Now Playing:


Think Out Loud

Damascus Volunteers Quit In Protest

Pete Springer/OPB


It’s a rocky time for the city of Damascus. Hopes of creating a vibrant town that maintains a strong rural identity have been challenged in the face of inadequate infrastructure, voter rejection of a city master plan, subsequent project defunding by ODOT and a dysfunctional city government. On Monday, 15 volunteer city committee members resigned after the city council forced city manager Greg Baker to resign during a closed executive meeting in late May.

As has become the norm at Damascus city council meetings, tension was high and the language was fraught. Mara Stine, a reporter at the Gresham Outlook quoted one volunteer as saying to the council, “You have brought shame, embarrassment and ridicule to the city.” Baker’s resignation came with a $321,460 payment, and an agreement that Baker would not sue the city over accusations the mayor had made about him. A petition is now circulating to recall the mayor and council president.

The troubles in town hall aren’t the only issues facing the city. In December, a disincorporation process was started and a petition is gathering signatures to end the nine year attempt to turn Damascus into a functioning city.

Do you live in Damascus? Has the city experiment affected you? Is it time for the city to disincorporate?

damascus urban growth boundary

More Think Out Loud

More OPB

Join the Conversation

Send Think Out Loud A Message

Also This Hour

Protecting Oregon's Elders From Abuse

OPB | Broadcast: June 5, 2013

Culture Club

OPB | Broadcast: June 5, 2013