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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fireman Randy on Mount Tabor sale: "Displeased"

He's the highlight of this excellent clip from KGW. Go get 'em, Randy!

The Zari Santner interview portion of the video is also a scream. Put away your polygraph -- you won't be needing it for this one.

Comments (23)

Clearly everyone needs to calm down. This is all just to see if it's FEASIBLE!!!!

The Mt. Tabor story will probably turn out like the SW Slavin Rd story. The five acre property owned by CoP in 1993 for over 60 years was designated by the Parks Bureau to become a park when PDOT decided it was "excess property". Well, Diane Houlka of CoP's Portland Property Management stated when the neighborhood groups heard that it may not become a park-"we are studying the feasibility of several uses".

We came to find out later that the City already had an agreement with a developer to sell the land. So much for openness and fairness, and open public bidding or anything else that resembles open government.

Francesconi, Santner, Saltzman, Grimwade -- shame on all of them.


Establishing a sale price by a certain date certainly sounds like more than "feasibility study" material.

It's public land. In the past, the institution which now wants OWNERSHIP of that land obtained public land for a song and resold it for a tidy sum. Now, they want land which the parks bureau seems to think they "no longer need".

Sorry, but from my point of view we need every bit of acreage we have in public possession for open space and recreational space. My inner southeast neighborhood is one of the more populous neighborhoods in the city. It is chronically short of recreational, or even open, space within the neighborhood. Yet, the parks bureau is considering selling public land to private ownership within eight blocks of my neighborhood. This makes no sense whatsoever.

Why SELL the land? Why not develop the land into publically-held recreational land, which could be shared in its use by the neighboring educational institution? They can get on the calendar like every other resident in the city who wishes to use city parks space. Maybe if they want to kick in on helping the city cover the cost of developing the recreational space, they might expect some consideration in the scheduling of the park usage.

But, to consider selling the land to some private interest who promises to make it "open and available" to the community....I'm sorry, but if it's private land, the public can be excluded. If it's not city park land, some can be excluded at the whim of the owner of the land.

Sorry... I'm not for losing that access. Portland needs to maintain what it has. Not sell it off.

I personally think the term everybody should be considering here is "Recall".

Any of you legal beagle types out there know how many signatures are required to have the Parks Commissioner recalled?

Establishing a sale price by a certain date certainly sounds like more than "feasibility study" material.

I have to admit it does, though I've heard over and over (and over) that this is in no way a "done deal."

Several years ago I visited the Mt Tabor yard at an open house that was promoted as a great opportunity to take photos of all the amazing flowers and plants being grown and cultivated there. I hope, as part of this discussion of what to DO with the admittedly run-down facility, we look at what's proposed to replace this functionality. Is it the Park Bureau's intent to stop growing their own stuff? Has that already happened? Have they, as is often the case with the city --with fait accompli's handed to City Council-- moved down a road which which there's no turning back?

As a sometime apologist for the City (I'm being sarcastic, I actually BELIEVE in what the City does most times) I really, really hope there's an opportunity for a serious and real conversation about the Mt Tabor yard's future. I'm, personally, going to be very irritated if this isn't the case. And no, Jack, I don't want to buy a tram...but I'll buy you your first ride on it if I'm wrong (and we can swig that Mateus I brought back from Florida, out of a paper bag on the ride).

Man, no kidding on the polygraph comment.

Why would anyone think of lying on camera unless they had a proven facility for it evidenced by successfully running for political office?

How many times do we have to see this movie before the CoP loses its last shred of credibility?

Sam Adams said on camera this weekend that the Tram was "on budget."

Why would anyone, I ask, listen to what these buffoons say and do anything other than summarily dismiss it? That is the only responsible thing to do, as a citizen.

Yet another example of why Portland needs to elect its City Council by districts rather than city-wide. If there was a designated councilperson who was ultimately responsible for something like this, it would never happen.

Here is the info on Recall.

General Information about Recall Petitions - Printable Version

City Code Section 2.08.170 provides that procedures and forms for a recall petition and election shall be according to state law.

The Secretary of State's Recall manual is available online via the Secretary of State's web site or from the City Elections Officer.

Key points to keep in mind:

City officials are not subject to recall until they have actually held office for six months of their current term
* Per ORS 249.870, the number of active registered voters' signatures required to place a recall on the ballot is 15% of the total number of votes cast in the City for all candidates for Governor at the last election. Until 2006, this number is 29,788 (15% of the 198,586 City voters who cast votes for Governor in
November 2002.)

"There's a late twist to this story, as commissioner Leonard says Mt. Tabor might be owned by the Water Bureau, not the Parks Department."

As the kids say, OH, SNAP.

According to Robin Grimwade, manager of strategy, finance and business development at the Parks Bureau ( in todays O's article by Su-Jim Yim), the "city charter and state law require a clear public process...declaring the land surplus and holding public hearings". This hasn't happened for Mt. Tabor and for the SW Slavin Rd. property.

Clearly for the SW Slavin property there
never were any public hearings. Besides a recall consideration, and possibly some "firing" which the city has a hard time in accomplishing, the citizens of Portland should consider a lawsuit against the city for not adhering to city and state law.

We keep having these kind of incidents and maybe the only way to make the changes that we keep asking for is a legal course. Talking, visioning, task forces are not working.

I really, really hope there's an opportunity for a serious and real conversation about the Mt Tabor yard's future. I'm, personally, going to be very irritated if this isn't the case.

There WAS an opportunity for a "serious and real conversation". It WAS over a year ago. What part of the corrupt way Saltzman & Co. have handled this gives you any scrap of hope that "business as usual" won't steamroll the neighbors.

The obvious rules of engagement for the city are: "Do whatever you think you can get away with, but don't get caught". Despite innumerable examples of dishonest dealings and lies (like Santner's), you ...BELIEVE in what the City does most times...?

Friend, you're too close to the problem and grasping at straws. Being "very irritated" won't change a thing.

How many more times?

* City officials are not subject to recall until they have actually held office for six months of their current term.

For Saltzman, does that mean six months from election (in May)? If so, that's next month. Or, does it mean six months from when he takes next January? Meaning that July would be the objective?

Is there any impediment to collecting signatures for a recall during those six month?

It's understood that the number of signatures required is based upon the most recent gubernatorial race, meaning that number will change come November 7.

I shall be interested to see what comes out of the Council session today on this matter. I'm hoping that Fireman Randy will drop a sizeable impediment into the impending deal. If so, he shall increase his reputation in my book.

Friend, you're too close to the problem and grasping at straws. Being "very irritated" won't change a thing.

I disagree, Rickyragg. When I go out on a limb, and defend the city --as a citizen-activist, not as an employee-- I don't like to be messed with. I trust people, trurst people's honor, and their honorable intentions.

Government is always upfront and honest? Mon dieu!! Jeez..."Public Budgeting" was a five-credit course for my Master' gotta learn to play games. (Really? There's gambling going on?) Especially when you talk about real estate deals, timing can be everything.

That said...there's weirdness in the air. Looking at PortlandMaps at the Mt Tabor property under on capital projects, there's this:

CIP Project ID PKS003322...this project will need to replace Parks mainenance facilities at East Delta Park and Mt Tabor Yard with one or more facilities. This was entered on 11/17/2003. Hardly a "secret". But, then: Decisions about real estate options will occur in early 2006. A team comprised of Parks property manager, architect, and marketing manager has been assembled to lead the project into design and construction phases. This is a very high priority bureau project.

Have decisions been made that we don't know about, or have participated in making?

How's this one: The assessed value of the 1.8 acres in 2005 was given a Real Market Value of $396,200. For 2006...that 1.8 acres on Division has been reduced to $18,000. $18,000 for 1.8 acres! How'd this happen? I called Multnomah County to ask why, was told I have to talk to the appraiser. He hasn't returned my call yet...

For the record, there were apologies all around at Council today; no one --in my personal opinion-- wants to see this blow up any worse, and done deal? No way.

Apologies all 'round? From who, about what?

As for Warner Pacific's threat to move their campus out of town....Wish them the best and offer them their $100 to return the land to the public (with CPI inflation factored in, of course). That way, Mt. Tabor Park can be expanded and the east side would get a very nice community center.

I'd rather Randy weighed in since he led the charge...if he cares to comment.

I'd just say that it was the consensus of Parks staff and Comm Saltzman that "mistakes were made." And a clear committment was made to ensure an open process for moving forward. How --and whether-- that takes place is the next chapter...

Remember this

$1 million here, $100 million there É adds up to a hot fight over city’s plan to cover its reservoirs
By Jim Redden

The Portland Tribune Jul 25, 2003

The November 2003 plan you referenced for Mt. Tabor was NOT intended to sell the park land or take it out of public ownership, but to move the yard temporarily so that the Water Bureau could use it as a staging area for the proposed $100 million construction project, saving a lot of money by using that space temporarily as a staging area and to house construction operations, and take that saved money to do good things for the park after construction was over. At that point there were some exciting things uncovered in the original Ohmsted Plan for Mt. Tabor, like a conservatory was part of the original plan, and modifications to the nursury were looked at that could make the plant growing operations more interactive with the public and better environment for learning with the school kids the hort folks routinely hosted, and display some of the wonderful types of plants that were grown there to restock our world famous Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden. It was thought at that time if a better place for the Yard worked out during the temporary relocation period, we could enhance the greenhouse operations with that conservatory and also fit in an athletic field there that Warner Pacific could share in a similar arrangement to what Parks has with PSU Women's softball at Erv Lind Stadium. The land was to remain in public ownership. There was also a requirement extend the road to Division to facilitiate a more defined entry to the park that was easier for people to find, if an athletic field was there it would also not route traffic through the neighborhood but locate the parking for the field right off Division. Since Warner Pacific is a private owner, what if they have troubles financially, or do want to expand and sell the land to finance that expansion. The opportunity to finally fulfill the Ohmsted Legacy lost

Frank, what are you saying? Are you inferring that someone in our City or County government is a crook?

My God, I hope it’s no one I voted for! I’m still disappointed with Nixon.

Frank Dufay How's this one: The assessed value of the 1.8 acres in 2005 was given a Real Market Value of $396,200. For 2006...that 1.8 acres on Division has been reduced to $18,000. $18,000 for 1.8 acres! How'd this happen? I called Multnomah County to ask why, was told I have to talk to the appraiser. He hasn't returned my call yet...
JK:I can top that:
The nearby property at 6045 SE SHERMAN ST (Property ID R219739) is listed as 5000 sq.ft. (.11 acre) with a land value of $114,000.

That is $1.036 MILLION per acre. 1.8 acres would be $1.86 million, about 4.7 times the old, higher, appraisal for the park property.

No wonder the appraiser is out to lunch.


Is your point here that this is incompetence on the part of a public employee, or that there is corruption on the part of a public official, or something else?

Frank, I know that sometimes you are an apologist for the city, besides working for the city; but I also know that you are a realist and knowledgeable about several other "plans" within city government that have not followed morally or by law, standards that allow for openness in our government.

Why does it continue to keep happening so frequently?

Why do we as citizens have to spend so much energy to expose, lobby, participate so intensivily to affect our elected, appointed, city bureaus, etc. to convey even the fact that policy or law isn't being followed?

Many of us have other jobs besides hoping government is even partically ethical.

Frank, please excuse the spelling.

OK, now that clip is just funny. Got to love this city!


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