Damascus takes legal action against de-annexers

DAMASCUS, Ore. (KOIN) — People living on the border of Happy Valley and Damascus want to leave by de-annexing from the city, but, the city is doing everything in its power to stop those residents from leaving.

The city of Damascus filed a complaint and an injunction with the state of Oregon against residents trying to de-annex and join the jurisdiction of Happy Valley.

Damascus resident Henry Brown, whose home sits on the border with Happy Valley, said the municipal government is dysfunctional and has no comprehensive city plan.

Damascus, Ore. Mayor Steve Spinnett April 25, 2014. (KOIN)
Damascus, Ore. Mayor Steve Spinnett April 25, 2014. (KOIN)

“It’s a poster child for dysfunctional government it truly is that, you go to city council meetings and you see guys bickering back and forth and you’re thinking it’s a grade school argument instead of government that’s determining our future,” he said.

He said he and his wife have been waiting for years for a city plan, but nothing has come of it.

“[My wife] and I are being sued by the city of Damascus by our own tax dollars, being sued by the city of Damascus,” he said.

“And they’ve spent more money on legal fees than I care to think about.”

Damascus mayor Steve Spinnett said the city isn’t suing its own residents.

He said upon recommendation from the city’s legal team it was unconstitutional for the state to force the city to change its boundaries.

Spinnett said three comprehensive ballot measures will address the issue in May.

63 percent of people in Damascus voted to disincorporate in November, but because a super majority was required for it to pass, it didn’t.


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