January 28, 2020
Good evening Mayor, City Councilors – thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak this evening.
My name is Lorraine Clarno, I serve as the President/CEO of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce.
I am here this evening representing our Business Advocacy Council and Board of Directors.
We have been following the Charter Review process embarked on earlier this past fall and have done our best to stay up to speed the past few months on your discussions and ultimately, the recommended Charter changes being presented today in this second public hearing.
Beaverton has changed a great deal since the adopted Charter in 1980 and even since the Urban Renewal Charter Amendment in November of 2008. Beaverton as a community, prides itself on being pro-active and current. Successful business operates in a constant world of change and must be evolving and innovating regularly to remain relevant, efficient and ready for the future. To that end we thank you for doing your research and applaud your study to determine what form of government will be best for Beaverton going forward.
I have talked with many of our members and partners personally over the past weeks and we recently called for a special meeting of our Business Advocacy Council on this topic resulting in some great discussions. At this time we have more questions than answers and are not here tonight to advocate for or against the recommended City Manager/Strong Council form of government. In fact, without naming names here this evening, I was shocked at the number of very engaged business owners and operators that had no knowledge of this work being done.
Beaverton spent 5+ years collecting input and having dialogue with more than 10,000 citizens to develop the Community Visioning plan which has served us so well. When working on the Charter Amendment in 2007 to allow for Urban Renewal I can personally recall a tremendous amount of community outreach and informational sessions many of us participated in to ensure its successful passage. What’s before you this evening is a complete Charter/Constitutional overhaul and this is the second public hearing.
Being fully transparent with you this evening, many of those we’ve spoken with agree that it is time to consider a professional city manager model for Beaverton. What started as a language clean up and look at moving to a PT ceremonial mayor/city manager model has resulted in what is a complex hybrid model of Fulltime Mayor/Strong Council. The timing and rush concerns them. There are significant budgetary implications in the Charter draft if passed and yet no discussion around what that is or could be.
If your intention this evening is to move this forward for the May ballot, we would ask you to reconsider and look at the November 2020 election ballot. It would give more time for us to understand why this is good for business – our primary focus. It would give more time to get voters up to speed and understand any needs for change. And, finally, November would allow for more inclusive conversations and you would have a much more diverse electorate deciding on what is best for Beaverton’s future.
We are here tonight as a partner, to ask for more time to engage the community, get questions answered, and ultimately see a successful campaign that passes the first time to lay the foundation for Beaverton’s future.
What are the benefits to the citizens of Beaverton in making this change?
Will this streamline or make it more difficult for businesses to build businesses and create livable wage jobs for the citizens of Beaverton?
How will this change impact the collaboration required of our Beaverton City Leadership with the various special districts, Washington County, Metro, etc.?
If approved, how would the transition truly work given that we have candidates filed to run for positions that may actually change before they are even elected or take their seat.
What are the costs of this change to the taxpayers? The current version of the City Charter being proposed includes the addition of a new City Councilor, a new City Manager, undefined numbers of support staff as needed for the mayor and the Council while not addressing the compensation expenses directly of all of the moving parts other than to give the Council full authority to set the pay levels of all of the above.
Beaverton has made the news and front page coverage the past 24 hours regarding the Curiosities Vintage Mall and the City’s notice to terminate their month-to-month lease.
I’ve been asked by multiple Partners and people on social media what the Chamber thinks about this.
Let me start by saying I am very sad we are here today for all involved – especially the 60 artisans and collectors that occupy space at Curiosities Vintage. I wish we learned of this transition earlier to be able to assist in relocating them more easily prior to the deadline. Our Business Advocacy Council works daily to keep our businesses aware of available resources, new laws and issues that impact business.
Redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Beaverton has been a community conversation since the visioning process which began in 2008. Thousands of residents expressed that establishing a revitalized downtown was the priority.
Our Beaverton Urban Renewal District was formed for this expressed purpose. Land acquisition has been a priority of BURA since its establishment by a vote of the people. This is a long-term effort that has been underway for years and it will continue as we see the hotel rise on the former Westgate property, the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and public parking garage come to life this fall, and other projects get underway in our city’s core. The City is contractually obligated to replace 165 parking spaces.
The building in question has been home to multiple businesses over its life span – I think the one we remember most is Ludeman’s which operated for more than 3 decades. Curiosities Vintage came in afterwards in 2013, and since 2016 has operated under a month-to-month lease. This site is not in the Beaverton Downtown Association boundaries nor is it a registered historic building or in the Beaverton Historic District.
The City of Beaverton did not use eminent domain or condemn any properties. They purchased them from willing sellers and in fact, have maintained the month-to-month leases for 18+ months. It is my understanding that the City has continued to engage in conversations with the tenants about the impending transition along the way. While the lots may be used temporarily for parking or construction staging, that is not the end game. Transit-oriented, mixed-use, and redevelopment has always been the community’s goal for this property.
Change is always tough. As a business that sits at the front door of what will be the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, the next couple of years are going to be incredibly disruptive to our business. We, as a business, have been anticipating the changes we will have to make during this process to accommodate our work.
We are in this for the long haul. And, the good news is……..Beaverton has a huge array of support services for both Curiosities and all of its vendors. This includes the City’s Economic Development Team which can help with relocation assistance and the Chamber can connect them to some terrific commercial brokers that know the ins and outs of Beaverton. IMPACT Beaverton – stands ready to provide one-on-one consulting for the artisans and vendors with business licenses. In fact, some of the vendors may be a perfect fit for the Chamber program called T.E.A.M Beaverton for small and homebased businesses. We have and will continue to reach out and hope to keep them growing and thriving in Beaverton.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: Lorraine Clarno, 503.350.2006|
|August 13, 2018
|Dianne Danowski Smith, 503.201.7019|
BUSINESS @ THE SPEED OF CHANGE: B2B EVENT EXPLORES THE NEW
USER ECONOMY AND LEADING BUSINESS CHANGE
Beaverton Business Summit date and content is announced. Check social at @BeavBiz2018
(Beaverton, Ore.) — “Businesses set up for success are those that adapt at an increasing rate of change,” said Steve Smelley, Chief Operating Officer at PayneWest Insurance, the Presenting Sponsor for the 2018 Beaverton Business Summit.
PayneWest is partnering with the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce to roll out the annual Beaverton business event, set for Thursday, November 8.
“Content at the Summit comprises key business-to-business topics designed to be immediately relevant and showcase networking opportunities, so firms can be local, stay local and grow locally,” said Chamber President Lorraine Clarno. “This is a key event illuminating how the chamber works to promote every aspect of our local economy.”
Morning keynoter Victoria Trabosh, a TEDx presenter who espouses a leadership-built-on-wisdom style, will present ‘Leading Change and Facing the Storm,’ about best practices of how businesses of all sizes and shapes must learn to manage change. The afternoon keynote by Bill Tracy, vice president at Structured Communications Systems, homes in on the ‘New User Economy’ to show businesses how to adapt and compete using trends set by large companies.
Content and topics will feature sessions including, “The New Language of Business for Young Professionals,” “3 Proven Steps to Eliminate Abrasive Behaviors (and Harassment) in the Workplace,” “What’s Up Beaverton: Up Close with Beaverton’s Community and Economic Development Experts,” and “Local Electeds: Sharing Oncoming Priorities,” as well as emerging intel on diversity and inclusion, tax law updates, health/wellness in the workplace, social media trends, and small business resources.
“We are also excited to announce the event will also feature the Summit Biz Exch@nge, a local marketplace designed for companies and professionals to interface and network among attendees,” said Rhonda Reister, manager of Beaverton’s E-Suites, and chair of the Beaverton Business Summit 2018.
Key partners underwriting the event include PayneWest Insurance; Nike; Portland General Electric; Kaiser Permanente; Aliat; Tektronix; Metro West Ambulance; Madden Industrial Craftsmen; Moomaw Mesirow & Godfrey, LLP; Willamette HVAC; Publix Northwest Public Relations and Public Affairs; and the City of Beaverton. Registration is now open:
https://beaverton.org/events/calendar/#cid=135&id=842&wid=1601&refid=18531055. Participation is open and not limited to Chamber members.
Find out more at the Chamber’s Website https://beaverton.org/events/beaverton-business-summit/, and on the social feeds @BeavBiz2018 on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
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But what is the right solution? How do we tackle the issue straight on and ensure accountability in the results?
Last Thursday we CONVENED leaders, stakeholders and partners to learn about the Metro Affordable Housing Bond and the companion proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the November ballot.
Your Chamber supports the constitutional amendment (Measure 102) put forth to allow for public-private partnerships and ownership to be one part of the solution, but does not support the Metro Regional Affordable Housing Bond.
This was not an easy decision, and in my tenure, probably one of the heaviest decisions cast by our Business Advocacy Council and board members present. Our board knows we have a huge crisis on our hands and it is impacting our community and our businesses negatively .
The challenges with the $652.8 Million 20-year Bond include:
Metro does not have experience in affordable housing projects and the bond calls for a 7% administrative fee off the top. Washington County, since 1970, has the Housing Authority of Washington County in place (now called the Department of Housing Services) with almost 50 years of track record in the arena. This bond, if passed, would be adding an additional governmental layer and costs.
The details and levels of specificity needed to have the confidence that Beaverton and Washington County would receive its fair share of the resources are not in place in totality at this time.
The Metro bond, when retired at 20 years, will have actually cost property owners close to $1 billion dollars and meet, per Metro, only somewhere between 5 – 7% of the actual need in our area. 3,900 units and that is if the Constitutional Amendment passes, 2,400 if not.
The population served and eligible for this housing need wrap around services to be successful in housing and employment. There is nothing built in to the bond measure for such services.
Ultimately, this bond measure is an attempt to do something…anything. But throwing money at something without addressing its root causes is not in our best interest as the Beaverton community. We have to demand efficiency, accountability and results. To get beyond 5-7% of our area’s need for affordable housing, we must look at land supply, system development charges, and find ways to improve education and workforce training. Our community and residents deserve that.
We are hopeful that the constitutional amendment will pass and enable public-private partnerships for affordable housing to be a larger part of the solution for affordable housing projects going forward.
The Chamber leadership will work with our City, County and other stakeholders to make systemic changes and be part of a solution that will make long-term and effective changes for our residents and community. We can do better.
Lorraine Clarno, ACE
July 29, 2018 the leadership of labor, business and public education met to discuss the future of education, the state budget crisis and how together…we may craft potential ideas and come to understand one another’s lenses, beliefs and values.
We are in this together for Beaverton and Oregon as parents, sons, daughters, husbands, wives and tax payers. The premise – we all have to be a part of the solution and part of a shared compromise.
I am happy to report it was a very successful initial meeting where our one overriding goal was to meet each other and determine if we felt we could move forward with what we all know will be tougher conversations. YES! We have collectively decided there is great value in going further together. We have data points to collect and are working on our next agenda and meeting. This is an organic and fluid process that I am confident will bring our community closer, improve communication and develop a greater respect and potential for all of us.
At the WACE conference I heard a talk on Performance Leadership by Randy Gravitt. A few things stood out to me.
-One out of three people are now considered “High Maintenance” – Customer expectations are off the chart, so how will organizations survive?
What can you do to take your organization to a new height this year? I’d love to hear an idea or two.
Lacey Beaty, Beaverton City Council Position 1
Laura Mitchell, Beaverton City Council Position 2
Marc San Soucie, Beaverton City Council Position 5
Pam Treece, Washington County District 2
Ryan Deckert, Washington County Chair
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Metro Seat 4
OregonSaves is a simple and convenient way for workers to save for retirement. It allows them to save a part of each paycheck through payroll deductions facilitated by their employer and invest their savings in professionally-managed investment options in a Roth individual retirement account. The account is also portable, allowing them to take it with them from job to job.
Any business with employees that does not sponsor a qualified retirement plan* will need to register to facilitate OregonSaves for its employees. The registration process is designed to be simple in order to limit any burden on employers. Employers can choose to offer their own retirement plans to some or all of their employees instead of participating in the program.
The program is scheduled to roll out in phases, and the State will let employers know when their phase will begin. The deadlines for employers to register to facilitate are as follows:
• An employer employing 100 or more employees: November 15, 2017
• An employer employing 50 to 99 employees: May 15, 2018
• An employer employing 20 to 49 employees: December 15, 2018
• An employer employing 10 to 19 employees: May 15, 2019
• An employer employing 5 to 9 employees: November 15, 2019
• An employer employing 4 or fewer employees: May 15, 2020 (more…)
This morning, the Chamber board of directors adopted the following Action Plan. This resulted out of the November planning session and subsequent staff work to implement their vision in to measurable and specific goals.