This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 12, 2006 1:42 PM.
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A misguided adventure, launched on lies, misjudging the strength of the enemy, the voices of reason being drowned out by those of greed, alienating long-time allies along the way, so horribly expensive that it's too frightening to think about, all financed with borrowed money that future generations may or may not be able to pay, permanently damaging vital government programs with its breathtaking waste, the government hiding the casualties and pressing ever onward against the wishes of the majority of the voters and despite clear indications that it's a hopeless quagmire.
Yes, it's becoming clear that the South Waterfront development -- SoWhat for short -- is Portland's equivalent of the war in Iraq.
Today we see that the OHSU aerial tram [rim shot] is just the tip of the iceberg. The city's throwing another $43 million at SoWhat as a whole, buying property from Homer Williams and paying for all sorts of other junk to make the hideous condo tower jungle prettier for the California dupes who are going to pay upwards of a million dollars for an apartment in Portland.
And that's just the number they're admitting to. If the Portland City Council tells you it's spending another $43 million, that usually means more like $60 million. Of course, there will be many, many more votes like this -- $43 million this year, another $43 million next year, on and on. Wait 'til somebody actually starts talking seriously about where the sewage from those properties is going. And oh, the uproar we'll hear about the traffic! In the end, a half-billion dollars in local property taxes could be blown down there.
And we're borrowing all of it for now, with the bonds to be paid off later, when supposedly the properties in the district will start paying big-time property taxes. Of course, that will divert all the property taxes paid in SoWhat away from any other city government purpose for decades. The district may pay for its own streets, parks, landscaping, etc. eventually, but everyone down there will get a free ride on police, fire, schools, etc. for a long, long time.
Nothing's free, people. Those are tax dollars we're spending down there. And Tom Potter's Portland Development Commission is every bit as eager as Vera Katz's was to burn them for Homer Williams and his ilk. How disappointing.