Metro (Oregon regional government)
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|Type||Regional Special-purpose district and Metropolitan planning organization|
|Jurisdiction||Portland metropolitan area|
|Employees||793 (2014-15 fiscal year)|
|Annual budget||$484 million (2014-15 fiscal year)|
Metro is the regional government for the Oregon portion of the Portland metropolitan area. It is the only directly elected regional government and metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Metro is responsible for managing the Portland region's solid waste system, coordinating the growth of the cities in the region, managing a regional parks and natural areas system, and overseeing the Oregon Zoo, Oregon Convention Center, Portland's Centers for the Arts, and the Portland Expo Center.
History and evolution
Metro in its current form evolved from Columbia Region Association of Governments (CRAG) (1966–1978) and a predecessor Metropolitan Service District (MSD) (1957–1966). Measure 6, a 1978 statewide ballot measure established Metro, effective January 1, 1979. In 1992 voters approved a home-rule charter that identified Metro's primary mission as planning and policy making to preserve and enhance the quality of life and the environment, and changed the agency's name to Metro. This charter was amended in November 2000 when Ballot Measure 26-10 was passed by voters, although the principal changes did not take effect until January 2003. The measure eliminated the Executive Office and reorganized executive staff. The position of Executive Officer, elected by voters, was merged with that of council presiding officer, chosen annually by fellow Metro councilors, creating the position of Metro council president. Metro's first president was David Bragdon, who served in the office from January 2003 until September 2010.
Areas of responsibility
- Provides land use planning and is responsible for maintaining the Portland-area urban growth boundary, a legal boundary which separates urban from rural land, and is designed to reduce urban sprawl. It coordinates with the cities and counties in the area to ensure a 20-year supply of developable land.
- Serves as the metropolitan planning organization for the area, responsible for the planning of the region's transportation system. It is a separate organization from TriMet, which operates most of the region's buses and the MAX Light Rail system.
- Manages more than 17,000 acres of natural areas and parks around the Portland region, including Blue Lake Regional Park, Cooper Mountain Nature Park, Graham Oaks Nature Park, and Oxbow Regional Park, Howell Territorial Park, Glendoveer golf course, the Sauvie Island and M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramps, Chinook Landing Marine Park and the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area. It also manages 14 pioneer cemeteries, including Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery, Lone Fir Cemetery and Gresham Pioneer Cemetery.
- Manages a closed landfill, St. Johns Landfill, and owns and operates two garbage, hazardous waste and recycling transfer stations.
- Operates the Oregon Convention Center, Oregon Zoo, Portland'5 Centers for the Arts, and Portland Expo Center.
- It has the (so far, un-exercised) authority to take over operation of the regional transportation authority, known as TriMet.
- Responsible for the region's Geographic Information System (GIS), maintains the Regional Land Information System (RLIS).
|District||Includes (as of 2010)||2010 Population||Current councilor|
|1||Fairview, Gresham, Maywood Park, Troutdale, Wood Village, Happy Valley, Damascus, Boring and portions of East Portland||253,858||Shirley Craddick|
|2||Gladstone, Johnson City, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Rivergrove, West Linn, a portion of Southwest Portland and unincorporated parts of Clackamas County, including Stafford north of I-205||230,157||Betty Dominguez|
|3||Most of Beaverton and all of Durham, King City, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville, plus portions of Stafford south of I-205||248,541||Craig Dirksen|
|4||Northern Washington County, including cities of Cornelius, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and northwest portion of Beaverton, plus communities of Aloha, Bonny Slope, Bethany, Raleigh Hills, West Slope, Cedar Mill and Cedar Hills||272,566||Kathryn Harrington|
|5||All of North and Northwest Portland and portions of Northeast, Southeast and Southwest Portland (including downtown)||245,890||Sam Chase|
|6||Portions of Southwest, Southeast and Northeast Portland||239,159||Bob Stacey|
|n/a||Metro Council President / district at-large||1,490,171||Tom Hughes|
Metro is governed by a council president elected region-wide, currently Tom Hughes, and six councilors who are elected by district (Shirley Craddick, District 1; Betty Dominguez, District 2; Craig Dirksen, District 3; Kathryn Harrington, District 4; Sam Chase, District 5; and Bob Stacey, District 6). Metro also has an auditor — currently Brian Evans — who is elected region-wide. Each serves a four-year term. The council appoints a chief operating officer and an attorney.
Metro is also the Portland regional planning organization and develops a regional master plan to coordinate future development. Metro's master plan for the region includes transit-oriented development: this approach, part of the new urbanism, promotes mixed-use and high-density development around light rail stops and transit centers, and the investment of the metropolitan area's share of federal tax dollars into multiple modes of transportation. Metro's master plan also includes multiple town centers, smaller versions of the city center, scattered throughout the metropolitan area.
In 1995 Metro introduced the 2040 plan as a way to define long term growth planning. The 2040 Growth Concept is designed to accommodate 780,000 additional people and 350,000 jobs by 2040. This plan has created some criticism from environmentalists, but few consider it a threat to Portland's legacy of urban growth management.
An April 2004 study in the Journal of the American Planning Association tried to quantify the effects of Metro's plans on Portland's urban form. While the report cautioned against finding a direct link between any single one policy and any improvements in Portland's urban form, it showed strong correlation between Metro's 2040 plan and various west-side changes in Portland. Changes cited include increased density and mixed-use development as well as improved pedestrian/non-automobile accessibility.
Cities served by Metro
- Beaverton (district 3)
- Cornelius (district 4)
- Damascus (district 1)
- Durham (district 3)
- Fairview (district 1)
- Forest Grove (district 4)
- Gladstone (district 2)
- Gresham (district 1)
- Happy Valley (district 1)
- Hillsboro (district 4)
- Johnson City (district 2)
- King City (district 3)
- Lake Oswego (district 2)
- Maywood Park (district 1)
- Milwaukie (district 2)
- Oregon City (district 2)
- Portland (districts 1, 2, 5, and 6)
- Rivergrove (district 2)
- Sherwood (district 3)
- Tigard (district 3)
- Troutdale (district 1)
- Tualatin (district 3)
- West Linn (district 2)
- Wilsonville (district 3)
- Wood Village (district 1)
- Clatsop Butte, East Buttes
- Mike Burton, a former head of Metro
- PaintCare and MetroPaint, paint recycling efforts involving Metro
- Regional Arts & Culture Council, partially funded by Metro
- Springwater Trail, a trail partially managed by Metro
- "Metro's 2014-15 adopted budget" (PDF). Metro. July 1, 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
- Carl Abbott. "Metro". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
- Oppenheimer, Laura (November 20, 2002). "Bragdon to lead streamlined Metro". The Oregonian, p. C1.
- Crombie, Noelle (August 11, 2010). "Metro chief David Bragdon leaving for top New York City post". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 18, 2015.
- "Metro: New Metro Council district boundaries". Metro. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Metro proposes redrawing its six districts". Daily Journal of Commerce. 2011-04-29. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Metro: Making the Greatest Place". Metro. Retrieved 2014-11-17.