You should vote "yes" for two Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue measures on the March ballot. We just wish you didn't have to vote at all.
The deadline to vote for this mail-in election is Tuesday.
Measures 34-280 and 34-281 will allow annexation of the City of Newberg and the Newberg Rural Fire Protection District into the service area of TVF&R.
Vote "yes." Sure: These measures have almost nothing to do with people in our readership area. And that's the point. We shouldn't be casting votes on these issues, which were voted on, and passed, by the people who live in Newberg and within the Newberg fire district.
TVF&R started providing service in those areas in 2016, and the people living there will pay the cost.
This is a decided issue. Or it was, until about 100 voters petitioned the Washington County Board of Commissioners, saying that everyone within TVF&R should vote; not just the people hoping to be brought into the fire district.
Mind you, approval of the measures won't add one thin dime onto the taxes paid by existing TVF&R residents. The district serves much of western Washington County, excluding Hillsboro, but including all the large cities on the eastern edge of the county — Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin — along with smaller cities like Sherwood and King City, urban unincorporated portions of the county and rural portions of the county. The service extends into Clackamas County, including the Stafford Triangle, Wilsonville and West Linn.
While passage of the measures won't affect your taxes, it will affect TVF&R's bottom line: The election is estimated to cost the district $300,000. Forcing this vote districtwide amounts to abuse of the system.
The fire district is highly respected throughout the state. The cities and unincorporated areas now served have benefitted from the partnership. Newberg and its environs will, too.
We're sorry you have to vote on these ludicrous measures, but as long as you're at it, vote "yes."