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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Mount Tabor plan "does it all"

This just in from our spies in the Portland Parks Bureau:

From: Stites, Nancy On Behalf Of Santner, Zari
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 4:27 PM
To: Parks - Parks and Rec All
Subject: Mt. Tabor Resolution

Tomorrow, September 26, at 10:30 a.m., Portland Parks & Recreation and the Mt Tabor community will jointly go before the City Council with a
resolution that didn't seem possible a few months ago. Through extensive
mediation, PP&R staff and the community have forged a partnership to
update the Mt Tabor master plan, which will include the 20 acres that
house the Central Maintenance Yard, the Horticultural area, and the long

If Council passes the resolution, we will then seek the funds to update
the master plan, keeping the Central Maintenance Yard and Horticultural
elements in place at Mt Tabor. We will look at how, through design, we can
improve efficiencies, honor the historical significances of the site,
incorporate safety measures, and sustainable practices. Also through the
design, we may have room for other features, such as a south entrance into the park.

I want to assure you that a public and staff involvement plan is in place
as part of the update and you will be involved if you wish. Expect to
hear more about this plan soon.

Zari Santner
Portland Parks & Recreation

Comments (13)


That must really pump up Francesconi's valuable reputation. Former Parks Commissioner can't even swing a rotten deal to get Warmer Pacific a soccer field on the cheap, with help from Portland taxpayers.

Does this mean the Warmer Pacific will now be moving? They did say that unless they got the soccer field, they'd have to move out of the city....


With respect to Warner Pacific, I heard a rumor late last Spring that they may acquire the land under the now former Kellogg Middle School at 69th and Powell (I attended elementary and then middle school there in the 1970s). It would make sense because it is relatively close (~5 to 6 six block straight over to Division) to their current campus and there is plenty of empty land in the front and the back to build on.

I find it sad that a commenter would decide to wish an institution of higher learning would move out of Portland because, presumeably, he doesn't agree with the fact that it is a Christian college.

I personally think the city should have sold the land to Warner Pacific so that it could expand its campus and bring another higher education choice for young men and women in the city and state and region and nation. I'll concede defeat on that score.

I do hope hilsy is correct and that there is an alternative for Warner Pacific to expand near its current site in Portland.

Christian college...higher education?
Surely you jest, sir!

I want to assure you that a public and staff involvement plan is in place
as part of the update and you will be involved if you wish.

I want to assure you that that's bulls**t.

*I want to assure you that that's bulls**t.*

Is that just a passing comment or do you actually know something about the plan? If so then explainn to us please how the assertion is as you say "bulls**t".

Greg C

Is that just a passing comment or do you actually know something about the plan? If so then explainn to us please how the assertion is as you say "bulls**t".

In an effort to satisfy your, no doubt, innocent curiosity, I'll explainn to all of you (what's with the "us" - royal "we"; or do you speak for others unnamed?) thus:

It was a snide comment based on past, documented, "secret" negotiations involving Santner's office and the Mt. Tabor property. Once burned, twice shy and all that.

Whether or not her earnest assurance reflects what's actually in the "plan", it seems prudent, in light of recent history, to be skeptical.

Or don't you think so?

...and if not, why not?

Where to start. Well the "us" merely meant the rest of the people who visit here and was not an attempt to project myself as some kind of higher personage. (Although like Jack I am entitled to be addressed as both Doctor and Esquire.)

Next, it looked to me that once burned by the lack of process in her decision making, Zari went back and did it "right" (or at least how the neighborhoods wanted the planning to happen.). Thus I was wondering if I was mistaken. That is did you know that the plan was done without sufficient process or were you just being "skeptical" based on your past history with Zari and the Parks Bureau.

Greg C


You assume incorrectly.

First, I did not "wish WP out of Portland". I asked if WP was going to live up to the threat they made to the city and their neighbors.

But, I would not mind if they pulled up stakes and moved elsewhere after watching their very unchristian pronouncements and actions during this whole imbroglio. First, they spent good money to hire the former commissioner of Portland Parks Bureau, one James Francesconi, as their legal representative in attempting to purchase the land without any public input.

Then they pulled cheap tricks like the threat to pull up stakes if they didn't get their way and making half-baked promises about "joint-use" if it were their property.

If the actions of the Warner Pacific administration in this attempt to privatize public park property is any indication of the type of exemplars they intend to offer the students at Warner Pacific, then good riddance. We don't need another institution that is hypocritical about its mission and presents itself as something it is not. We don't need any more lying Christians; we've had all too many of those of late.

If it's "Christian", what ever happened to the admonition to "love thy neighbor as thyself"?

I guess Warner Pacific loved its neighbors so much, they did everything they could to hide it from them, grease the wheels with influence, attempt an end-run around public policy, and pull a fast one that they knew the neighbors wouldn't accept quietly. That's not Christian, that's just sleazy.

To Warner Pacific: If you're leaving, don't let the door hit you on the a** on the way out. If you're not, clean up your act and walk your talk. Your credibility as a "Christian institution" has been badly tarnished by your own actions in this affair.


Who do you think you are anyway? You have no business saying Warner Pacific won't share a soccer field when you don't know (and neither do I). I can only go on what they have said they intended to do. Get your comment in order before you open your preverbial keyboard hole.

You discredit a school like Warner Pacific because it was trying to get something to share with the community and used its knowhow to do it. I know of many people who use the schools parking lot for their park purposes and who have dogs who take dumps in the green areas in front of the school that Warner owns. Warner also invites the community in on many days during the year and really is a place for the community surrounding it. If you want to fault someone, fault the city who couldn't look past its own incompetence to realize the citizens wanted input.

What I find most ironic is you want a maintenance yard preserved. Keep your stupid maintenance yard. Maybe you can use it to house the community golf carts or the gardening tools for the entire county that we can check out on a library system. Notice that she never mentions getting rid of the yard, just improving efficiencies.

What you lose here is much more. You lose a school that has its students rent a lot of off campus housing and work to maintain the area. You lose a class of people who don't put graffiti and endanger your lives when they walk around the neighborhoods. You also gain an eyesore in the old campus sitting idle. All you have done is hastened your own demise as a neighborhood by killing one of its mainstays which I find idiotic and negligent as a community.

I know park space is at a premium, so you all should have talked to Warner as a community, gotten a written agreement with guaranteed shared use and allowed them to stay.

I'll tell you what, Stephen.

You get a commitment from Warner Pacific to put up the money to transform the maintenance yard into a soccer field (including covering the cost of building and maintaining alternate storage facilities for the park equipment) and gift it to the city. The property will then remain part of the city park assets and Warner Pacific can schedule use of the field from the CoP Parks Bureau.

How's that grab you?

No need for the city to give up any land, and everybody gets a soccer field that is part of the public domain, not part of some private institutional holding that can be denied public access and/or turned into high-priced condos at the whim of the board of directors at WP.

The point is, once that premium park space becomes private, the private owner can do whatever they please with it. Not so as dedicated park land....although former commissioner Francesconi seems to think he can get the city to sell it for a song....and Francesconi did that at the behest of WP, not the people of the city of Portland. WP made the approach to the misguided administrators of the Portland Parks Bureau through their former boss. It was very nearly a fiat exchange, with only a few well-connected folks in the loop. I can only extend what has been less than transparent dealings on the part of WP to what they would do in the future.

I'm not impressed.

I think Warner Pacific leadership would be happier with their institution in Newark, New Jersey.

Y'know, the land that Warner Pacific sits on should, by all rights, be part of Mt. Tabor Park.

I wonder if it's a sleazy story about how it came to a private owner, rather than being part and parcel of the regional park that it abuts.

If Warner Pacific does decide to move, they should gift the property to the City of Portland for park property. That would be the Christian thing to do.


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