This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 8, 2007 12:16 PM. The previous post in this blog was If you needed a reason to vote yes on 26-92. The next post in this blog is Tax spat in the 'Couv. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mediate this

The continuing mediation between the Portland parks bureau and the public (I kid you not) resumes this evening, according to neighbors of the future home of the Mount Tabor condo towers. They point to this piece in the latest Southeast Examiner newspaper:

For four hours on April 21, community members, including representatives from the Mt. Tabor and South Tabor Neighborhood Associations, met with Portland Parks and Recreation director, Zari Santner, and public involvement official, Gay Greger, for the first in a series of mediation session with mediators, Jamie Damon and Mary Forst. Approximately 25 people were in attendance including representatives from the Brentwood-Darlington and Richmond Neighborhood Associations. The Parks Bureau fostered the sessions as trust building exercises in the wake of the discovery, last fall, of the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Warner Pacific College regarding the sale of Mt. Tabor Park Yard. Two more sessions have been scheduled for Tuesday, May 8, 6-9 PM at the Tabor Heights United Methodist Church, 6161 SE Stark, and Saturday, May 12, 1-5 PM at the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church, SE 54th Ave. and Belmont St. The sessions are public meetings, open to all.
The neighbors continue:
Parks/Community Mediation meetings resume tonight and continue on Saturday. The Mediation, which Parks Director, Zari Santner requested take place, is the latest chapter regarding the disposition of Mt. Tabor Park Central Yard, Nursery and Horticultural Services.

The Oregonian today included an article about the city charter and the sale of surplus land, including parkland, using Mt. Tabor Park as an example.

Drop into either meeting at anytime. The setting is informal and It isn't necessary to attend the entire meeting.

Comments (11)

The answer to this one is for City Council to direct Zari to buy out Warner Pacific from the deal. The taxpayers of Portland have paid to buy the city out of worse messes.

Another option is an initiative petition to make a vote of the people necessary for sale of park property. It wouldn't save this one, but it would limit future disposals to properties a majority of voters are willing to agree have no future utility as public property.

What I can't understand is what the motivation for this was in the first place. Why would anyone want to go down in history as dismantler of the country's best park system?

Because your West Hills overlords told you it would be a good idea.


I think Scott Moore spelled it out pretty well in a Mercury article last fall. (It's called David vs. Goliath, or something like that, it's still online.)

Jim Francesconi - former Parks commissioner, and still a frequent visitor to City Hall - represented Warner Pacific in the deal. Warner Pacific is trying to expand from something like 300 students to 1200 students over the course of a few years (and at the time of the negotiation, was also expecting to be home of an ABA basketball franchise.) Francesconi was also appointed to the Oregon Board of Higher Ed this spring (with a near-unanimous approval from the Senate, including Sen. Gordly; only Vicki Walker voted no.)

So, I'm not sure what was going on in Saltzman's or Parks employees' minds, but their relationship to the biased Francesconi undoubtedly had something to do with it.

WP can threaten to move out... that way they'll end up with Mt. Tabor Park and a tram to get there to boot.

Dave, that's exactly what they've done - except that the "quid pro quo" element is dubious.

From what I understand, there's been a faction on WP's board for many years that wants to move outside Portland - whether or not the Parks property would impact that choice is unclear. It's very convenient for them to tie the issues together in their public communications, but I'm not convinced that it's truly a "cause-and-effect" decision for them.

Another thing - who says condos at the foot of Mt. Tabor is a bad thing? More tax revenue for the citty, more infill to slow the growth of the Urban Growth boundary...I suppose it might impact my property value, but I bought my house as more than a financial investment. And I like people.

Give me a break. You'd rather have another particle board box jungle than the existing parkland? If you "like people" that much, please move back to Los Angeles.

Here, here, Jack I concur indubitably!
"please move back to Los Angeles."

Jack-- nope. I don't want the city to sell the Tabor yard to ANYBODY - and I have 400 neighbors who feel the same. And despite what you may have heard in the past, there is no "necessity" that the City sell the property to anyone.

If WP decides to take their ball and go play in the Couve though, and as they're sulking away they shout "Have fun with the particle board boxes we'll leave in our wake," it's not going to ruin my day.

That's all I'm saying.

I'm with you. If you search through this blog, you'll see my suggestion that Warner Pacific should move to the 'Couv, and the city should buy the campus for an addition to the park.

And I'm dead serious -- that's the best outcome for everybody.

Great idea, Jack.

That way, we'd not only get more park space, but community facilities, as well. Is there enough room on the campus for an aquatics center?

Just one of myriad reasons that I'm so freaking glad I moved away from The People's Republik of Porland, not to mention the Motherland of Oregon all together.

Maybe someday, I can help presuade others to do the same and scale the "wall" to enjoy such freedoms as to be able to drive a car without penalty, not have your precious and God given right to vote on subjects be mocked and given no import whatsoever, and to not have to fear for your life and be needlessly gunned down by the cops as so often happens in The People's Republik of Portland.

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