Damascus councilor discounts election results

First Damascus City Councilor seeks to dismiss election
By Dan Phegley,

Ask Damascus announces the following email comment was received from Damascus City Council member David Jothen today (3/13/08).

“I am trying to work with ALL of our citizens. I appreciate those who came out, voted and spoke their mind. However, with less than 30% voter turnout (6712 registered voters in Damascus), I am not sure these measures spoke for Damascus as a whole pass or fail.”

This is the first attempt, I am aware of, to disregard the vote of the people. It probably will not be the last.

Taking just one measure (3-282) a total of 2,761 people voted on this measure counting both yes and no votes. Using Mr Jothen’s total of 6,712 registered voters this works out to a turnout of just over 41%. I can now see why the city has financial difficulty if they are using Mr. Jothen’s math.

I am quite concerned about the idea of first trying to diminish the value (turn out) and then use that false number to totally dismiss the citizens voice.

This announcement coming from a councilor on the Damascus city council which has not yet sent one thing to the voters for their decision.

This kind of treatment is exactly why the measures were put on the ballot to begin with. The citizens are continually denied a voice in city decisions.

Dan Phegley (Chief Petitioner for Damascus Initiatives)

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  • Jerry

    These people are all the same. If the vote goes the way they like they say “democracy at work”, and if doesn’t go the way they like they say “not truly what the voters intended” or some other meaningless blather.
    I feel sorry for people who are so out of touch with reality – I truly do.
    And guess what, the vote does speak for Damascus as a whole. That is how our system works.
    How very sad and pathetic.
    With people who think like this on the council it is my bet Damascus will go on to greater and greater failure.

  • Joey Link

    Keep up the great work in Damascus guys. Sounds like the next step is to oust these elitist counselors. I hate when people try to tell others what’s best for them.

  • DRJ

    Once again Dan you have twisted the facts to best suit your desired results.

    I told you through personal emails on no less than three occurances that I only had the numbers given to me and you acknowledged the fact that the link you sent me gave me no vote tallies.

    In fact, we ended up with 41% voter turn-out which under your own requirement for a special election on measure 3-282 would not allow passage.

    And I still stand behind my statement that we are here to serve and support ALL Damascus citizens. Including those 59% who did not vote and the other 3063 who are not registered voters.

    As posters will read on the other thread, I have continued to try to reach out to you and work with you. You publically acknowledged that you have not accepted by numerous requests (and those of the media) to share your thoughts. It’s had to have a dialogue by yourself but something you seem to take comfort in doing.

    Once again I applaude your efforts and you ran an excellent campaign. I just hope that sometime in the future we may be able to avoid all of this effort on both parties fault by sitting and the table and sharing.


    • Jerry

      How is anyone supposed to sit at a table and share with people who don’t want the will of the voters to be recognized???

      • DRJ

        Jerry, no one including my self has ever said the will of the people would be ignored. Take the time to visit the city website and read the press release. It clearly says that we understand that the people have spoken and will abide by their wishes.

        I guess I need some kind of secret decoder ring or glasses to see you folks are reading dialogue that is not there.

        And don’t you think that if we did sit at the table and discuss these issues and concerns that we may be able to do things right the first time. Not create animosity between parties by having a thorough understanding of each sides points and issues.

        It’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and attack someone rather than sitting across the table and have to discuss eye to eye.

        • Jerry

          No attack. Just remembering the council’s attitude before the election.

    • John Fairplay

      Mr. Jothen, you are woefully out of touch with reality. Your job isn’t to “support” every single citizen of Damascus, which is an impossibility. You are an elected official, and you derive your power solely from the consent of the governed, not your puppet masters at Metro and 1000 Friends of Oregon. The majority of those who vote in an election – whether that is 20 percent or 80 percent – give you your marching orders. Your record in office shows you do not have the best interests of the majority of Damascus residents at heart.

      When you start acting like you know who your bosses are and quit doing everything in your power to insult them, people like Dan Phegley will go away.

      • DRJ

        John, if you can find a single word or sentence that states that I have supported Metro, 1000 Friends or any of the other previous players in the Concept Plan, please post them for all to see. It will be an eye opener for me as well. Please do not attempt me to align me with groups that I have had no alignment with or in fact have clearly made my opposition known.

        As a reminder to all, I was recruited by Mr. Phegley and those in his group to run for council. I stood side by side with them speaking out at planning meetings talking against the previous concept plan. How this can be turned into an alliance with Metro is beyond me.

        I think that if any of you took the time to speak with Metro Councilor Rod Park he would tell you of our spirited conversations regarding my disagreement with much of what Metro proposes for Damascus along with my adament feelings that Max is not the transportation panaciea that it is painted to be.

        Hey, I am learning this gig as I go. I am learning from each of you when you take the time to share constructive critism. There is an election in November and if any of you are actual residents of Damascus the filing begins in May. Our city only benefits from a council of varying experiences, ideas and platforms.

        One of my biggest gripes with government has always been the thinking that they knew what was best for us. Does being an elected official strip me of my opinions? My opinions are based on facts as they have been presented to me and the impact that I feel it would have on me.

        That being said, I could be for or against anything regardless of holding office. As a reminder, this is a volunteer position and I am a tax paying citizen. Whatever decisions I make flawed or not as they may appear, affect me equally.

        I appreciate the passion that each of you have brought to these discussions and I have attempted to be respectful. At least I am not hiding behind my positions and or beliefs and am willing to speak up.

        • Dan Phegley

          Mr Jothen,
          You mention you were recruited by me, I cannot let that one slide.
          I did not recruit nor did I support you. In other posts you boast of conservative credentials like having a Fred Thompson bumper sticker and that you stood by us when we first got started, well yes you had a bumper sticker and when I and a others were putting together the initiative you were at times standing in the room. When it came to doing the work of getting signatures Mr Jothen was not around. He could not even muster the fortitude to sign any of the initiatives.

          When he got the appointment (not elected) to the city council he voted to restrict the participation of citizens in the initiative process and voted to let the city make statements in the voter pamphlet against initiatives without any oversight or review.

          Those are quite the credentials Dave.

          • DRJ

            The petitions were out there prior to my appointment to council and I chose to neither sign or circulate them. That was my inherent right as I recall. So I guess in reality my being appointed to council really had nothing to do with my position regarding these measures.

            Thanks for allowing me to clarify that and ensure folks that the glitz and glamour of unpaid public office has not clouded my judgment. It was evidently cloudy prior to the appointment in your opinion.

          • Dan Phegley

            I don’t care when you were appointed Dave. Your claim that I recruited you is not true!

            You claim you were one of us early on but as soon as the work starts you and your convictions disappear.

            Some of us thought you might be a mole, you could have left us early on as you knew you were against the measures. It appears you were there to keep an eye on your neighbors, a thought it also appears that you just confirmed.

          • dean

            Dan…I see you are alert today. I asked you about a few untruths, innuendos, and misrepresentations yesterday and you chose not to respond. I’ll give you a new chance here.

            From your voters Guide:.

            Measrue 3-281: “this measure would require the city to pay just compensation to a landowner anytime it imposes a regulation that reduces that landowner’s property value as the Constitution demands.”

            Tell me Dan…where exactly in the Constitution does it demand that a government has to pay a landowner if a regulation reduces property value? Because if that is the case we apparently did not even need this measure, since the Constitution already provides the remedy!

            But you of all people, who walks around with a constitution in his pocket, ought to know better. Governments have been zoning and downzoning property for many decades, and only in very rare cases have they had to pay compensation for regulations reducing someone’s land value. But why let facts get in the way?

            Also from your guide:How does Measure 3-281 “prevent outside interest groups such as Metro or 1000 Friends of Oregon from attempting to impose their anti-rights agenda in Damascus”? Really? 1000 Friends and Metro no longer can even atempt to mess with us? Please explain.

            The same 1000 Friends attorney you mentioned earlier would probably sue our fair city in a heartbeat if we create a zoning plan that excludes attached housing, and she would win, because we would be violating state law. But wait…they can’t bother us now. We have this new charter amendment. And Metro? Poof. Gone. As if they never existed. Even though they still have approval authority over our Comprehensive Plan. Drat.

            Land in Happy Valley today is selling at $300K an acre Dan. They approved the same concept plan you ranted against. Land just across the city line, in Damascus is selling for 1/2 that or less. Why? No approved plan, no new zoning.

            You already cost damascus landowners plenty. And now your charter amendments, assuming they stand for any length of time, are going to further delay and possibly prevent many Damascus landowners from gaining the property value they became entitled to once Metro moved that UGB line. Land owners, even you yourself, will eventually figure this out. In the meantime you are going to be costing us a lot more than any government regulation would.

            But hey…we in Damascus are all now saving on cable right? Those suckers in Happy Valley have to pay franchise fees. What fools they are.

          • DRJ

            Oh Dan, you have been hitting the cool aid again. I never claimed to be “one of you”. I said, that I was there fighting against the CONCEPT PLAN along side you, Steve, Roger and 32 other citizens who made public comment. I think for a brief period and on this issue we were in actual agreement of the effect outside influences were attempting to thrust upon our rural gem.

            My convictions did not disappear because they were never aligned with you in regard to the measures and the petitions.

            A mole? Now that’s a new one. Is that why I was pulled into a more private meeting with the Spinnetts and the Miracles encouraging me to run for council? And as you may or may not recall the ONLY thing that prohibited me at that time was a family tragedy and subsequent passing. Since you have opted for family time over elected office you should be somewhat understanding. I frankly don’t have the time nor anymore the energy to “keep and eye” on my neighbors. But thank you for the good chuckle I got after a very, very long and trying week.

            Dan, I have made numerous attempts to try to establish a dialogue with you. To try to sit down and talk. Yet you continue to attack me for being as committed to my stands as you are yours.

            I guess we would not even need the election process if we all agreed on everything. But how much fun would that be.

            My hope would be that you will exert as much energy in helping to turn our current state legislature around to the “R’s” and the national election as well. Everything we may attempt may go for naught otherwise.

            I am done discussing this topic on line but will make every effort to sit down and talk over a cup of coffee or a single malt of my choice. I look forward to your call have a great weekend.


    • Tired of being stepped on

      If the Damascus city council really cared about the citizens of Damascus
      they would not have rezoned their property without the owners permission. They would have put any new taxes to a vote of the citizens and would not have been so arrogant about how smart they are compared to the property owners.

      When elected official step all over voters and property owners don’t be surprised when they react.

      The reaction in Damascus was caused by the city council

      • DRJ

        Tired, as a clarification. The City of Damacus has not zoned a single parcel of property since incorporation in 2004.

    • Ted Kennedy’s Liver

      You lost. Get over yourself.

    • Cindy Spinnett

      I am a property owner and citizen of Damascus. On numerous occasions I have submitted written information per your citizen involvement directive, regarding the future planning of the City of Damascus. I have submitted a letter to the City stamped and received by the City dated Feb.7th, 2008. In the letter I specifically asked for a response from the City Council (that would be you David) the City Manager, the Public Involvement Director, and the Development Planner. Today is March 14th and I still have not recieved a single response from anyone at the City of Damascus. That’s 36 days since I hand delivered it, and no response from anyone at the City. As a concerned citizen and property owner I consider myself one of the people you say you want to represent. The Damascus website states you want the people to be involved in the process of developing the city. and Goal 1 states that you must have the citizens involved in all phases of development of the City of Damascus. I am trying but my efforts are not even being ackowledged. Still waiting for a response… Here is the letter I am referring to:

      January 29, 2008
      Damascus Community Coalition
      9315 SE Rodlun Rd.
      Damascus, OR 97089

      To whom it may concern,

      On behalf of citizens in Damascus and the Damascus Community Coalition I would like to submit the following information as the citizen involvement, directed to the future planning of the City of Damascus.

      During the development of the Damascus Concept Plan hundreds of signatures were collected stating “we are opposed to the green space (known as private property designated unbuildable). Remove the 38% green space on the Damascus concept plan. ”

      Petitions and letters were written in opposition to the green space (private property designated unbuildable) by over 400 residents and citizens of Damascus. These were publicly delivered to the Mayor at a Damascus Concept Plan Advisory meeting. Not one change was made to the Concept Plan which included 38% green space.

      The Damascus Hybrid Concept Plan was presented to the public with its 38% green space (private property designated unbuildable). At that time their own poll taken showed over 50% of the public was not satisfied and disapproved of the 38% green space. Still there was no change to the plan.

      The Damascus Advisory Committee was heavily weighted with environmentalists including Metro, 1,000 Friends, and others. All pushing their plan for Damascus.

      At this time the Oregonian came out with an article from Metro stating that Metro wanted to buy up the Damascus Buttes. Much of the 38% green space (private property designated unbuildable) was located on the Buttes. The citizens of Damascus would be forced to sell to Metro by having their property labeled green space, devalued, and locked out of building.

      The Concept Plan as we know it has be tabled, however it is trying to come back in a different way – riparian corridors, wetlands, potentially hazardous slides, stream set backs, slopes, view sheds, wild life habitat, etc. A combined total of all those will produce the OPEN SPACE otherwise known as green space, (private property designated unbuildable).

      The limitations and restrictions being suggested go beyond state regulations for safety and livability.

      Again as Damascus makes plans for the comprehensive plan much attention is given to OPEN SPACE and very little to property owners rights and desires.

      This time around a thousand Damascus citizens have signed 3 petitions, one of which protects their property from being devalued, (devalued is labeling it unbuildable open space).

      The citizens of Damascus are responsible people who share a desire to maintain a beautiful city, allow their children to raise families and build on their property in a way which maintains the beauty of the landscape.

      While representing the citizens in Damascus, please consider what thousands of Damascus citizens have said and are still saying in opposition to the OPEN SPACE which locks them out of building on their property.

      Copies of documents, petitions, letters, polls, and Oregonian articles referred to in this letter are available for viewing and may be included in the data recorded for citizen’s response and involvement in the planning of Damascus.

      We would greatly appreciate a response from the City Council, City Manager, Public Involvement Director, Development Planners, and C-3 members.

      Thank you for your many hours of service and time in helping to develop the City of Damascus. We understand this is no small task.

      Cindy Spinnett
      Damascus Community Coalition

      • Chris McMullen

        I rest my case (see post #6.1).

      • Jed Williams

        I am don’t understand why some people are concerned about their property values being taken in Damascus. Right now most of Damascus is zoned for rural uses. The new zoning and infrastructure is only going to increase property values and development rights. Unless you are expecting to make an economic killing anyone who owns property in Damascus is going to do well… atleast when the national housing market turns around.

  • John Fairplay

    Just goes to show, math is not the Damascus City Council’s strong suit. Turnout was 44 percent – a huge number for a Special Election – and much higher than turnout county-wide.

    Fortunately for Mr. Jothen, there’s no law against stupid.

  • RFP

    Ok so now we know DRJ is Damascus City Council member David Jothen.

    We also know that he has the same respect for the public as Metro, Dean, and 1000 Friends do. Which is phony respect.

    David/Dean, Phony is you claim to be “trying to work with ALL of our citizens”.
    Boy if that isn’t Metro-speak I don’t know what is.

    In reality David, Dean, Metro and 1000 Friends seek to crush any resistance by any means. They can play their games and peddle their phony Let’s all come together bull but that’s just the cover they use while collaborating on their next assault.

    David claiming he “appreciates those who came out, voted and spoke their mind” is as phoney as it gets.
    Behind the scenes he’s of course telling his pals how stupid or misled by Phagley the voters were.
    You see when David, or Dean, says he’s “not sure these measures spoke for Damascus” what he’s thinking is it’s best if “he” speaks for Damascus. Not some ill advised ballot initiatives.

    David is the classic Metro politician. I’ve seen it over and over again. And this attitude will drive the entire LENGTHY process Metro has “planned” for Damascus. Every single Metro councilor and supporting cast has this attitude.

    I applaud Dan Phagley and his neighbors for standing up to this tyrannical planning regime which seeks to force upon community after community another round of their fanatic’s, central planning
    garbage. While forcing the community to pay them to do it.

    Prepare yourselves for assaults shrouded in all the usual bromides about “no free lunch”, “what’s best for the community” and all of the planning jargon that is no more than a crap in crap out scheme.

    If Damascus really wants to do what’s best for Damascus. Now that you are a city, get started on another initiative petition to succeed from the Metro jurisdiction. Otherwise you’ll be getting exactly what they want for you.
    With David declaring you wanted it.

    • Anonymous

      The only time they ever peddle the “Let’s all come together line” is when they lose at the ballot. Here’s hoping the citizens of Damascus aren’t fooled by it and continue to beat back the tide of authoritarianism.

  • dean

    Good morning everyone. The yes vote on Measure 3-282 was 1928 in favor, 833 opposed. Take 6712 registered voters and you get 28.7% having voted in favor or requiring a vote on every fee, tax, charge and so forth. The will of the people? Fair enough.

    How many times have I read posts on this site that say the people have no business passing laws or regulations that restrict my property rights, even though they think it is in their interests? That they should pay me to restrict my rights or take away my land value.

    Now on the surface, Mr Phegley’s initiatives seem to protect our property values and our pocketbooks from exessive taxes. But not so fast.

    You see, we now have a great lab experiment, with property owners like myself as the new lab rats for Mr Phegley and Mr McIntire. On the west side of an imaginary north south dividing line down the middle of Pleasant valley is the city of Happy valley. On the east side is Damascus. Both sides were brought into the Urban growth boundary on the same day in 2002. Clackamas County, not Metro, led a process to create a concept land use plan for both sides. In 2005 that plan was done. Same basic land use configurations, with intensive development on the Valley floors, no development within wetlands or protected stream buffers, and limited development in the steep hills.

    Happy Valley took that plan, sat down with the landowners, made a few modifications, created a new set of codes, and essentially they are good to go. Fortunately for them, there was no local branch of “Ask Damascus” that demanded a stop to “Metro’s plan.” If it had not been for the housing market turndown, many of those landowers would have already sold their land for the $300 to $400,000 per acre value they now have as a consequence of the Metro UGB decision and subsequent events.

    On the other side of the line we have Damascus property owners. I personally know 8 of them who have been trying to find a way out of Damascus so they can join Happy Valley and share in the coming prosperity. The sewer and water infrastructure will be within 1/8 mile of their land once an already approved redevelopment of the Pleasant Valley golf course is completed. But they know that no intelligent developer is going to buy their land if it remains in Damascus, because the risk is simply now too high. We now have a fiscally handcuffed government that already was prevented from using any part of the concept plan as a basis for moving forward because of the tantrum of Mr Phegley and his close colleagues, who were against it because they were not getting enough of the new prosperity pie. Instead of sitting down and negotiating a larger share, which was clearly there for them, they decides to run the community bus off into the ditch.

    Now…instead of helping to get the bus out of the ditch so they and other property owners with developable land could could get the prosperity wagon going again, they have decided what the heck, this is fun, lets tear the engine out of the bus so these evil city councilors will learn their lesson. Okay Dan, now we have a broken down bus in a ditch with no engine.

    The botom line here Dan….is your measures are false advertising. 28% of Damascans just cost the other 73% a land premium value that is well over $100K per acre…maybe double that. How much are we saving on our Verizon Bill now Dan?

    Where do the property owners go who have now had their land devalued by the vote of 28% of the community Dan? Are you going to compensate us?

    Let’s see how long it takes those who voted for this who have developable land to realize that they just eliminated, or at the least delayed by 5 years, their chance at a nice retirement. And you and i know a lot of them are not getting any younger. Buyers remorse?

    You want to go after Councilor Jothen…go on. He is the last best chance left to help straighten out the fine mess you have created. But hey…why not strip the wheels off of that old bus that isn’t going anywhere anyway?

    • Chris McMullen

      Nice to know Dean that you support the idea of government planners dictating property values. With a mere swipe of some flunky’s pen, property is valued depending on some arbitrary, imaginary line.

      To me, this election sounds like the first steps in seceding from Metro’s totalitarian control. Doing so would open up Damascus properties to the free market and not under the control of your “have/have not” type of ideology.

      I reiterate, your ilk loves the idea of taking away rights for your supposed collective good. Which is totally antithetical to our constitution.

      These amendments voted for in Damascus forces you all-knowing and all- controlling regulators to pony up when you devalue someone’s property. If you decide an owner has property in a “sensitive” area or watershed, you should have to pay said owner when you take their rights away.

      It’s pretty simple – if you’re a true American.

      • dean

        Chris…yes that is the logical next step. Damascus should go for broke, literaly, and vote ourselves off of the Metro island. Great idea. Now the pathetic remains of the bus will be cut up sent to China for scrap recycling. We have easily defensible hills all around us and only 5 key road checkpoints to man. Lets see….plenty of food and water. We even have our own farms. Forests well stocked with trees for fuel. We could set traps using the springs from the bus seats and hold out for days! Show yerselves u Metro Varmits!

        Of course, since it is Oregon’s law that establishes planning and land use requirements, not Metro’s, we have to secede from Oregon as well. Or use our mighty vote….maybe we could get all 6700 of us in on this…to overturn Oregon’s state land use laws so we don’t have to secede.

        Meanwhile…..Happy Valley property owners can continue to develop their properties, while we poor but righteous Damascans make a last stand at the Alamo (car rental). We may die broke but we will live on in the history books. Or at least make a hilariously funny community suicide skit on Comendy Central.

        Great advice Chris, but I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you take wherever you live and follow your own advice first, and if it looks promising we will be right behind you.

        Meanwhile at least we are gonna save on cable!

        • Chris McMullen

          Nice non-reply Dean. The state requires planning within the Metro-enacted UGB. Secede from Metro and *poof*, no more UGB.

          You’re obviously bereft of a sound rebuttal.

          • dean

            Chris…I normally try to stay away from personal insults, but you are obviously as dense as a bag of hammers on land use law.

            ‘Seceding from the UGB” would pave the way for Damascus to develop any old plan it wants, with no interference from Metro or the State? That is what you believe? If so, there is no rebuttal on earth that would work.

          • Chris McMullen

            I’ve known developers who’ve fought Metro on their requirements and won. And not in a small town like Damascus.

            You just love the idea of turning where you live into a Metro-stamped communal utopia, Dean.

            Either that or you don’t have the stones to take a stand.

          • dean

            Chris….read this slowly so you can understand.

            with…..Metro or anyone else. YOUR fight, played out in MY hometown, is costing ME & MY NEIGHBORS a lot of money. Capiche?

          • cc

            It’s all about the money with you, isn’t it, dean?

            Or is it “quality of life”…

            …or “sustainability”

            …or “process”

            …or “the system”

            …or “your neighbors” (snort)

            …or whatever mask you’re wearing at the moment?

            Or is it your ego?


            Oh, and it’s “capische”, serpente.

          • dean

            All about the money? Sure. I thought that was the point of these charter amendments. Save the taxpayer from sneaky cable fees, and prevent the city government from doing ANYTHING that might decrease one’s property value. Did I miss something?

            Of course in “saving” ourselves this money we “cost” ourselves an order of magnitude more. No one has refuted that central point, and no one will be able to because it is so darn obvious and available from any realtor who does business in that area.

            Now…maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it wasn’t about the money after all. Maybe Mr Phegley took his stand purely on principle. Bravo for him. But based on the exact same logic he used to insist that city government pay property owners for ANY lost value, he and the 28% that voted yes should now be willing to step up and pay their neighbors who don’t happen to share his principles. Or maybe you can tell me what justice there is in one neighbor having to pay for another’s principles?

          • cc

            “Or maybe you can tell me what justice there is in one neighbor having to pay for another’s principles”

            Gee whiz, good buddy, perhaps you’re right after all.

            I just assumed you thought that we should all pay for your Metrothink notion of the “greater good”. Isn’t that the case? Don’t your communitarian precepts hold that the rights of the individual are subservient to the needs of the many – as defined by the few, the proud, the “planners”?

            I mistakenly assumed that the costs of such regulation were to be borne by all – for their own good. No problem as long as you and yours call the shots, eh? As long as government operates in the shadows, defines the terms and judges the outcomes in their safe little vacuum, uninterrupted by their employers, it’s all good. Citizens are such a bother, encumbered as they are with real-world concerns like jobs and families. How tiresome that they should intrude on your little collusive group. The gall!

            For you to even mention “justice” in this context is laughable. Your pathetic, incessant attempts to maintain the fiction that you represent any more than a tiny fraction of citizens of Damascus is simply further evidence of your unbridled hubris. You’ve lost any credibility you may have ever had with your constantly mutating, constantly irritating, always disingenuous prattle.

            The only person left who’s fooled by this drivel is you.

            I think the next vote should involve Damascus’ advertising expenditures – what a waste.

          • Chris McMullen

            And your Metro-backed, communist group-think is denying people of their rights.

  • Anonymous

    Not so fast you slick propagandist.

    You are very dishonest individual. Despite you phony “good morning everyone” you are also very insulting.

    The truth is Damascus sits now as Pleasant Valley and much of Happy Valley did clear back in 1998.

    Metro and your planners have spent 10 years trying their way you claim works so well. There’s been some progress in happy Valley but not a single development in Pleasant Valley.

    Metro Happy Valley 024-98 12/17/1998

    Adopted Desc.

    Amend the comprehensive plan map to expand the urban growth boundary by approximately 623 acres located near the City of Happy

    Valley, and change the designation from Rural to Urbanizable.

    Metro Pleasant Vallley 025-98 12/17/1998

    Adopted Desc
    Amend the comprehensive plan map to expand the urban growth boundary by approximately 1505 acres located in the Pleasant Valley

    area, and change the designation from Rural to Urbanizable.

    Metro and people like you have held them hostage as lab rats for their great lab experiment.

    Your fairy tale descriptions are so riddled with falsehoods and misrepresentations you must be collaborating with other Metro clones.

    When is that approval coming for redevelopment of the Pleasant Valley golf course? It’s been 10 years in your planner’s hands.

    Which is exactly what is in store for Damascus, North Bethany and other slow and costly Metro UGB schemes.

    At least you are finally coming clean with your real disdain for your neighbors, Dean.

    Your sickening version of Metro slicing up the prosperity pie turns my stomach.
    Especially since YOUR own land was in Metro’s favor for YOU to get a windfall.

    Did YOU have to “sit down and “negotiate” your share”?

    Dean, your “community bus”, like Pleasant Valley and many others was driven into the ditch when the UGB was established, again when Metro began their trek to design the New City, and again when M37 was overturned by M49.

    Now…instead of recognizing people have seen enough, you and your city councilor are tearing the engine out of the bus by further lambasting your neighbors who voted against YOU.

    Okay Dean, now we have YOUR broken down bus in a ditch with no engine. Instead of perpetrating more of your Metro false advertising why don’t you pack it in?

    I know why. Because you seek to help Metro and their supporting cast punish your fellow Damascans until Metro wins.

    You and yours have long stood in the way of property owners wanting to use their land. For decades.
    Where were property owners to go having their land devalued by Oregon’s punitive land use system? They tried M37 and you and yours killed it.

    And now you talk about “compensation” for Phagley’s initiatives?

    Well here we are folks with the WAR fully revealed by Dean. He’ll stop an nothing, just like Metro and the land use regime.

    Many people could have used their land and realized greater value years ago if it were not for the fanatic Deans riding as tyrants over your land.
    Many more people could have been enjoying a nice retirement, watching their children build homes on the family land and even keeping family farms afloat.

    Every person who voted for Phagley’s ballot initiatives should understand clearly that Dean represents a regime committed to shutting you out, dictating what your land will be used for and making you pay heavily for their tyranny.

    I urge you to go after Dean, Councilor Jothen, Metro and your county if need be to halt this charade.
    They have wasted 6 years and millions of dollars thrusting their Portland agenda upon Damascus.

    Tell Dean et al that if you wanted a Portland mess you’d move there.

    But keep an eye on Dean. He’ll be doing all he can to slash your community bus tires he claims to be worried about.

    • dean

      A brief update. I erred in my calculation and want to admit my error. I underestimated how much this measure is going to cost property owners who want to develop their lands in Damascus.

      i just got off the phone with my neighbor who lives just on the Damascus side of the line. By sheer coincidence he just had his land appraised. Came in at $65K per acre. From his window he is watching construction taking place in Happy Valley, on land that sold for $300K per acre 2 years ago. When I mentioned to my neighbor what happened with the vote, he was more than mildly upset,since he had been hoping to retire off the sale of his land within the next year or two.

      Those are the stakes Mr Phegley. I suggest you and the 28% who voted yes pool your money and send this man a check for the $235K per acre you are now potentially costing your neighbors. I believe this genetleman has around 10 acres, so that comes to well over $2 million.

      I told him to look on the bright side. He may be saving what…$5 a month on his VERIZON bill! Why in oh… 400,000 or so years he will be even, not counting interest of course. Talk about penny wise and pound foolish.

      For my Damascus neighbors who may be reading this, we seem to have unwittingly allowed ourselves to become the battering ram for anonymous yahoos like in the post above, who want to use us, our properties, our community, to smash Metro, the state land use system, government in general, or whatever other beef they have with the larger world. These are the same people who apparently could not recruit a single candidate to even run for a Metro seat, allowing the same elected officials they hate to continue doing what they do unimpeded.

      Dan Phegley thinks he got some outside help. But I am thinking it was the other way around.

      • Steve Plunk

        Who appraised his land? What is the lay of the land in question? Are both parcels approved for development? What size are the parcels? What infrastructure is already in place that would service each parcel? Those are just the start of the many relevant questions concerning your claims.

        I can look out my window and see property worth much more than mine as well but that doesn’t prove anything to anyone. You gotta have more than what you are throwing out if you want to make a good argument.

        I do find it interesting this person wanted to sell his land at a high price to pay for his retirement. In fact the next generation of landowners will finance his retirement and assume a national debt ran up by his generation as well. Thanks.

        • dean

          An appraiser. Here are the relevant details Steve:

          1) the 2 properties have similar characteristics with respect to slope, natural resource constraints and access.
          2) One is in Happy Valley, has gone through rezoning, and was available to be considered for development.
          3) the other is in Damascus, which, though it came into the UGB at the same time, has no land use plan, no rezoning, and no infrastructure financing strategy. (the needed infrastructure, which is being extended into the area by the HV project will be within 1/8 mile of the Damascus property within months.)
          4) Both are in Metro’s jurisdiction. They are 1/4 mile apart.
          5) Happy Valley chose to somewhat modify, then adopt the same land use designations, with the same conservation overlay areas, that Damascas rejected, which is why they have a plan and we don’t. And with newly broken city finances, we are on the slllleeooowww road to plan completion.

          Those are the facts of the case and I do not believe they are in dispute. I rest my case.

          As for what any of us elders decide to do with ourselves after selling our most important investments, our land, I don’t think that should be for you to approve or disapprove of Steve, with due respect.

      • Anonymous

        “For my Damascus neighbors who may be reading this, we seem to have unwittingly allowed ourselves to become the battering ram for anonymous yahoos like in the post above, who want to use us, our properties, our community, to smash Metro, the state land use system, government in general, or whatever other beef they have with the larger world. These are the same people who apparently could not recruit a single candidate to even run for a Metro seat, allowing the same elected officials they hate to continue doing what they do unimpeded.”

        Now the polite, inclusive, commiserating, phony *lower-case dean* has allowed his spite and bile to come close to the surface. Now you unsophisticated fools have done it (and lcd means YOU when he types WE, I assure you). You’ve “…unwittingly allowed…” the hounds of hell into your community. If bombast and quantity had any real persuasive effect, lcd’s words would have changed the outcome of the vote – unlike his mathematical shell game, which doesn’t.

        This guy’s

    • Jed Williams

      Anonymous… at least Dean is willing to put his ideas out their with his name on it. You childlish anonymous attacks look pretty cowardly to me.

  • Anonymous

    Beware mathematical pronouncements form this person:

    “…28% of Damascans just cost the other 73% a land premium value that is well over $100K per acre…”

    It’s the new math – the “botom” line.


    No doubt you have a superior method of divining the will of the people, so the troublesome fact that votes not cast don’t count doesn’t even register on you. Your interminable blather demonstrates vividly your “dean-centric” view of things, It highlights, as well, your conviction that those with whom you disagree are poor misguided souls who thirst for the truth that only you can provide. Do you receive compensation for the these enlightening epistles based on word count; or are you normally (surely a misuse of the term) this verbose?

    No matter….

    You lose.

  • Anonymous

    “2) One is in Happy Valley, has gone through rezoning, and was available to be considered for development.”

    Wow! “available to be considered”. Every piece of UGB expansions are available to be considered. But the remaining obstacles and hurdles are extensive. That’s why very little development has occurred in UGB expansions going back a decade.

    Dean the Distorter,

    Much of Happy Valley was brought into the UGB clear back in 1998. Same for Pleasant Valley. People are still waiting on Metro there.

    You’ve obviously been lying to your neighbor as Damascus development was long in the waiting before these initiatives and you know it.

    Your neighbor was and is not going to get 300K for his land within the next year or two.

    You are a scoundrel for misleading him.
    But that’s what you do.

    I suggest you sell your property for the 65K per acre and leave.
    Move into a Portland SoWa condo.

    Without question the pile of requirements Metro has placed on Damascus and North Bethany has soared the cost their mandated infrastructure delaying for years your neighbor’s retirement.

    Perhaps you can provide that neighbor’s contact info so he may be both validated and corrected.
    It would surprise me if you made up that whole story.

    For Damascus neighbors who may be reading this, Dean is a champion of Metro propaganda. Good thing more of you are getting wise to his shenanigans.
    It is Metro and the land use regime that is the battering ram and Dean is a charter member.

    This “anonymous yahoo” has a great amount of experience with and knowledge of Metro’s methods and track record region wide.
    Dean rhetoric is nothing new or unique. It has been echoed over and over again in all of their schemes.
    There’s abundant people just like you who have dealt with Metro’s model over the years. There’s always a Dean trying to manipulated and undermine the opposition. And here he is using the same Metro-speak verbatim to attack the resistance.

    Dean has the biggest beef with the “larger world”. He’s a means justifies the ends guy who’s lying through his teeth to save Damascus and the world from Global Warming.
    He’s got the Metro fever and desire to see Damascus built out in high density Transit Oriented Development Metro fashion. Whether you want it or not.
    Dean aligns with the cabal of public officials who obstruct every election challenge to Metro and the planning establishment throughout the region. And right out of the Metro speak book he cites the lack of non clones running for Metro.
    He knows what happens to outsiders who run for Metro. Every single elected official and newspaper paper opposed them and endorses the incumbent or chosen clone replacement.
    That’s the sort of tyranny Dean seeks to duplicate and extend in Damascus.
    And in that regime template he is qualifying himself as the next Mayor Dean or Metro Councilor Dean.

    Dean is the one with extensive and powerful outside help. All of Metro’s staff and councilors as well as county staff and politicians. All ready roll over Damascus till Dan Phagley and few other stepped up to the plate for Damascus.

    It’s grass roots Damascus against the Dean and regional politicos.

    But he wants you to falsely believe it’s the other way around.

    Shut down Dean and shut down his Metro attack on Damascus. Or down the road you’ll look like Portland infill, Beaverton Round, Cascade Station and Gresham with decades of debt to pay off with money wish you had for basic services and basic infrastructure.

    Dean is your enemy. Know it.

  • Anonymous

    Cindy Spinnett,

    I hope you and everyone else noticed noticed how Dean didn’t respond to your post and letter above.

    Just like the Metro, the Mayor and the Damascus Concept Plan Advisory Committee didn’t.

    You and you neighbors are not the first to fall under attack of Metro’s extremism. They tried the same thing in Portland with the city’s failed Healthy Streams Program. It sought to apply the same extreme environmental overlay you to most of Portland.
    No doubt they thought Portlanders would role over.
    It was only the citizen uprising that stopped their attempt in Portland.

    Now Metro with help from the Deans and 1000 Friends, is attempting to do the same thing out in Damascus. Take that same extreme version of environmental restriction, conservation and prohibition and force it upon Damascus. Portlanders stopped their effort because current environmental overlays were and are adequate and reasonable.
    These new overlays would have needlessly increased setbacks by 100s of feet on countless properties resulting in the theft of countless private property uses and value.

    A Portlander’s grass roots effort stopped that attack.

    You can too as demonstrated by the initiatives that passed.

    Your ultimate victory will come from more of the same and most of your neighbors understanding that Metro is attempting what they couldn’t even succeed at doing to Portland.

    Metro’s agenda, while absolutely extreme in it’s substance, is always delivered under falsehoods and a shroud of the rhetoric Dean spreads. Always casting the plans as reasonable and necessary while calling the opposition all sorts of things and telling people to butt out.

    It’s a great thing that Metro is taking another hit via these initiatives. Your opposition to the 38% green space on the Damascus concept plan is completely justified.

    Dean doesn’t care that 50% of the public was not satisfied and disapproved of the 38% green space.
    He’s among the fanatics who’ll use any means to shove this upon your community.
    That’s why he is here posting his falsehoods and misrepresentations.

    That’s also why the “Damascus Advisory Committee was heavily weighted with environmentalists including Metro, 1,000 Friends, and others. All pushing their plan for Damascus.”

    And of course why “Not one change was made to the Concept Plan which included 38% green space”.

    Well congratulations to Damascus voters for telling them, by these initiatives, to stick their plan.

    Dean threatens that this will dramatically slow down the plan. As if the many targetted Damascans were in a hurry to get screwed.

    • dean

      50% disatisfied? Yes, I was one of those. And rather than sit down as neighbors to find intelligent ways to increase our satisfaction by sharing the prosperity a bit, a few among us decided instead to blow the whole thing up. Kaboom!

      3 years later, still no plan in hand, we now have a second, probably larger and more destructive Kaboom.

      Happy Valley land owners? Very very happy. Even with their higher cable charges.

      • cc

        Good evening, dean, old friend.

        Would you be happier in Happy Valley?

        I’m not so sure about your prospective new “neighbors”, whom you channel so authoritatively, – you only seem to want to “sit down” with neighbors if they agree to march in lockstep with your vision of perfect harmony, or, after you’ve had your a** kicked, you money-grubbing capitalist, you.

        Or is it Stalinist…

        …let’s see, what day is it?

        I’d stay in Damascus and “work within the system for change” with your admiring neighbors – many of whom have taken the time to express their admiration for your tireless work here – even while they hold down real jobs.

        Of course, the problem seems to be that so few of them are as enlightened as you, doesn’t it?


  • Anonymous

    That’s exactly what the Deans said in Portland when Metro’s fanatics tried to take 11,000 acres from property owners the same way.

    Fortunately enough people didn’t listen to the Deans in Portland and Kaboom went that plan.

    There’s no sitting down with this attack in Damascus any more than there was in Portland.
    Kaboom is the only way to deal with Dean, Metro and the concept plan.
    And Dean the way you are comparing Happy Valley to Damascus is disingenuous.

  • Anonymous

    This was a reply to #10.1 dean on 2008-03-14 19:14

    That’s exactly what the Deans said in Portland when Metro’s fanatics tried to take 11,000 acres from property owners the same way.

    Fortunately enough people didn’t listen to the Deans in Portland and Kaboom went that plan.

    There’s no sitting down with this attack in Damascus any more than there was in Portland.
    Kaboom is the only way to deal with Dean, Metro and the concept plan.
    And Dean the way you are comparing Happy Valley to Damascus is disingenuous.

  • Kathy

    How refreshing, to see the hard working citizens of Damascus, putting up a fight against socialism. I drive through your town to visit family on the other side of the highway and was amazed that there is a ‘future Damascus city limits’ sign in the middle of private property, almost to the edge of Boring, posted. What a grab for control…and property taxes! Also, a relative has property in Damascas, several acres, which now can not be subdivided. I believe I heard that one of your esteemed city counselor is the neighbor who brought about this action…taking away a citizen’s rights, one who worked hard all of his life for what he has and had hoped to subdivide his property. I guess the ‘public servant’ thought his own privacy and view were more important.? Greed!

    Keep fighting hard for your rights. It is when citizens don’t pay attention that these liberal, greedy, think they know better than anyone else, but have never held down a real job, people get into public office and take away our hard earned rights.

  • Anonymous

    Hi there — Kate Taylor with the Oregonian here, I was wondering what might happen tonight at the city council meeting? Do you know? I’m trying to figure out whether I should be there, it means a night away from my child, so it would have to be really important. ???Thanks for letting me know if you know…Kate

  • nw

    Kate, if you have to ask the question, then maybe you shouldn’t be there for the Oregonian.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Kate,

    You should go to the meeting and also review all of the comments here.

    You should then familiarize yourself with the policies and methods Metro and our other planners use to impose their agenda upon the region.

    And report in a comprehensive story how it is a work in deceit.
    How the UGB and it’s so-called expansions are manipulated to obstruct free market residential, commercial and industrial development and promote the Metro model of subsidized, higher density schemes like the beaverton Round and Cascade Station.
    Only to have the enormous investment not deliver the promised benefits. All the while these schemes fail miserably to serve as a real world substitute for genuine accomodating of grwoth.
    This lesson has been a display of pretending that alternative is the same as substitute. The rail transit and transit oriented development alternative has not provided for grwoth. Not the needed land for all uses or the needed traffic capacity incresases for soaring congestion.
    Yet the policy makers and their defenders continue to misrepresent that their unworkable alternatives are providing what growth needs.

    Damascus is a good example of the deceit as planners seek to prohibit development on much of the 2002 UGB expansion and dictate that what is developed will be overcrowded densities.

    All of which exposes how the false it was that 50O0 acres was added to the UGB back in 2002. It was all a ruse like other expansions still sitting idle.

    Upon closer exam you’ll discover the primary objective of these so-called land use planning policies is to expand environmental zones, regulations and prohibitions. You’ll find there is no plan at all for growth. Just chaos.
    With all of the “staff” presumably working on where and how 1 million more people will live and work in the region public officials across the region have no idea where people will be able to afford to live, where they will work or how they will get through the rsiing congestion. There is no plan for housing, affordable or otherwise,
    no plan for traffic at all, no plan for industry and jobs growth, and no plan for generating revenue to replace that which is lost to the endless schemes and public deceit.
    Damascus is on tract to become a money pit repeat of chaos making we have seen across the region dating back to Orenco Station which is still misrepresented as a model to repeat.
    Take a drive out there and ask your self why? It’s an overcrowded auto oriented rat race where carefully selected photo angles showing light rail and Euro looking mixed use are still used to cast it as the “New Urbanism” -“Smart Growth” we ALL must accept.
    And we must pay for it with millions in subsisides while officials continuie claiming these “alternatives” save money by stopping sprawl. What’s really happening is the confiscation of growth revenue and turning it back into rail transit and infill schemes resulting in the making of chaos we are witnessing.

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