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Save Helvetia citizen testimony at the October 27th Washington County Commissioners meeting

Brian Beinlich
Summary of citizen testimony regarding the Reserves Process

October 27, 2009

Good evening Mr. Chairman and Commissioners,

My name is Brian Beinlich, and I’m with Save Helvetia. I’m here to present information about the public testimony that’s been submitted to the County regarding the reserves process, particularly with regard to the areas north of Highway 26.

I know most of you haven’t been attending the WCRCC meetings, but even if you had, you wouldn’t have heard about the remarkable amount of testimony that has been submitted by Washington County residents as well as by those around the Metro area, the region, and even around the country.

This notebook contains testimony submitted by 417 citizens. Each of these letters calls for RURAL RESERVES for the areas north of Highway 26. Of these 417 testimonies, 238 of them are from residents of Washington County. In addition, over 1000 other citizens (1028) have signed petitions containing the same message, and 502 of them are from Washington County.

These letters represent not just the voice of citizens, but of activists and more importantly, voters. I ask you to consider, “When was the last time any issue before you drew over 900 comments from your own residents?” I suspect there has never been such a time. In fact, letters requesting rural reserves for Helvetia and the lands north of Highway 26 completely dominate the public testimony about the reserves process. When I reviewed the public comment for August, it appeared that testimony requesting rural reserves for the areas north of Highway 26 dominated all other comments by a factor of at least 10 to 1 (and probably closer to 20 to 1). And yet, despite this overwhelming citizen input, the lands north of Highway 26 remain as candidates for URBAN reserves. We have submitted an abundance of testimony demonstrating that these areas qualify for the Rural Reserves designation based on the factors in the law. Why then, is this overwhelming public preference being so completely ignored?

The Board of Commissioners have never held a hearing on the WCRCC recommendations, or publicly reviewed them, or taken any vote on them. The citizens of Washington County deserve to know where their Commissioners stand on this important subject.

Thank you,

Brian Beinlich
10440 NW Jackson Quarry Road
Helvetia, Oregon 97124

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