Neighborhood Connections: Mar 2008

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City of Gresham News,
Community Activities & More...

Neighborhood Connections is a publication from the City of Gresham Communications & Community Outreach offering City of Gresham news, Public Safety information, Community Activities & Events, Training & Workshops, Volunteer Opportunities, and more.

Inside this Issue...

For more information contact City of Gresham Communications & Community Outreach, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway, Gresham, OR 97030

Results of Citizen Survey Available

On March 4 the results of the 2007 Citizen Survey were presented to City Council. The City commissioned the survey to gain a better understanding of the attitudes, opinions and perceptions of issues among Gresham residents. Apart from a few minor changes the survey was the same to ensure accurate data trending over time.

An independent firm was hired to conduct the statistically valid survey. In early Jan. telephone interviews were conducted with 400 randomly selected adult residents who live in Gresham. The survey was distributed geographically across the city’s various zip codes.

Among the findings of the survey:

Gresham residents are still generally satisfied with Gresham as a place to live, but average ratings declined slightly since 2006, from 7.0 to 6.8. When asked what they like most about living in Gresham, residents continue to praise Gresham’s “small-town” feel and “convenient location.”

Crime has become a key concern for Gresham residents. Residents were asked what they “believed is the one most important problem or issue facing Gresham.” 60% of survey respondents mentioned crime related issues. In the 2006 survey only 30% of respondents mentioned crime-related issues. Survey analysis points to widely publicized incidents on MAX and increased attention on the City’s intensified efforts to address the issue over the last year placed crime at forefront of residents’ minds.

Satisfaction with City services remains steady. “Courteous and helpful employees” continue to be the City’s major strength. There is increased satisfaction with “traffic congestion and safety” from an average of 5.3 up to 5.7. When asked if the city “listens and responds appropriately to citizens” residents gave the City a rating of 6.0 which is up slightly from 5.7 in 2006. “Keeps its promises to residents” was also up from 5.7 in 2006 to 5.9 in 2007 and when asked if the City provides “effective leadership on issues that matter to me” residents gave the City a bump from 5.7 in 2006 to 6.0 in 2007.

Both the 2007 and 2006 reports are available on the City's web site.

Residential Districts Review

City of Gresham is kicking off its effort to review residential zoning in the City with three public meetings in March and April.

  • 7 p.m. Tue., March 25, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, 17405 NE Glisan St.
  • 7 p.m. Wed., April 2, Powell Valley Elementary, 4825 SE Powell Valley Rd.
  • 7 p.m. Thurs., April 3, Portland Lutheran School, 740 SE 182nd Ave.

These meetings on the Residential Districts Review project give the public an opportunity to comment on housing issues in their neighborhoods and weigh in on the following questions:

  • What locations in Gresham are appropriate for low-density and higher-density residential development?
  • How can new development best “fit in” with existing neighborhoods?
  • How should new, innovative housing types and arrangements be allowed in Gresham?

Accommodating residential growth is part of state and regional efforts to preserve farm and forest land outside the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) and direct urban development to areas inside that boundary. Gresham’s housing policies call for providing a variety of housing types and densities, and the City’s Development Plan Map helps determine locations for various housing types (such as single-family homes, duplexes, row homes, apartments and condominiums).

This project’s review of residential districts seeks to incorporate state and regional goals and meet housing targets while creating quality, livable neighborhoods. The project begins this month with research and analysis and public input to better define the issues the project should address. Further public outreach will occur in late spring and early summer as alternatives are developed.

Project link

Staff contact: Brian Martin, Associate Planner, 503-618-2266.

Gresham Residents Invited to Provide Input at Budget Meetings

City’s budget committee will convene beginning in April

On April 8 the City’s Budget Committee will convene to hear the City Manager’s proposed budget for the 2008/09 fiscal year.

The Budget Committee is made up of the Mayor and Council members, and seven Council-appointed residents. The Committee convenes to deliberate on the City Manager’s proposed budget and make Committee-approved changes. Once approved, the budget goes to the City Council for adoption.

The decisions made through the budget process impact public safety, livability and the overall quality of life in Gresham. The Budget Committee welcomes your input on funding priorities and is interested in your thoughts regarding the proposed budget.

Gresham’s budget development is guided by the prioritization of General Fund services, Council and Finance Committee discussions, citizen input, the Council Work Plan and sound business practices. The members of the Budget Committee prioritized $45 million of General Fund services. Priority-based budgeting focuses on services the City should keep rather than focusing on where cuts can be made.

Residents are invited to review the budget documents, which will be available to the public beginning April 8 at the Budget Committee meetings and on the City's web site.

Meetings are held in the City Hall Conference Center, 1333 NW Eastman Parkway from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Visit the City's web site for additional information, or contact Budget Manager Nikki Peterson at 503-618-2428.

Budget Committee Meetings*

April 8 - Budget Committee Meeting #1 – Kickoff
City Manager's Budget message and presentation on the FY 2008/09 Proposed Budget
Public Hearing – State Shared Revenue

April 17 - Gresham Urban Renewal Budget Committee, 6:00 p.m.
April 17 - Budget Committee Meeting #2 (immediately after GRDC Budget Committee meeting) Central Support Funds

April 22 - Budget Committee Meeting #3
General Fund (Police, Fire & Emergency Services, Planning Services, Development Services, Economic Development Services, Parks and Parks CIP)
Business Funds Urban Renewal Support Fund

April 24- Budget Committee Meeting #4
Infrastructure Funds (Water Fund, Wastewater Fund, Stormwater Fund, Transportation Fund, Streetlight Fund, Infrastructure Development Fund)
Dedicated Revenue Fund

May 1 - Budget Committee meeting #5 - Wrap Up
Special Revenue and Non-operating funds Budget Committee completes deliberations, approves budget as amended

*Meetings are subject to change

Enter the City’s Photo Contest
Entries Due by April 11

Amateur, professional and school-age photographers are invited to enter their best images in the first City of Gresham Photography Contest. The contest is part of the City’s Web site redesign project. First in category winners will receive a $50 gift card to Fred Meyer, recognition at a special photo exhibit at City Hall on June 17, and publication with credit in a special section of the summer edition of the City’s newsletter and on the City’s redesigned Web site.

Selections will be based on illustration of theme or category, evoking a sense of place, the use of color, quality and clarity, telling a story and depicting Gresham. Contest categories include:

Category 1 – Life in Gresham: Photos should reflect what you do or see everyday – photo examples include people taking a walk, children playing, raking leaves, City crews at work, street scenes, having fun, or work.

Category 2 – Places in Gresham: Photo examples include Gresham’s neighborhoods, shopping districts, streets, parks, trails and green spaces, businesses, etc.

Category 3 – Gresham’s Events and Activities: Photo examples include sports, parades, block parties, special events or community celebrations held in Gresham.

Category 4 – People of Gresham: Photos should reflect the wide range and diversity of individuals and families, who live, work and play in Gresham.

Category 5 – Potpourri: Surprise us! Use your imagination and creativity to represent Gresham.

Category 6 – Youth (entrants must be under the age of 18): Photos can reflect any subject matter the entrant would like to submit.

Full contest details are available on the City's web site or call Laura Bridges-Shepard at 503-618-2247 with questions.

Grant Funding Available for Neighborhood Associations

The City opened the 2007/08 funding cycle for its Neighborhood Matching Grant today. The City is interested in encouraging projects that foster civic pride, enhance and beautify neighborhoods, expand citizen involvement and promote the interests of the community. For the 2007/08 fiscal year, $10,000 is available for the grants.

To be eligible for grant funds projects must meet specific criteria that include:

  • Applicants must be an officially recognized City neighborhood association
  • The applicants must match fifty percent of the project cost
  • The funding area must be with in the City limits
  • The project must be non-profit in nature
  • Project should have lasting and/or direct benefit to the neighborhood
  • Project should be distinctive to the neighborhood

In considering grant requests, the merits of the proposed project and the neighborhood’s ability to meet the match requirement will be the primary focus.

Matching grant application forms are available on the City's href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">web site. All grant applications must be submitted to Communications and Community Outreach, c/o Office of Governance and Management at 1333 NW Eastman Parkway or to by May 15 by 5:00 p.m.

Gresham Community Gardens

The City has four community garden sites throughout Gresham. If you want to reserve a plot you need to call the coordinator for the garden you are interested in. For more information including reservation paperwork and garden guidelines visit the City's web site.

Community Garden Locations in Gresham
City Hall - 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway
Garden Coordinator, Phyllis Flurry 503-667.4430
Number of plots – 17

Thom Park – 1135 S.E. Ninth Street
Garden Coordinator, Tom Eubanks 503-491-5705
Number of plots – ask garden coordinator

Vance Park - 1400 S.E. 182nd Ave.
Garden Coordinator, Kathy Minden 503-740-3541
Number of plots – 5

Yamhill Park - 19309 S.E. Yamhill St.
Garden Coordinator, Ron Chadwick 503-807-1513
Number of plots –10

Backyard Burning

Backyard burning within the Gresham City Limits East of the DEQ burn ban boundary is only allowed during 10 specific days in the fall and 10 specific days in the spring. The planned burn dates for spring will begin the 23rd of April and be every Wednesday and Saturday thereafter for 10 total approved days.

Planned burn dates may be cancelled if DEQ prohibits burning on any of these days. Call the burn information line (503) 618-3083 the day you plan to burn to make sure DEQ allows burning that day. If the burn date is cancelled, additional Wednesday / Saturday dates will be selected and announced on the burn line.

If you are unsure if you fall within this program area, please call (503) 618-2355.

Clubs, Artists, Vendors and Exhibitors Sought for Earth Day Celebration April 19

Local businesses, organizations and schools are invited to participate in the annual Earth Day Celebration hosted by the City of Gresham Department of Environmental Services from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19. This year’s free, family-fun event will be held at Gresham City Hall, 1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway. The event includes free recycling, live music, children’s activities, plant and recycled art sales, free workshops and demonstrations for the public – and much more.

Last year, more than 40 vendors had “environmentally-aware” displays and exhibits at the Gresham event, including food products, recycled art and health demonstrations. Earth Day participation shows business or organizational interest in the environmental future of the Gresham community.

If your business, organization or school is interested in an environmental display, activity or participation in the event, call Bonnie Hoffower at (503) 618-2526 for a registration form, due in by Friday, March 28. Print a registration form from the City's web site.

Gresham Art Advisory Committee – Exhibits and Dates

Music for Your Eyes
Exhibit dates: March 4 through April 10

The selected works will be on display in the City of Gresham Visual Arts Gallery and on City’s web site.

The Gresham Art Advisory Committee’s 11th Annual Juried Art Exhibit
Exhibit dates: April 8 through May 29.
Artist’s Reception: April 15, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Gresham City Hall Visual Arts Gallery, Council Chamber Foyer

For information contact Connie Otto, 503-618-2360.

Gresham City Council Meetings

Gresham City Council Agendas are available on the City's web site.

Regular Business Meetings – First and Third Tuesday of every month First Tuesday meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. Third Tuesday meeting beings at 3:00 p.m.

Policy Development Meetings – Second Tuesday of every month
Second Tuesday meeting begins at 3:00 p.m.

Council Roundtable Meeting – Fourth Tuesday of every month
Fourth Tuesday meeting begins at 3:00 p.m.

Redevelopment Commission – Third Thursday of every month
Meeting begins at 4:00 p.m. GRDC web page

Planning Commission - Second and Fourth Monday of the month
Planning Commission web page

Neighborhood Association Meetings


  • 20 Mt Hood, 7:00 p.m., Mt. Hood Christian Center, 503-492-8949
  • 25 Wilkes East, 7:00 p.m., St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, 503-255-7685
  • 31 Northwest Gresham, 7:00 p.m., City Hall, 503-661-3020

  • 3 North Central, 7:00 p.m., North Gresham Grade School, 503-665-4138
  • 16 ASERT, 6:30 p.m., Dexter McCarty Middle School, 503-539-7005
  • 16 Gresham Pleasant Valley, 7:00 p.m., Butler Creek Elementary, 503-367-2434
  • 17 Mt Hood, 7:00 p.m., Mt. Hood Christian Center, 503-492-8949
  • 17 Southwest 7:00 p.m., Butler Creek Elementary, 503-665-8292
  • 21 Central City, 6:00 p.m., Metro East Community Media, 503-516-6969
  • 28 Wilkes East Board, 7:00 p.m., Call for location 503-255-7685

Coalition of Gresham Neighborhood Associations
Monthly every second Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
Gresham City Hall, Springwater Trail Room

Have a Question? askGresham

To meet the expanding information needs of Gresham residents, the City launched askGresham in December 2006. askGresham is an interactive Web-based tool designed to help citizens access information and make service requests from the City.

  • Find Answers
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Request
  • Use “My Gresham” to check the status of your request
  • Browse through Frequently Ask Questions

Check it out!

Community Events

Greater Gresham Area Prevention Partnership Community Dialog #2

In Partnership with the East County Caring Community

April 3, 2008
3-5 p.m.
Fairview City Hall

In an effort to reach the GGAPP coalition goal; to increase community wide awareness of the risks of drugs and alcohol use by 10% we are working on four community dialogs. This is the second dialog. It is our hope that we can strengthen collaboration among the four East Multnomah County's communities' private nonprofit agencies, schools and local governments to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth.

Through dialog we hope to:

  • Inform, create and build a dynamic constituency to support community work.
  • Build opportunities to partner and collaborate.
  • Develop concrete actions for future planning and advocacy.
  • Design strategies for resources and greater services cohesion.
  • Ultimately reducing community risk factors for drug and alcohol use.

Each dialog will be facilitated.

On Thursday April 3, the following topics will be further explored:

  • Homelessness
  • Neighborhood & Community Involvement
  • Drugs/Mental Health and Public Safety Resources after school

The City of Portland Plan to combat drug and alcohol issues will be shared.

It is anticipated that the dialog outcomes will be combined for publication.

Subsequent meetings will be held the first Thursday of the quarter and convened in community locations from 3-5 p.m. For more information visit GGAPP's web site. Please contact 503-823-0250 to reserve your spot.

PAL Center Spring Break Activities

The Police Activities League, PAL Youth Center serves youth ages 8 to 17 and is offering a week full of Spring Break activities to include:

  • Sledding
  • Horseback riding
  • Swimming
  • Portland Art Museum
  • Soccer tournaments
  • XBox tournaments
  • And much more!

Thursday from 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Friday 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Cost is $5 per child for non-PAL members. Youth will need to bring their own lunch Monday-Thursday. A week-ending picnic will be served on Friday at no charge. For more information please contact Mike by phone (503-256-3479) or e-mail.

The PAL Center is located at 424 NE 172nd for more information go to their web site.

Easter Activities in Gresham

Annual egg hunt at West Gresham School
City firefighters will help scatter eggs on the playground of West Gresham Elementary School for the 57th Annual Easter Egg Hunt, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 22. Hosted by Piazza Patrick Group of Persimmon Realty. The school is at 330 W. Powell Blvd.

Pancakes and eggs at Powell Valley church
Powell Valley Covenant Church is holding a pancake breakfast and egg hunt starting at 8 a.m. Sunday, March 23. Breakfast will be served for $1 from 8 to 9:30 a.m., followed by the church’s Easter Sunday worship session at 10 a.m. and an egg hunt after services. Registration is required, so call 503-663-3013 to register and get directions to the event. If you register by Wednesday, March 19, you will receive a complimentary “Breakfast Buck.”

Mega candy and prizes at Gresham egg hunt
Join in for fantastic worship, special music, teaching and prizes at Champions Church’s Easter service and egg hunt, starting at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 23, at Gordon Russell Middle School, 3625 E. Powell Valley Road. For more information, visit

Rocks, thunder eggs at Mt. Hood Community College
More than 1,000 pounds of polished rock and thunder eggs and plastic eggs will be hidden in Mt. Hood Community College’s gymnasium as part of its Easter Thunder-Egg and Rock Hunt on Saturday, April 5.

Beginning at 2 p.m., children 12 and younger can search for the eggs and enjoy treasure hunts, games and a raffle while parents enjoy the Rock Club’s annual Rock, Gem and Craft Show. Mt. Hood Community College is at 26000 S.E. Stark St.

Elks Lodge to hold egg hunt
Gresham Elks Lodge 1805, at 3330 N.E. Division St., will hold its free egg hunt at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 22. For more information, call 503-666-1805.

Gresham VFW Post 180 Ladies Auxiliary Pancake Breakfast

Saturday, April 26, 2008
8:00 to 11:00 am
Another Round at the Gresham Golf Course, 2155 NE Division St.

The Gresham VFW Post 180 Ladies Auxiliary is sponsoring a $5 Pancake Breakfast to raise funds for programs supported by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. These programs help active and retired veterans of foreign wars and their families.

For information about the VFW Auxiliary, email: . For information visit the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) web site.

Water Efficient Landscaping

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Noon to 1:00 pm
Mt. Hood Community College
Room AC 2057, Town and Gown Room

Presenter: Jesse Engum, City of Gresham Environmental Services

Even in the rainy Pacific Northwest, water will become scarcer in the future, and more expensive than it is today. You can have a beautiful yard using native plants that use little water and are beautiful. You may even have some of them in your garden now.

Call Barbara or Samantha at 491-7522 for more information or to sign up for the seminar.

This message is a community service of
City of Gresham ~ Communications & Community Outreach
1333 N.W. Eastman Parkway ~ Gresham, OR 97030