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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 10, 2007 12:18 PM. The previous post in this blog was Ime, we hardly knew ye. The next post in this blog is About time. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All frills, all the time

Fireman Randy's back from Italy, and Amanda Fritz is back from Utah -- interesting contrast there -- and over the weekend they had a telling exchange on Amanda's blog about budget priorities. Amanda wanted to know how the City of Portland can be spending $10 million for fancy new archives at Portland State while Sam the Tram is out telling people we can't afford traffic lights at deadly intersections unless we jack up the gas tax or invent a new tax.

It's a darn good question, and Fireman Randy's answers, after jiving around for a while, finally settled on classic bad-priorities funny talk:

You have identified the angst of making decisions in the budget making process, Amanda. It isn't just projects east of 82nd that compete for that money, it is also the myriad requirements of residents all over Portland that includes housing, mental health care and the ability of our residents to get a good education.
And when the time comes, again and again, to choose among those priorities, what will the City Council pick?

We all know the answer: Whatever looks "cool" to the Bus kids, placates labor, and sells condos.

Comments (17)

I think if we just keep voting for the same (kinds of) people for Portland City government, we'll eventually get a different result.

And bad smell Randy will do whatever it takes to look good for a run at Governor. Than he can screw up the whole state instead of Podunk Portland.

Well, that health insurance argument is one of the biggest straw men I've seen in a while.

The city has nothing to do with health insurance, except as it relates to city employees. The city has everything to do with safety on our city streets.

I find it interesting that PDC and the city are shuffling all sorts of office space all over the city, yet they can't seem to find a place for their own archives unless they undertake to help the state build yet another building?

Priorities should include maintaining what one has before plunging into new construction for buildings we cannot maintain once they are completed. We're spending way too much subsidizing the private sector to overbuild in what looks like a good market now, but not nearly enough to maintain the public structures we already have.

Today's Tribunes comparison of two articles, one titled "Pileups stall unpatrolled freeways"-other "Businesses Double Down", exhibit this problem of Sam and Randy's inability to set "classic bad-priorities".

First article cites the need of only $115,000 dollars to enact the discontinued Portland police patrol of our urban freeways that could save over MILLIONS of dollars is loss time, damages, etc. because of wrecks.

The second article points out the state Lottery producing $483 MILLION per year for the state. Recently the Milwaukie LightRail line was given by the state legislature with Sam's ardent lobbying at the legislature, over $250 MILLION of this years lottery. Over 50% for one lightrail project, but we can't afford $115 thousand for police patrol.

Sam and Randy can't continue claiming "we can't mix those dollars with this or that" when they do it all the time. That Randy and Sam is not setting proper priorities and you can't spin it any way to disprove it!

First off the people in Portland should get rid of most of what goes on in cityhall. Make street upkeep a function of a street maintenance district with its own elected officials and get city hall out of the business. Same thing with the fire bureau. Make it a seperate taxing district with its own elected officials who have to answer only for fire services and related rescue. Same thing can be done with the Parks Bureau.

Or get real radical and make each bureau a non profit corporation. Do away with the taxes for their support and go to a direct billing system which would allow the non profits to collect fees from those now exempt. Pay for city services just like you do with phone bills, or those from an electric company. Try it we may like it. The costs would probably drop considerably and us older folks wouldn't have to pay for places like these fraternal groups and others that get a free ride.

And then the commissioners can get real jobs.

"We all know the answer: Whatever looks "cool" to the Bus kids, placates labor, and sells condos."

You mean, "whatever's likely to get us re-elected?"

And then the commissioners can get real jobs.

That might be wishful thinking. Where in the private sector is the demand for their skill sets?

Uh, correct me if I'm wrong, but some of you seem to think that the $10 million for the archives will come from tax revenues, that Randy himself will go door to door and demand every person in the household hand over $20 so he can build a golden statue of himself to be placed in the center of Pioneer Square.

It's a proposed bond measure to finance a needed city service. Get a freaking grip. Our current city archives is overflowing, not to mention geographically isolated. If you want to know anything about your city and its past doings, then you want an archives, the more accessible the better. And archives don't grow on trees.

I won't even mention the fact that it will also help PSU finance it's much needed expansion (OK, maybe I will). You think supporting PSU is a bad thing?

To put this in context, Oregonians spend $401 million PER YEAR just to educate the children of illegal aliens---this is more than the entire lottery fund. Multnomah County residents' share of that is ~$74 million/yr. And no, taxes paid by illegal aliens do not cover this expense.

Hell, by my back-of-the-envelope calculations, it costs Multnomah County taxpayers (not bondholders) ~$6 million per year just to incarcerate illegal aliens who have committed crimes.

And y'all are squabbling over some bonds to help INVEST in PSU?

My StrayMan is back. I need help, to help.

Priorities. Any artificial entity must follow the DHS' own rules regarding limits on assets before getting any gifts, including immunity from risk. That should cover a whole lot in one fell swoop.

StrayMan Two w/video of the site is now within the 5 feet of space between my BEDROOM window and the property line adjoining a church.

As for mental health, the county has a unique DUTY to pay for care. I'm too tired to fight. Just tell me you're all nice and I'll pretend to believe you.

Pay for city services just like you do with phone bills, or those from an electric company.

Now there's an aspirational goal...City Customer Service as good as Quest's! Built assets as solid as the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant!

"You mean, "whatever's likely to get us re-elected?"

That's what happens when this town is over run by knee-jerk 'progressives' that will do anything to fit in- a cycle of bad leadership.

It's a proposed bond measure to finance a needed city service. Get a freaking grip.

First of all, we don't do that kind of comment here, o.k.? That's your first and last one.

To tell me that it's a bond measure doesn't lessen my outrage. In fact, it makes it worse. Bonds are borrowing money. When you borrow money, you pay it back, plus interest. Yes, Randy is in effect going door to door shaking us down for the $10 million, plus countless millions in interest that will never be disclosed.

Let Portland State pay for its own building. The city shouldn't be investing a plug nickel in a state university.

The current archives is scheduled to be expanded to meet the need for increased storage space of city records at a cost of $15 million dollars and it would still be located at a place that is inaccessible to most Portlanders.

Partnering with PSU, we are not subsidizing their building but purchasing our own separate floor and space at a cost of approximately $5 million less than expanding on the current site.

That, combined with having it on SW Broadway on bus lines, light rail and the street car, make it a facility all Portlanders can access.

Reducing the cost of a needed expansion and making it more accessible is exactly how we should manage the public’s assets and money.

The question here is, "needed" more than what?

Frank I guess you didn't like my idea, but it is the only way I know to make sure the money is used for the purpose it is collected for instead of all these legacy projects and maybe it'll lower the cost for some people while ending the freeloaders ride.

I can't find the state statutory provisions for PSU to offer storage services to others, consistent with their statutory charter, in an entrepreneurial capacity, at any price. See ORS 285, 285A, 285B and 285C.

Just because the city and the university both contain the word "Portland" in their title and both are defined as a "public body" for public records requests does not provide authorization for this Intergovernmental Agreement. See ORS 190.250 for statutory authorization for a "city" to contact the "Oregon Department of Administrative Services" to provide for "data recording and storing" services to a "city[.]" (I'll spare you my thoughts, and references, on elementary principals of statutory construction, where this little provision supplies all that needs to be supplied, given it's specificity.) Go through DAS, or not at all.

How about exempting from any exemption from property taxes any portion of any effectively-leased space at PSU for their non-authorized activity -- characterizable as it is to private activity in competition with private others?

The city would not need a bond issuance to enter into a LEASE agreement. If the deal is for a condo-like purchase of one floor then the city, as owner, could use it for any other city-authorized purpose and could most assuredly SELL IT to any private party . . . just as with any notion of property that differentiates the definition of property from the ownership of that property, implying the power to alienate (i.e., sell) one's interest.

Coyote, let's rumble . . . about the definition of property? Pick you favorite legal advocate. Maybe Ross?


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Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
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Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
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David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Road Work

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