Get involved: help reduce barriers to appealing City of Portland decisions.

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On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, City of Portland Ombudsman Margie Sollinger will take a proposal to City Council to reduce and eliminate current barriers community members face to appealing City government administrative decisions that affect them. (See below for some background information.) (Also attached is a two-page “primer” on the issue and proposal.)
Contact the Portland City Council members and let them know what you think about this proposal. (See below for their contact information.)
If you have questions or need more information, contact Margie Sollinger at:  Margie.sollinger@portlandoregon.gov; 503-823-0144.
* * * * * * * *
SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION
City of Portland Ombudsman Margie Sollinger has discovered that the City of Portland has close to 200 administrative appeal processes by which members of the public can question or challenge City government decisions that materially affect them (such as permit denials, property exclusions, utility bills, lien assessments, vehicle tows, etc.)
Ombudsman Sollinger also discovered that, despite the formal availability of these appeal processes, many community members in Portland effectively do not have a right to appeal because:
  • Lack of notice of appeal rights. No standard requirement exists that the City notify affected community members when they have a right to appeal a particular decision or to provide sufficient information to help community members know how to appeal a decision.
  • Appeal fees are prohibitively expensive. No standard requirement exists that appeal fees be set at a reasonable amount. The filing fee for some appeals is over $1,300.
Ombudsman Sollinger is proposing that the City establish some standard requirements and protections for community members. These include:
  • Requiring the City to notify people when they have a right to appeal and that notice must be timely and adequate.
  • Instituting a nominal filing fee for administrative appeals to the Code Hearings Office, and offering a waiver of the filing fee for community members who cannot afford the nominal filing fee.
The City Council hearing on Ombudsman Sollinger’s proposal currently is scheduled for:
  • DATEWed. April 22, 2015
  • TIME3 p.m. (“time certain”)
  • PLACE:  Portland City Hall, Council Chambers, 1221 SW 4th Ave. in downtown Portland
Consider coming to the hearing to let the City Council know what you think about this proposal and/or share your thoughts with them by email, phone, or letter.
You can contact the members of Portland’s City Council at:
1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 240, 97204
(503) 823-3589
Nick@portlandoregon.gov
AMANDA FRITZ
1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 220, 97204
(503)823-3008
amanda@portlandoregon.gov
STEVE NOVICK
1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 210, 97204
(503)823-4682
Novick@portlandoregon.gov
DAN SALTZMAN
1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 230, 97204
(503)823-4151
dan@portlandoregon.gov

 

King Neighborhood Tree Inventory: you’re invited to help!

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We’re gearing up for a tree inventory in the neighborhood this summer, and you’re invited to help! We need Team Leaders to help volunteers count and assess trees in small sections of the n’hood, and when summer arrives, we’ll be looking for your help making the inventory happen!

Next dates:

April 1: Sabin/King Tree Team meeting at the Freehouse at 6:30. Join and learn more about the inventory. We will be brainstorming site locations for each work date and plan on how to recruit volunteers. We will have the exact dates for the Inventory and will have to secure those before the next meeting.

May 1: Dead line for securing site locations for the specific dates.

May 2: Recruitment training with the City (optional). Learn what resources they will provide and learn how to get our community involved. We will brainstorm partners in the neighborhood for volunteer efforts.

June 10 or 13: Attend Team Leader Training. Choose an afternoon or morning session.

Street trees from Friends of Trees are free to King residents this winter!

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Thanks to a generous donation from Whole Foods, King residents will be offered street trees for free this season . The cost will include: a site inspection by the Urban Forestry Department to ensure you choose the right tree for your home, hole digging, help with planting your tree, stakes, ties, labels, follow-up monitoring, and information on proper tree care techniques. This will also allow you to meet your neighbors and create new connections. That’s quite a deal! 

For more information, please visit www.friendsoftrees.org. or contact Irek Wielgosz at king@plantitportland.org.