Oregon Communities

For a Voice In Annexations

Promoting and Protecting Citizen Involvement in Land Use Issues

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The Birth of OCVA

By Jerry Ritter, OCVA Secretary

My involvement in the annexation wars was a bit different than the rest of us. In 1992, Springfield city staff, with ample input from the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG), cooked up a clandestine plan to annex almost all the Springfield UGB into the city - much like what Bend succeeded in doing in November 1999. The public didn't find out about it 'til early 1994, when UGB residents got an "invitation" from the mayor to "join the city." But the annexation was clearly a "done deal" from the get go as far as the city and LCOG were concerned. They weren't interested in what we thought about it.

I immediately got a small group together to fight them. The group grew to about 400 people and the war was on. We eventually torpedoed their efforts to use ORS-195 (like Bend did) by getting a supermajority of property owners to sign an anti-annexation petition. This convinced the County Commission and one key service provider to refuse to sign onto the plan. Still, the city and LCOG pushed on. Finally, the Springfield City Council, seeing a political bloodbath in the making, shot the plan down. I had never before experienced such arrogance and public irresponsibility on the part of government as we saw with LCOG and city staff on this.

I read about Jeff's Philomath struggle in a newspaper one day, shortly after we'd won our fight, and sensed a kindred spirit. I couldn't find his phone number, so I drove to Philomath one Saturday and started asking around how to get hold of him. It wasn't long before I ran into someone who gave me a phone number. Our first phone call was really the birth of OCVA.

This page last modified on 2005-09-19 08:39.