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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 27, 2006 3:16 PM. The previous post in this blog was Groundhog Day. The next post in this blog is It's almost spring. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, February 27, 2006

Something in the air

The Portland City Council has now cancelled two consecutive "work sessions" that it had previously announced on the OHSU Medical Group aerial tram [rim shot].

Do you smell something? What is that -- a rat?

Comments (13)

a big mechanical rat

along with the three blind mice

and the pied piper

but, not to worry, a fireman is coming to wash it all down the storm sewers.


I think the strategy is to build as much as possible as quietly as possible, then deal with the shortfall later, when they can plead, "So much has been built already - it’d be crazy not to finish now. Heck, it'd cost us millions just to take what we already built back down."

Where's Fireman Randy? If he's so determined not to spend more city money on the tram, why isn't he saying: "I think we ought to stop construction until we know who's paying for this"?


If you were a home builder and you heard word that the buyer's construction financing loan had been canceled what would you do?

Build faster . . . not on your life.

If, as a builder, your credit line at a supplier was soon to be dinged as unpaid and the account frozen, what would you do?

Order as many needed parts as you can, as fast as you can, so that you could "complete" the project and get paid and then no one would care that a payment was late, so long as it was paid.

KiwiWit and the outside auditor (whatever they are), are at least on the same page. Faster FASTER.

I think Bill is right.

I think they'll just go 'til the money runs out and then see who pungles up. It'll be a real hot potato by then. Everybody'll toss it around.

Randy better have two other commissioners chanting his mantra of "Not a cent more."

Ohm mani padme ohm.

Do you think Saltzman and Sten really care how much it costs, so long as they don't have to vote on the issue before the May election?

Assuming that both of them survive the primary, the general election should be a cakewalk.

The recent report showed that they do not have a handle on how much they have spent to date, or how much they are currently spending.

What is it about government power here that makes it so ... different? Perhaps it is the Progressive Era erasure of separation of powers and thus of checks and balances, represented by the Bureau system. Or, more regionally, that collectivism simply doesn't work when there are collectivists on both sides of the bargaining table.

Why don't they have to keep track of spending - like they require from the rest of us - that they just CTC until the money runs out? Why don't they have to reserve for maintenance but have plenty of other reserve accounts that can suddenly be discovered when taxpayers get grumpy? Why can they write off every long-term investment in the year they spend it, while the rest of us have to take the "useful life" to write it off under the phony concept of "depreciation".

I wonder if they teach this in the schools, or if you just have to learn it in @ Hard Knocks Academy ... that these arrangements are all part of a multiple standard, where they can hold us to one set of rules and themselves to ... none.

What many of us are strongly smelling is that the postponements are due to getting the "playbook" right amongst all the players. Its "dress rehearsal time".

Even Adams admitted in his Oregonian commentary that the city taxpayers have committed over $11M already: $3.5M in TIF; $5M in some undescribed fund (probably biotech UR fund for the OHSU building in NM that is really a health club and doctor offices); and $2.5M in reduced permit/review fees. But of course Adams and Leonard contend "no more taxpayer funds beyond $3.5M". How do they figure that with the above info?

But, right now there is even more "shuffling" going on to hide additional taxpayer funds to"help" OHSU and LID owners to pay for the tram. That is why the media has been calling to follow up on the "rumors" going around on how to hid the additional taxpayer funds. The "playbook" is very important and that explains the delays.

Boy you got that right Lee.
And when the play makers are busy trying to do the same thing with the rest of SoWa, the light rail Transit Mall, Burnside-Couch and other Urban Renewal Porklandia plans they got their hands full trying to keep passing off these boondoggles as worthy investments.

With so many basic service's budgets in shambles at the same time and not a remedy for anything in sight the most these electeds can hope for is to remain in office while the slow motion wreck is underway.

Is it just me, or does this look like a SHELL GAME to anybody else?

WHERE IS THE PEA (How much will it ultimately cost, and where does the city get the money?)


WHO IS THE SHELL MAN (The guy actually moving the shells around.)?


Dress rehearsal for Economic Development (in the sky) and the new role for the PDC. Dreams of public private joint ventures are limitless.

Sittie Hall Stall, here, at the moment, favors KiwiWit. It is as if Ralph Miller called for one of his classic stall games with a super low score but a win for the team. Defense Defense Defense.

Today OHSU announced that they were moving their Washington County OIG facility to SoWhat. What does this mean? Damage control to prove they have tenants? Anyone?

""""Little did Vollum and other innovators involved in OGI's formation know the school would someday help OHSU become the biotechnology leader it is today, Kohler noted.""""""

"the biotechnology leader"???

Leader of what?

Kohler seems to be suggesting they are all of a sudden the industry leader.

A remarkable feat indeed. The first SoWa building isn't even done and success has been declared.

Especially since Kohler's own biotech czar (hired a couple years ago to assess and guide OHSU's biotechnology potential) referred to Katz and Kohler as having "delusions of grandeur". OHSU's relative presence in the biotechnology industry was minuscule at best with very little potential to grab the bigger share as promised. The czar left town shortly afterwards.

The SoWa plan was to grow OHSU, not relocate into new digs it's Hillsboro campus. At various times OHSU even threatened to move to Hillsboro if the Tram and Urban Renewal did not provide what they apparently demanded.

Who knows what really has been or is happening.
It's a private corporation.
No, it's public.
No, most of the Tram is funded by the private OHSU.
No, it's public doctors and hospital have tort caps.
No, it's private records are not subject to public records requests.
No, it's public buildings do not pay any property taxes.
No, their doctors have their own private 501c3.
No, OHSU employees are on Public Employees Retirement System.

Well, I guess, just like the Tram and SoWa costs, it really doesn't matter, now does it?

Perhaps the Oregonian editorial board editor Bob Caldwell and his wife (OHSU's community relations cheif) Laura Cuykendall will be explaining
One thing they may want to consider explaining is how the SoWa Urban Renewal Plan will pay back the $300 UR million as planned when 20 acres or more will never pay any property taxes into the UR increment or to basic services.
A naysayer might view this unfolding scenario as a fiscal quagmire.

Blog on!


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