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City stakeholders look toward 2035

When the Hillsboro City Council adopted the Hillsboro 2020 Vision and Action Plan in 2000, probably no one on the panel at that time envisioned that almost all of the proposed enhancements would be already completed or under way by 2013.by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: DOUG BURKHARDT - One of the original objectives in the citys 2020 Vision and Action Plan called for attraction and promotion of major athletic events. In June, this key goal was realized when the new Hillsboro Ballpark was completed and the Hillsboro Hops took the field for their inaugural season.

On passage, Hillsboro’s 2020 plan — regarded as a 20-year, community-designed road map for the city’s future — listed 114 specific actions stakeholders believed would make the community a better place to live.

The plan was updated in 2005 and again in 2010, with further goals and objectives added to the list of proposals.

The recommended projects covered a lot of territory, with specific ideas to boost education, economic development, health and public safety, the arts, neighborhoods and the environment.

As it stands, most of the total of 180 proposed actions have already been completed.

“Ninety-five percent of the plan is complete or in motion,” said Doug Johnson, chairman of the Hillsboro 2020 Vision Implementation Committee. “There has been tremendous hard work and progress.”

“We have many completed actions within the plan over the 13 years of implementation,” added Chris Hartye, project manager for the city of Hillsboro.

Hartye listed a number of key accomplishments that took root after being included in the 2020 plan, including renovation of the Town Theater (now known as the Venetian Theatre & Bistro); creation of community gathering places, with the most prominent example being the Tom Hughes Plaza at the Hillsboro Civic Center; initiating annual community events such as the Chamber of Commerce’s Latino Cultural Festival, Celebrate Hillsboro, Tuesday Marketplace and the Farmers’ Market, among others; setting up a community gardens program; creation of the Arts Endowment by the Hillsboro Community Foundation; advocacy for health care access and services by building collaborations between providers and stakeholders such as Tuality Healthcare and Pacific University; enhancing access to the Jackson Bottom Wetlands; increasing the level of energy conservation and recycling in local school districts; and expanding the community’s library system by completing and opening the Main Library’s second floor and renovating the Shute Park Branch.

Other major accomplishments include attracting the Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball team and constructing the Hillsboro Ballpark; opening the Hondo Dog Park; and increasing offerings for local after-school programs.

Johnson pointed out that the 2020 plan is way ahead of schedule.

“We anticipate that the 2020 plan will be completed by 2015,” said Johnson.

In recent weeks, the city has been gearing up for a formal revamping of the Hillsboro 2020 Vision and Action Plan by building a new plan that will renew the vision and guide the city toward the year 2035.

“We don’t have any of the goals or ideas defined yet for 2035 — we’ll be collecting ‘raw ideas’ from community members throughout this year and then having teams go through to sort and refine them,” explained Hartye.

The process will include interviews, a community survey and other data collection efforts that will build a new “community profile” of Hillsboro.

“The coming year will feature extensive public engagement efforts, both online and in the community, to collect ideas for the renewed plan,” said Hartye.

Hartye said the city plans a series of public meetings and other events to determine which projects the community wants to invest in over the next 20 years.

“More events, meetings and activities will be announced soon,” Hartye said. “In the meantime, members of the public can give their thoughts through our website or by simply emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”

One of the early leaders of the city’s long-range planning efforts was Tom Hughes, current president of Metro and the former mayor of Hillsboro. Hughes, who served as mayor from 2001-2009, is credited with helping to bring Hillsboro’s long-range community vision to life.

Hughes participated in the task force that gathered the community’s ideas from the start and helped draft the first version of the 20-year community plan. He also made the vision a city priority to ensure the listed projects were not shelved.

To honor his work spearheading the 2020 planning process, Hughes was scheduled to be presented with an outstanding service award at the Aug. 20 meeting of the Hillsboro City Council.




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