Ballots are in the Mail for the Special District Election

The U.S. Postal Service has begun mailing ballots Wednesday, April 26, for the May 16, 2017 Special District Election. Multnomah County voters who do not receive a ballot by Thursday, May 4 should call the county elections office at 503-988-3720.

Voters can now sign up to track their ballot and get a virtual “I Voted” sticker. Text, email, or voice alerts tell voters when the county elections office has mailed ballots. Alerts indicate whether the ballot has been accepted for counting or whether it requires further action by the voter. Multnomah County voters can sign up by visiting: multco.us/elections/track-your-ballot.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz announces funding towards enhancing Portland Parks & Recreation’s Errol Heights Park

System Development Charges from development revenue go towards realizing SE Portland park’s vision!

Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz announces she is designating $5.3 million in funding towards transforming Errol Heights Park into the hybrid natural area and developed park envisioned in the 2005 park Master Plan. Errol Heights Park comprises more than 14 acres between SE 45th to 52nd Avenues and from SE Harney Street to SE Tenino Street in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. The Woodstock and Ardenwald/Johnson Creek neighborhoods are also adjacent to the south and west of the park.

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1,477 households are within a half-mile walking distance of Errol Heights Park, making this project one which significantly enhances parks services to area neighbors.

Funding for the next step in Errol Heights Park’s development comes not from General Fund Tax dollars, but from System Development Charges (SDCs).  These are one-time fees assessed on new development. SDCs help ensure that Portland’s quality of life keeps pace with our growing and changing city by providing additional parks and recreation facilities needed to accommodate growth. Park SDCs are restricted by law towards expanding capacity only (rather than to maintain or repair existing park facilities).

“I’m excited that Errol Heights Park will now have even more opportunities for recreation and relaxation,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “The park has a unique combination of assets, including a Portland community garden and a natural area. Moving forward on transforming a portion of the site into its long-desired developed park will enhance the neighborhood and the livability of our city.”

The current allocation of $5.3 million will allow Portland Parks & Recreation to realize the first phase of desired improvements to the park and natural area. While it is yet to be determined what improvements will be included in Phase 1 (pending upcoming public involvement with the community), some funds will be used to improve the streets around the park.

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Improvements in Phase 1 of the Errol Heights Master Plan may include:

  • Additional and improved paths
  • Enhancements to the natural area portion of the park
  • A grass lawn and new plantings
  • Street improvements
  • Amenities for play and/or sports
  • A picnic and/or gathering area
  • A Portland Loo or other restroom facility

Other phases to realize the park’s full vision may be possible in the future, depending on funding. Commissioner Fritz and PP&R aim to achieve the full vision of the Errol Heights Master Plan, but recognize that the full park development will need to be completed in phases. Public involvement and the design phase of the park will begin by summer, 2017.

“Portland is growing fast, and more than ever, our neighbors need places to play, to pause, places where we can connect with nature,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “The vision of Errol Heights Park is special in that it will be a place for both active play and for relaxing in a natural setting. We thank our Commissioner-in-Charge, our PP&R staff, and the Friends groups and volunteers who help enhance our parks and natural areas.”

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Volunteer groups such as Friends of Errol Heights, Friends of Trees and Johnson Creek Watershed Council have been dedicated stewards of the Errol Heights property for many years. A whopping 150 members of these groups came out to plant native trees and shrubs in a newly acquired parcel of the Errol Heights natural area on November 19, 2016.

“Having volunteered countless hours at Errol Heights over the years, my neighbors and I are delighted that Commissioner Fritz and Portland Parks & Recreation are moving forward to help the Errol Heights Park become what we’ve envisioned as a community,” says Paul Ciri with the Friends of Errol Heights. “This funding is a tremendous start on the road to realizing the park’s unique vision, one which has a wide appeal for all park visitors. We extend our sincerest thanks to the City.”

 Challenges Remain

As Portland Parks & Recreation commits to new parks in communities where none currently exist – and to expanding and enhancing other parks – many existing parks are at a crossroads. For decades, PP&R operating funding has been cut or remained flat, forcing the Bureau to postpone rehabilitation and maintenance in every neighborhood throughout the City.  Despite the 2014 Parks Replacement Bond, passed by voters with overwhelming support, the list of needs across the PP&R system is huge, and grows every year that we don’t address it.  PP&R has anticipated unfunded maintenance needs totaling nearly $250 million over the next 10 years. The beautiful parks we love to visit are being held together by thousands of volunteers and wonderful employees going above and beyond the call of duty. PP&R has additional and unfunded growth needs of approximately $472 million over the next ten years.

Photos: Volunteers with Portland Parks & Recreation, Friends of Errol Heights, Friends of Trees and Johnson Creek Watershed Council planted native trees and shrubs in a newly acquired parcel of the Errol Heights natural area on November 19, 2016. Native plants support a diversity of insects and wildlife, and provide cleaner air and water for all Portlanders. Photos are courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland, OR.

Board Positions Open Now!

We hope you’ll join us TODAY (Thursday) from 7:00-9:00PM at our monthly BDNA meeting where we hope to recruit some new, active board members who may be interested in the following:

East Precinct Liaison
Meetings are every two months, report back to the board and elevate neighborhood issues at these meetings.

Safety & Livability Committee
Encompasses a wide variety of issues including block watch, advocacy for the neighborhood to the city, affordable housing, attracting new business and opportunities etc.

Equity & Inclusion Committee
Attempts to ensure board decisions serve all residents and that communications reach all residents and alert the public that we are seeking more diversity on our board.

Annual Clean-Up Lead
Our annual fundraiser held in May that involves allowing people to dump their junk for a fee.

Events Planning Committee
We are seeking fun, vibrant, social folks who would like to help plan things like National Night Out, the Halloween Spooktacular, Holiday Events and more!

Childcare Provider
For monthly board meetings. This pays $35 for two hours and we seek someone certified in CPR.

Also on the December Agenda: Details on the Clean-Up position and other board openings and an overview of board duties and responsibilities, an update on the RFF Grant, as well as how to best use our communication funds from SE Uplift and strategies to increase diversity and inclusion, and an update on the tree inventory. Additionally, we are hoping to get input from the community on the next social event tentatively planned for January. We need volunteers!

We look forward to seeing you!

-Chair Lesley McKinley

Today is Election Day!

Return your ballot before 8:00 PM tonight.

Today, Tuesday November 8 is the last day to vote in the general election. Ballots must be received by 8:00 PM tonight, Tuesday, November 8 for them to count. Voters can find the nearest official ballot drop site anywhere in Oregon by visiting multco.us/elections/multnomah-county-official-ballot-drop-sites.

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All registered voters should have received their ballots. Multnomah County voters who have not received ballots or need assistance should call Multnomah County Elections at 503-988-3720 or visit the Elections office at 1040 SE Morrison Street, Portland. Voters can also request a replacement ballot online, multco.us/elections/webform/order-ahead-replacement-ballot, and it will be ready for pickup at the Elections Office at “Will Call” when the voter arrives. The Multnomah County Elections Office will be open until 8:00 PM tonight.

Multnomah County Elections provides an interpreter, free of charge to anyone who needs help voting in a language other than English. Additional voting and elections information in nine languages is online at multco.us/education-and-outreach/language-access-voters-needing-interpretation.

Voters who have returned their ballots can check their ballot status and get alerts by signing up for Track Your Ballot, multco.us/elections/track-your-ballot.
Voters who have not yet returned their ballots can drop them off in person at any of the official 24-hour drop sites located throughout the county until 8:00 PM tonight. It is too late to mail ballots and postmarks do not count. Voters can also drop off their ballot at any Multnomah County Library location during regular library hours, multcolib.org/hours-and-locations.

Listed below and online at multco.us/elections/multnomah-county-official-ballot-drop-sites are all the official 24-hour ballot drop sites and Multnomah County Library locations available until 8:00 PM tonight, Tuesday, November 8. Official ballot drop boxes will be emptied regularly throughout the day and promptly at 8:00 PM tonight.

Official 24-hour ballot drop sites:

A-Boy Supply: 7365 SW Barbur Blvd.

Goodwill Store: 3134 N Lombard St.

Gresham Library: 385 NW Miller Ave.

McDonald’s Restaurant: 2010 NE 39th Ave. (Box location: west side of Northeast 40th Ave. between Northeast Tillamook and Hancock streets)

Midland Library: 805 SE 122nd Ave.

Multnomah County Elections: 1040 SE Morrison St. (Box locations: east side of Southeast 11th between Southeast Morrison and Belmont and north side of Southeast Belmont between Southeast 10th and 11th)

Pioneer Courthouse Square: 700 block of SW Broadway (next to Starbucks and across from Nordstrom)

Regal Cinemas Movie Theater / M & M Car Wash: Southeast Division St. & 165th Ave., Portland – drop box located in Regal Cinemas parking lot behind M & M Car Wash

Multnomah County Library locations:

Albina: 3605 NE 15th Ave.

Belmont: 1038 SE 39th Ave.

Capitol Hill: 10723 SW Capitol Highway

Central: 801 SW 10th Ave.

Fairview-Columbia: 1520 NE Village St., Fairview

Gregory Heights: 7921 NE Sandy Blvd.

Gresham: 385 NW Miller Ave., Gresham

Hillsdale: 1525 SW Sunset Blvd.

Holgate: 7905 SE Holgate Blvd.

Hollywood: 4040 NE Tillamook St.

Kenton: 8226 N Denver Ave.

Midland: 805 SE 122nd Ave.

North Portland: 512 N Killingsworth St.

Northwest: 2300 NW Thurman St.

Rockwood: 17917 SE Stark St.

Sellwood-Moreland: 7860 SE 13th Ave.

St. Johns: 7510 N. Charleston Ave.

Troutdale: 2451 SW Cherry Park Rd., Troutdale

Woodstock: 6008 S.E. 49th Ave.

The Multnomah County Elections Division will begin releasing unofficial results at 8:00 PM tonight, at its office, online at http://bit.ly/2fdVWbA and on twitter at @MultCoElections. Unofficial election results will be updated on the website throughout election night as additional ballots are counted.

This release may also be viewed in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese and online.