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Apron Paving Project- CRR-SRD
Apron Paving Project for the Crooked River Ranch Special Roads District
By Dale Wiley
If you have been following any of the current Crooked River Ranch Special Roads District projects and activities, you know that the apron paving project has been a topic of discussion for some time now.
The SRD is a public tax agency, receiving tax monies from both Jefferson and Deschutes Counties and they have a three-person Board of Directors. If you are in this tax district you are paying taxes to fund these road improvements. Most tax payers are paying about $ 120 per year to the SRD via taxes.
The SRD Board of Directors has varying ideas and procedures about how public business should be conducted, and they provide very limited open information to the public about their activities. It is only after multiple requests can you receive any information.
I decided to run for the Director # 1 position, because it is my opinion that this current Board of Directors is not representing the tax payers best interests and that it’s communications and process’s in conducting business needs to be changed.
I am not trying to create trouble or dissension. I am doing what US citizens are entitled to do in becoming part of the due process by being elected and accountable to the voters. My experiences apparently vary much greater than the current Board members do.
I have executed millions of dollars in public prevailing wage construction jobs, and private jobs as a company owner, a general manager and a senior project manager. While I have been out of that active business portion for about 7 years, I do not think things have changed that much.
The current SRD Board has very little respect for opinions other than what they voice in their meetings. I will offer some points for taxpayer consideration.
I am not going to get in long drawn-out discussions about how this all works. I will present my viewpoints and the voters / taxpayers can make their own decisions. I do not get personal, and my guideline about all this is that we can disagree, but we need to be civil about it. The SRD Board continues to push that civility aspect in their communications to the taxpayers who voice their concerns to the SRD.
On March 22, 2023 SRD Board President Sue Haley presented this apron project to the Jefferson County Commissioners and received approval for the use of Crooked River Ranch SDC funds for this project, and for additional county tax funds to be spent on this project.
· As of the March 22, 2023 date, the SRD Board of Directors has not voted on approval of this project or recorded it in their minutes.
· The documents submitted for this application included a hand drawn plan by Sue Haley that is being submitted for a prevailing wage public works project.
Sue Haley is not a registered engineer in the State of Oregon and the plan does not have an engineers stamp on it. In my over 30 years of contracting, I have never seen a prevailing wage public works project that did not have a registered engineers detail and specifications and stamp on it.
If I had encountered such a document for a public works project, I would have walked away as a contractor because the liability of a project with no certified engineering is too great to risk for a company to take.
· As of the evening of March 23, 2023, the SRD Board of Directors has now called a Special Meeting for March 27, 2023 to approve the project and authorize the SRD to proceed with that project.
The SRD Board rationale for the after the fact approval is that they had to know what participation levels the county was in for.
The CRR HOA is not a financial material participant in this project and their apparent approval and “encouragement” is merely symbolic.
· Jefferson County is apparently fine with the Un-engineered documents being used for a public works project affecting their county roads. The also appear to be fine with the fact that the requesting agency (CRR SRD) has not considered and voted on approving the project even after the SRD Board President submitted it to the County for approval, and the County Commissioners approved the expenditure of public funds for the project.
· There are no engineers estimates for the project, so the cost range is completely unknown, and while the the SRD President apparently has had conversations with potential contractor participants about the cost, at no time has there been a cost estimate for the project produced or communicated to the tax payers.
The scope of the project has presented by the SRD has absolutely no basis in the estimated cost of the project overall and what the tax payers will receive for the public dollars spent.
· The SRD is intimating that the combination letter that the SRD and HOA sent to the county somehow indicates approval by the SRD Board of the project.
· The SRD has no Capital Improvement Plan. Capital Improvement Plans are common managerial / executive and effective documents that allow organizations to effectively plan for capital improvements over a given time frame and take into consideration all factors involved and allows for management decisions made with accurate factual data.
These plans put on paper the projects to be considered, scope of those projects, estimated costs and timelines. Without a Capital Improvement Plans, organizations often find themselves jumping from project to project and never properly executing them.
· The SRD has mentioned several projects such as Badger Rd Hill safety issue, Meadow Road has “no life left”, Hill Road guard rails. They are other projects that need looked at such as the pavement edge breakdowns into traffic lanes on Quail, and the reduction of many of the gravel roads back down to native material. By putting these potential projects down on paper and utilizing a standard evaluation and planning process, the SRD could identify the most pressing projects, the ones that represent a liability to the SRD and taxpayers, and the ones that preserve existing assets.
· The SRD needs to be more responsive to the taxpayers in several different ways. They need to respect the input of taxpayers at all times. They need to follow Oregon public works contracting laws and guidelines. They need to establish a website, publish documents, and establish SRD e mail addresses and stop conducting public business through private e mail accounts.
Public agencies are held to a higher standard and operating procedures than private businesses. This reflects the fact that public agencies are funded by tax payer dollars and these agencies need to operate in a suitable manner that respects the tax payers financial contribution to these projects, and that it respects the collective input of the tax payers and that the tax payers can be assured that the SRD and other public agencies are being good stewards of the tax monies paid.
Thank you for your time in reading this lengthy information.
Crooked River Ranch Special Roads District
· Special Meeting to approve the apron paving project.
· March 27, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Juniper Room at the Admin Building in Crooked River Ranch.
· Project was already presented to and approved by the Jefferson County Commissioners by Board President Sue Haley. Mere formality for the Board to approve it after the fact.