Special Districts Association of Oregon

Special Districts Association of Oregon was formed in 1979 to give special districts a stronger and united voice at the Oregon Legislature. SDAO provides advocacy with state administrative agencies and other units of government, training, information resources, and other support programs. Membership has grown to over 900 local government members.

SDAO is governed by a twelve-member board of directors that exercises general supervision over the affairs of the organization.  The Board’s governance and formulation of policies are exercised in accordance with the association’s bylaws. The annual business meeting of SDAO members, held in conjunction with the February annual conference, gives members an opportunity to elect, for two-year terms, their association’s Board of Directors.

SDAO Currently Operates as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation.  Based upon its legal status and bylaws, SDAO Board decisions and programs are limited primarily to Oregon special districts as listed in ORS Chapter 198; intergovernmental organizations created under ORS Chapter 190; affiliate organizations covered by the Oregon Tort Claims Act in ORS Chapter 30; school districts under ORS Chapter 332 and educational service districts under ORS Chapter 334.  Other statues of importance include those for Oregon not-for-profit corporations, ORS Chapter 65, and ORS Chapter 731 and Chapter 656, which regulate self-insured pools.

SDAO has become increasingly important as the membership has grown and the operation of special districts has become more complex. It has become an effective lobbying and educational organization that strives to serve the needs of its members.

Membership

Based upon its legal status and bylaws, SDAO programs are limited primarily to Oregon special districts as listed in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 198; intergovernmental organizations created under ORS 190; affiliate organizations covered by the Oregon Tort Claims Act in ORS 30; and educational service districts under ORS 334.

Associate Membership is available to intergovernmental organizations created under ORS Chapter 190; affiliate organizations covered by the Oregon Tort Claims Act in ORS Chapter 30; school districts created under ORS Chapter 332.

Special Districts Insurance Services (SDIS)

In 1985, SDAO created a self-insured Trust, Special Districts Insurance Services Trust (SDIS), to escape the volatile traditional insurance market.  The SDIS Trust is governed by a seven-member board of trustees and operates under a Declaration of Trust.  The Trust governs through its adopted bylaws and is responsible for protecting and managing funds related to the insurance programs and developing arrangements and strategies necessary to implement the programs.  In 2014, the SDIS Trust adopted a new Declaration of Trust which is an intergovernmental agreement with districts participating in the SDIS insurance programs.

The Trust created an opportunity for members to control insurance costs by jointly pooling resources to self-insure for property, liability, auto, health, dental, and workers’ compensation coverage.  All participants in the Trust, both members and associate members, are owners of the program.  All of the equity, or surplus, belongs to the participants.  SDIS’s only objective is to provide reasonable, stable rates and broad coverage to Oregon public entities, unlike an insurance company where the profits are distributed to shareholders.

Property and Casualty Coverage for Education (PACE)

SDAO, in cooperation with the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA), formed PACE in 2006 to serve the unique needs of Oregon's public school districts, community colleges and education service districts. By merging their school district insurance programs, SDAO and OSBA formed the largest property and liability risk pool of school entities in Oregon. For more information visit the PACE web site.