Election Interference

The city recorder revoked the recall petitions without the authority to do so.


The city recorder revoked the recall petitions 2 weeks after he approved them citing a number of Oregon State Statutes. When asked to be more specific the city recorder’s response was to tell the chief petitioner to seek legal counsel. The Secretary of State (SOS) was contacted which in turn contacted the city. The SOS told the city they did not have the authority to revoke the petitions and to rescind the revocation. The city did not comply and threatened to take the SOS to court.

Before that happened, the SOS filed a complaint against King City in Washington County Circuit Court which was argued by an Oregon DOJ attorney. The judge found in favor of the SOS and ordered King City to rescind the revocation. The city also alleged false statements were made in the recall statement which the judge also addressed, finding they were opinion.

The city incurred significant legal fees and staff time challenging the SOS. This was a misguided decision to challenge the SOS and to not comply with their instructions. This additional expense is NOT a genuine recall expense, as the city manager is asserting, but a city decision to insert themselves into a clearly defined process.

The city manager’s perplexing attempt to explain the reason for the SOS challenge was to ensure the city wasn’t liable for the recall petition statement, or, was this an attempt to stop the recall? How would the city be liable for the petition statement of the recall committtee?

Discounting Community Concerns

Discounting concerns of the community by creating a false narrative that a few individuals with personal interests are opposed to their “plan”.


The Kingston Terrace community meeting at the Deer Creek Elementary auditorium was standing room only. The City Hall community meeting was overflowing so the city held an additional meeting. Those that spoke at these meetings were overwhelmingly, and quite possibly all, against at least part of the city’s plan.

Letters and those testifying in person for hearings were about overwhelmingly in opposition to the city’s plan. An online petition in opposition to the Fischer Road Extension was created by an Edgewater resident. Over 1,000 people signed that online petition. Despite the lost time for signature gathering for the recall petitions due to city interference, twice the number of signatures required for the recall petitions were gathered.

Ignoring Environmental Groups

The city council seemed to disregard the concerns of environmental groups despite the abundance of natural resources within our boundaries.


Environmental organizations opposed to crossing the Bankston Nature Preserve include The Tualatin Riverkeepers, Columbia Land Trust, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Friends of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, andTreekeepers of Washington County. Others, including the manager of the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, and an Oregon Department of Wildlife biologist, have submitted testimony calling for alternative road alignments that avoid wetland areas. These groups have attended site tours, written letters and provided in person testimony.

All of these groups were opposed to the city’s road choice location. They described the environmental damage and impact of crossing the nature preserve yet the city council seemed unconcerned. The city council’s concern seemed to focus more on the motives behind the creation of the preserve and the alleged self interest of those devoted to its protection.


The Council created a “Them vs Us” dynamic during the community involvement phase.


The council has repeatedly referred to those in the community voicing their concerns the “opposition”. This and other comments by the council implied they had taken a position on the Master Plan during the community involvement phase, prior to hearings and deliberations.

The city council has used inflammatory statements to mischaracterize community concerns for the environment, community safety, and livability as motivated for personal interests and not for the greater good.

The community has offered thoughtful and respectful analysis and the negative characterizations in return have been very disappointing.

I Declare (Not)

Despite an exhaustive review of conflict of interest requirements prior to any hearings, and a suggested OGEC training recommendation for the city, the city council chose not to make the required declarations.


The Oregon Government Ethic Commission (OGEC) has conducted a preliminary investigation on four of the councilors including the Mayor. At the end of each of the four preliminary reviews, the OGEC has stated the following; “Based on the information available in this preliminary review, there appears to be a substantial objective basis to believe that (the councilor) may have violated the conflict of interest provisions in Oregon Government Ethics law. The Oregon Government Ethics Commission should move to investigate whether (the councilor) may have violated 244.120(2).”

Disclosure (Not)

The city council did not ask for the required disclosures.


Conflict of interest disclosures are asked for at the beginning of public hearings. At the city council Transportation System Plan (TSP) hearing on June 14, 2023, these disclosures were not called for as required. At other hearings, the disclosures were asked for with varying levels of participation but no declarations of a potential or actual conflict of interest were made.

Because the TSP impacts the homes of some on the council, a complaint was filed for not declaring a potential conflict of interest. The city manager stated in an email “…Commissioners and Councilors may also have potential conflicts of interest, and while I would agree that there is a potential for a conflict of interest, and they should probably declare that conflict….” They did not.

No Contact

An attempt was made to prevent communication between the community and the city council.


The city manager sent out an email to all councilors and commissioners warning of ex parte contacts and advised that they probably should not respond to individual emails from interested parties as they can be considered ex parte contacts that should be disclosed in hearings.

The hearings were in fact a legislative process and ex parte contacts do not apply.  The city council makes this announcement prior to every hearing.  This email effectively shut down communications between concerned community members and the city council.  Citizens were unsuccessful at receiving responses from city leadership.

Changing the Record

City staff attempted to remove testimony from the record.


A letter in opposition to crossing the Bankston Nature Preserve was submitted by an ODFW biologist. The city manager contacted the ODFW and complained. He was able to get a retraction because the biologist didn’t follow agency protocol in submitting the testimony. The letter though had already been submitted for the record so this honest assessment from a trained wildlife biologist remains despite the politics.

Hold On

The City Council is rushing a council appointment in potential violation of the municipal code.


A city council position became available due to a resignation announced on 12/20/23 to be effective 12/31/23. The city posted the vacancy asking for applications for the open position prior to it being effectively vacated. Accepting applications prior to the position being effectively vacated may not be in accordance with King City Municipal Code 2.38.010. In addition, Municipal Code 2.38.020 and 2.38.050 further define the timeline requirements for filling the vacancy to include a 30 day application window, and a 5 day waiting period before interviews can begin.

This issue is still unfolding and the latest schedule may not be in compliance with the municipal code.  The council is attempting to fill the position with a candidate of their choosing prior to a potential recall. The municipal code encourages a selection within three months. There is plenty of time for the recall to unfold, allowing selection by the existing or new leadership. Waiting for the recall results would better reflect the will of the voter and direction they wish for city leadership.

Lack of Oversight

The Council has glaringly failed to manage and provide oversight of the planning commission in a multitude of ways.


  • The city municipal code states the planning commission shall have seven commissioners, not should have. The commission has been operating with five or less since February ’23 and has not actively pursued filling vacancies until the recall efforts began. Although 2 positions were filled January 17th, numerous meetings have been conducted without a full slate of commissioners. This undermines the land use process and has prevented potentially dissenting opinions from being heard.
  • A dissenting planning commissioner was dismissed for misconduct and non- performance of duty. Neither was established but according to the municipal code these were the only reasons available for dismissal. The commissioner lives in the expansion area and did not agree with the narrative being pushed by city staff.
  • The Planning Commission held a hearing without a quorum. Two positions had expired which left only three commissioners out of a total required seven, which did not meet quorum requirements.
  • The city municipal code states planning commissioners will be appointed by the Mayor. The Mayor recused herself from a commissioner appointment without stating why and left the meeting. The council proceeded to appoint two vacancies that had previously expired. A King City resident emailed the Mayor several times to ask her explain the recusal and the appointments. She did not reply. Notifications for these 2 appointments did not follow past practice and went out to a limited number of citizens.
  • The planning commission was to recommend, not recommend, or recommend with conditions the Transportation System Plan to the city council. They did something different and deviated from the mandate and recommended with 5 special considerations. Those considerations were read to the council by the city manager. There was virtually no discussion by the council or further consideration.
  • Prior to the KTMP and TSP hearings, the planning commission was to receive League of Oregon Cities (LOC) training in preparation. That training was not provided as promised and an offer for an online version was hastily made when it was pointed out the promise had not been followed up on. Unclear as to whether or not the training was ever accomplished.
  • The planning commission asked for and scheduled a workshop to discuss the TSP and KTMP. That workshop was changed by city staff without concurrence of the planning commission and under protest. The planning commission should have been allowed to decide for themselves the subject matter for the meeting. This is an example of the control exerted by the city to control the message.

Good One

Building a high volume road through a nature preserve is good for it?


The Bankston Nature Preserve does not need to be restored by the city, nor is it ‘enhanced’ by building a regionally significant collector road through it. The city manager mischaracterizes the Bankston Nature Preserve as needing restoration by the city, and that building a road through it will actually enhance it. The environmental groups obviously do not agree with such a ridiculous statement. The Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District (TSWCD) has removed invasive plants and planted over 16,000 native plants. The restoration work by TSWCD will continue through 2047. No restoration by the city is required and building a collector road through it certainly isn’t an enhancement. All environmental groups testifying opposed the road through this area protected by a conservation easement.

What’s the Big Rush

The planning commission allowed the city manager to rush them, not allowing for adequate review of materials.


Three days were set aside for the Planning Commission hearing that began on 4/26/23. After over 5 hours on the first day, Commissioner Paulsen asked the city manager when they should review the written testimony submitted that day. Thirty pages was submitted by one individual alone but the commission was told they were welcome to take a few minutes to review. The commission did not have adequate time to review the testimony submitted that day and therefore the public was not completely heard.

Wait a Minute

Not following meeting minutes procedures.


At city council and planning commission meetings, minutes are to be approved for the meeting held immediately prior. This is not being accomplished. The council is approving minutes from months prior and sometimes multiple meetings at a time. This practice is in violation of King City Municipal Code 2.04.090.

No Notification

The city did not follow proper notification rules according to Oregon Revised Statutes.


An Annexation hearing was held on 12/20/23 and the city did not properly notify the community in accordance with ORS 222.120. The requirements were to cause notices of the hearing to be posted in four public places in the city and publish once each week for two successive weeks prior to the day of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the city. This was not accomplished and when challenged the response was less than forthright.

Lack of Oversight

A planning commission hearing was held without a quorum


At the 4/26/23 Planning commission hearing, the city manager told the planning commissioners they technically have a quorum with three present because there are 5 commissioners (because of 2 vacancies). This is incorrect. The King City Municipal Code stated a quorum is 4.  Then, at the 6/28/23 planning commission hearing, the city manager explains how three is a quorum because it’s a majority of a sitting body, so if there are 5 in a sitting body, a quorum is 3.

Money Management

The persistent city budget committee vacancies are concerning.


There have been vacancies for 5 out of 7 positions on the budget committee for months with no sense of urgency to fill them. The council should be routinely sending vacancy notifications out to the community and placing the issue on the agenda as a recurring item until filled. The lack of community budget oversight is concerning.

No Action

The Mayor should be an elected position, not appointed by the city council.


The Council has been discussing for some time changing the city charter to allow the citizens to elect the Mayor rather than the council selecting who will act as Mayor. At the first council meeting of 2023, this was discussed as a goal. It hasn’t yet been accomplished. The position of Mayor should be determined by the voter.


Viable alternative routes were identified in the circulation analysis.  The city council let the consultants set the priorities which were not the community’s priorities.


At the 4/26/23 Planning Commission hearing, Commissioner Paulsen asks about shifting the line (Alternative 2 road) and the city manager replies by saying the problem is there aren’t very many areas to shift it to.

Commissioner Tysoe then asked about the displacement of people.  The city manager responds by saying other alternatives either had more environmental degradation/impact or displacing people and homes.

Shifting the road to the same location as a currently planned neighborhood route is where it should be relocated.  Doing so would not have any displacement impact, would eliminate the direct connection between 99W and Roy Rogers, and would have far less environmental impact by avoiding the Bankston Nature Preserve. The circulation analysis clearly shows the environmental impact is greater for the city chosen route.

No Proof

The City Council and staff has created an argument of displacement that is unsubstantiated.


Despite a Mountain View Estates mobile home park B street connection mentioned throughout the planning process, there was a reluctance by the city manager to show this on the backbone roads map. Doing so would weaken the city argument of protecting the most marginalized in our community.  The city council has justified the selection of Alternative 2 as the only route that provides this protection but has failed to substantiate the claim. 

The city manager has also repeatedly stated the mobile home park is private property in order to defend not showing a B Street connection, yet every other property in the expansion area is private property.  He has also said there is no need to show the road on the map because the consultants understand the code requirements.  Why show all the other backbone roads then? 


How can there be displacements if what the city is saying is correct?


The city manager has repeatedly stated there would be displacements in the expansion area if any other road is chosen other than Alternative 2.  The circulation analysis did not state that.  We’ve been told development will only occur as property owners sell so, if that’s the case, the new owner is the developer and there is no displacement.  In addition, other alternatives they speak of are planned as neighborhood routes.