Chas Jones, Ph.D.

Philomath Issues

Philomath Issues

From my perspective, there are a number of important issues in Philomath that I would like to see addressed by the City Council. This list is not all-inclusive and will added to as the 2018 election approaches.  Do you have additional concerns?  Please contact me and let me know.  I would be happy to let you know my thoughts on any issue that is important to you.  If you agree that these issues are important, please consider contributing to my campaign.

      1. Residential development

    The existing and already approved residential development plans for Philomath will increase Philomath’s population by 1200 people in the next two years.  That is approximately 25% of the city’s existing population. Much of this growth is along Hwy 20 / 34, which already has high amounts of traffic and is problematic.

        • What are the proposed impacts of the high rate of residential development recently approved by the City Council?
        • With a pending population increase of 25% in the next two years, how will we accommodate the increased traffic?
        • Will our schools have sufficient capacity?
        • Will the public safety resources be sufficient?
        • Existing City Council’s approach to approving development has been an issue of compliance (it has been stated that Council must approve development plans if all rules have been followed), rather than the Councilors making decisions that reflect the best interests of our community
          • If this is the case (legally), then there should be additional criteria in the city’s compliance checklist that can address the concerns of the community regarding additional development
          • Given that the state has removed the legal option for voters to approve or deny annexations, are their ways for the city to add additional community representation in the development approval process?
      1. How can the city leverage the additional residential development that has already been approved to increase business and other economic development opportunities in our city, which will allow us to maximize the tax revenues associated with the increased population? Let’s continue to attract high quality businesses to Philomath.
      2. Need to increase tax base and reduce tax burden on our residents
        • The  Council’s decision to include a monthly General Fund fee in our utility bills rather than asking voters to approve an increase in property taxes was unfortunate.
          • The fees go directly to our General fund and is in all intents and purposes a tax, but since it is classified as a fee, it is not tax deductible.
          • The $10 monthly fee is applied to all households equally, despite large income disparity throughout our community
          • Are there opportunities to reduce or eliminate this fee?
      3. Traffic between Philomath and Corvallis (especially considering the planned 25% population increase in the next 2 years)
      4. Water resources and distribution capacity