans are to only do what we can get grants to do.

People who are not members of the Villages at Mt. Hood will likely be changed higher fees if they wish to use the resources resulting from our hard work.

5.         What are the projects/activities that will be the "work" of the Villages at Mt. Hood?

The key projects/activities motivating the drive to become the Villages at Mt. Hood include:

1.    Mountain Express Bus
2.    New Community Center
3.    New Trails and Parks
4.    Forest Sanctuary for Battered Women and Children
5.    Streetscape improvements (especially along US26)
6.    Economic development: more recreation resources,
7.    protecting our "rural mountain character" that brought us all here, from those who want to "California-ize" it or degrade it with illegal dumps

Note; the draft Bylaws (subject to change!) states that the Villages supports "select causes, projects, and activities, hereafter call activities".  That term will be used in the rest of this FAQ

6.         Why should I believe unpaid volunteers can deliver results on these Activities?

The activities have already made very significant progress and the formation of the villages is only to improve the rate of progress and gain more resources

7.         Why should I believe this isn't a ploy to raise taxes?

The Villages do not have the ability or right to impose taxes (unlike a city such as Sandy). 

All taxes can only be imposed by the Board of County Commissioners and require a "double majority" election (more than 50% of the people must vote and more than 50% of the votes must be for the proposal). 

8.         What is the process to become a village?

The steps defined by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners are:

1.    Petitions with at least 150 signatures are filed   (was done on 11/30/05)
2.    a series of public working meetings create bylaw drafts and initial pigeons, err, candidates, to do the heavy workload of the Board of Directors (grant writing, activity administration, etc)
3.    strong effort is made to reach all citizens of the proposed area through the Mountain Times, Sandy Post, and a mass mailing.
4.    a Town Hall meeting is held to approve the bylaws, the activities, and the members of the Board of Directors
5.    The Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners reviews and approve the bylaws, activities, and Board of Directors members

9.         What areas will be included in the Villages at Mt. Hood?

The initial area included in the Villages at Mt. Hood include the areas included in the Mt. Hood Corridor CPO and the Rhododendron CPO.  A map is available on this web site

10.     Can another area join the "Villages" so that they get in-district rates?

Should some other area wish to join the Villages at Mt. Hood so that they can get "in-district" rates on using the new Community Building or Recreation facilities or have the Mountain Express Bus stop for them along US 26 (officially it probably shouldn't be stopping as it does now), it will require a number of steps including Town Hall meetings by both parties, the Board of County Commissioners to agree, etc.  Probably nothing terrible hard.

11.     Who can participate in the Town Hall Meetings?

7While the Town Hall Meeting are open to the public, only "Citizens of the Villages at Mt. Hood" may vote (but no proxies are accepted!).  A Citizen is defined as someone who 1) lives, or 2) owns property or 3) runs a business within the area that is the Villages at Mt. Hood

12.     How often are Town Hall meeting

The draft Bylaws (subject to change!) indicates that the Town Hall meetings are held quarterly.

13.     What will the "Board of Directors" do?

Officially, the Board of Directors is "an advisory board to the county commissioners".

Pragmatically, the Directors are going to be doing a lot of work to help activities:

1.      get local, state, and federal grants,
2.      attention from county staff and the commissioners and convince them to do what needs to be done for the community
3.      convince ODOT, Department of State Lands, Oregon Parks, BLM, NFS, etc to help the community

and do "what it takes" to be and remain being a "villages:

1.      make the Town Hall Meetings successful (mailings, posters, materials for the meeting, run the meeting, minutes of the meeting, etc
2.      conform to Oregon Public Meeting laws, Public Records laws, and Conflict of Interest requirements.
3.      get new community needs identified and instantiated as activities

14.     What are the positions on the Board of Directors

The bylaws are not yet finalized but the current draft Bylaws (subject to change!) calls out having:
     - representative from each of the two CPOs
     - several "at-large" members elected at the Town Hall meeting
     - representative from each key project that would be making heavy demand on the advantages of being a village so that they can do the heavy workload associated with the project county, state, and federal requests for funding and resources.

15.     What are the requirements (besides willing to do a lot of work) for a Board member?

The qualifications/requirements to be a Director on the Board, as written in the draft of the Bylaws (and subject to change!) include:

1.      a citizen of the Villages at Mt. Hood.
2.      willing to commit the time and be available for key meetings of the Board and of Village activities
3.      demonstrated leadership and activity in activies that benefit the Villages
4.      demonstrated leadership and assistance in helping other activities in making progress
5.      attended majority of the Board meetings for previous 6 months before the election
               ^^^^^^not true for the initial board but attending some of the organizational meetings would seem to be useful
6.      commit to working with and for the benefit of the collective Villages at Mt. Hood

16.     Why aren't Board members being paid for their work?

While the Board members will likely be doing a lot of work, it is all volunteer.  It is not intended to be a "job" nor are the selection procedures really adequate to "hire" someone.  Additionally, there aren't any funds nor funding source to pay salaries of anyone!

17.     What are the restrictions on the Board members to avoid "conflict of interest"?

There is a whole long section in the draft Bylaws on conflict of interest but the bottom line is to be and be perceived (i.e. can't even smell of conflict) as not doing anything that is of direct benefit to the Director or anyone/anything close to the Director. 

In other words, if there are grants administered or selected by the Board, probably none of the Directors, their families, business, etc should get any of those grants.  There have been perceptions of some not so upright dealings in the past and, with public funds on the line, everything is required to be above board.

18.     I want you to do my project, why won't you do it for me?

The Villages at Mt. Hood is a volunteer organization.  If you want something specific to happen and it is feasible/desirable to the community, then you should do it.  The current volunteers will certainly be willing to give advice and pointers but they are already busy doing their activities.

That said, there are groups within the umbrella of the Villages at Mt. Hood that are certainly wiling to modify their ZBBs if someone comes up with funding or a grant for a specific project within their scope.

19.     How are activities added to the list of "supported" activities?

The draft Bylaws (subject to change!) identifies that activities must request addition and then be approved by majority vote at a town meeting.  The project needs to already have some momentum and demonstrate it by providing the information:

                           i.      what is acknowledged community need
                         ii.      who is the visible driver/leader
                        iii.      who are the people currently supporting the activity by working
                       iv.      what structure is already  in place to manage the project: 501(c)(3), committee, etc
                         v.      what fiscal structure is in place and demonstrated fiscal responsibility
                       vi.      what are the goals and work plan
                      vii.      are they able to manage themselves to achieve goals
          viii.   
A project needing significant county resources, agency

20.     How are activities removed from the list?

As stated in the draft Bylaws (subject to change!), activities must be reaffirmed every two years by majority vote at a Town Hall meeting.  At that time, failure to achieve a majority vote on reaffirmation would remove the activity

Between meetings the activity could be removed by 2/3 vote of a Town Hall if:

                           i.      the activity is completed
                         ii.      it is no longer making reasonable progress
                        iii.      there is evidence of fiscal improprieties
                       iv.      a significant part of the community questions the wisdom or value of the project

21.     How will the activities be funded?

Each activity is required to determine how to get themselves funded through grants, donations, volunteers, hard work, etc.  Several of the projects as associated with 501(c)(3)s to handle the public contributions and will utilize the Villages to obtain governmental grants.  Additionally, as a governmental agency, other governmental jurisdictions are able to cooperate to do work on within their boundaries.

22.     Why can't we get the County/State/Federal Funding without becoming a Village?

Most sources of state and federal funding are intended to go to a "city or county".  Clackamas County in Oregon City finds it difficult to apply for grants for the Mt. Hood area because the projects are definitely "far away" and hard for the county to get traction on the project.

Local people are better able to "know" what needs to be done and be able to create the grant request.

23.     Why a "village" instead of a "hamlet"?

We will likely need an ORS 451 Service District to continue receiving ODOT grants to run the Mountain Express Bus.  The Village can request the creation of the Service District but the Hamlet can not.

Originally, all we wanted was the Service District and we were requested to form a village first.  Since there are benefits to other projects, we are putting the energy into the village formation (instead of our projects!)

24.     How does the "Villages" relate to the Hoodland and Rhododendron CPOs?

The CPOs will continue to exist and continue to perform their land use review function.

In addition, a representative from each CPO, according to the current draft (subject to change!), will be a member of the Board of Directors to insure good communication.

The boundaries of the Villages at Mt. Hood are the combined boundaries of the two CPOs.  

The boundaries of the Villages at Mt. Hood are the combined boundaries of the two CPOs.  

25.  Why aren't you incorporating as a city?

We see absolutely no need to have the expense and complexity of an incorporated city.  Cities have many responsibilities and duties under Oregon law that are likely best handled somewhere else, like Oregon City.

 

 
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