This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 11, 2008 8:33 PM. The previous post in this blog was The good Montclair. The next post in this blog is Chun Jie Kuai Le!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Amanda's mad

And well she should be. Not content to quit his job on the Portland City Council for some mysterious reason and just leave quietly, Opie's throwing his weight around (such as it is) in Old Town. He's telling the neighbors down that way that they're going to get the new homeless magnet whether they like it or not -- but if they shut up and play nice, they'll get millions in "urban renewal" money for Starbucks and condos.

Council candidate Amanda Fritz finds the whole scene an outrage, and with good reason:

The Council is making the same process mistakes they showcased in the Chávez street renaming fiasco:

* Not following the process in the Code

* Making deals and promises to some stakeholders

* Not allowing adequate time for transparent, accountable public process in open meetings

Neighbors have been told that if they agree to the siting of the Access Center on Block 25, the neighborhood will receive $200 million in urban renewal money. But that money does not yet exist.

In order to generate the funds being promised, all three of the Portland Development Commission, the Planning Commission, and the City Council must vote to allow the River District Urban Renewal Area to borrow more money, AND change the boundaries of that URA to include parts of Old Town/Chinatown. EVERYONE IN PORTLAND HAS TO RECEIVE WRITTEN NOTICE BEFORE ANY OF THAT HAPPENS. Council members are promising neighbors that all these changes will surely happen, before public hearings and votes have been held.

Ah, the truth. Hurts, doesn't it? And where is Streetcar Smith? Those crickets you hear chirping in his camp are the developers' work being done.

Comments (14)

When isn't Amanda mad?

When you give her $5 and sign her petition?

I'd say she has very good reason.

Maybe Commissioner Sten should convert his mansion to the homeless center as a lasting tribute to his legacy. Surely he would be living among friends then.

The strategy for old town residents should be to stifle, delay and defer decisions until this guy is gone. Best of luck to old town neighbors. Maybe you could get the dollars, and on down the road after Sten is gone block the construction of the "magnet."

Maybe Sten could sell the West Hills crib to the PDC, and they could convert it to a homeless shelter.

It makes no sense for Old Town to get all the sex offenders and drug addicts, not when all those limousine liberals are so compassionate and all.

Amanda knocked on my door over the weekend, and was friendly as pie. Given her previous run, and her comfort with retail politics, I don't think anybody can beat her for an open seat.

Caveat: I thought John McCain would be done by Florida.

Most folks know that in order for something to work out it has to have buyin, the problem with Portland is as Amanda points out the group most excluded from discussions are the very people that this is supposed to serve in determining the good of the common instead of what's good for a few developers. The way tax dollars have been siphoned off the regular folks and funneled into developers pockets is obscene. What adds insult to injury is what is in your sidebar, Jack. Not only have the City fathers misdirected dollars that should have been spent fixing roads and other City assets like parks, but there has been a home equity loan to the tune of over $8000 for each man woman and child put on our homes by the City. If you look at a family of 4 like yours that is a second mortgage of $32000. If you look at the financial statements on the Bonds, many of them would also be considered sub-prime in that they are accumulating interest without any of the principal being paid back until several years out. So much of this development is already upside down in what we are going to have to pay back, not to mention the extra operating costs of some of these multi-million dollar condo landscape projects sold as so-called parks all with very expensive water features while the wading pools in neighborhood parks lay broken.

This city is wholy corrupted. The MO of paying off all the "stakeholders" is vehicle. And there is no one watching the check books of the accounting.
Anyone who thinks the ODE [FBI case]is the only Oregon agency with millions left unwatched hasn't been paying attention.
It is impossible that scandals involving many millions are not riffled throughout Portland management. The system has no genuine oversight and is the perfect environment for breeding theft and corruption. Without audit we'll never know what gest paid to who for what.

Well, if they don't build the shelter in Old Town, then they'll likely build it in St. Johns. So, I'm okay with this.

"This city is wholy corrupted. The MO of paying off all the "stakeholders" is vehicle. And there is no one watching the check books of the accounting.
Anyone who thinks the ODE [FBI case]is the only Oregon agency with millions left unwatched hasn't been paying attention."

Got any facts to back up this allegation? Or are you just projecting your own anger at government by ranting.

Greg C

Greg C,

Do you really want facts? I'd like facts on how Sten got a $1 million dollar mortgage (per Mult. county records) on his house. The press around here just took his line that he sold some other property. That doesn't explain the mortgage amount or how he qualified. I'm not saying that I KNOW he did anything wrong, just that it is odd enough to warrant some investigation. It is not like the whole operation down there is on the up and up in every other way. I agree with Howard, we are unlikely to ever know.

Yeah, there's your smoking gun ... Because we all know it's impossible to get a loan for more than you can afford. No mortgage broker would possibly be that careless.

Greg C and Roger,

The sad part is that it is probably all perfectly legal, and the decisions that favorably direct funding are "policy" decisions. Unethical maybe, but that is a whole other unenforced mandate at the City. The City has a number of policy and ethical guidelines but they are just that guidelines. Until there is good accounting that people can understand how their money is being spent(see Jack's entry this morning) and the people actually hold the system accountable,for delivering services, like maintaining the roads and parks in their neighborhood, then nothing will change.


Many of those loans "for more than you can afford" are of the so-called "lier-loan" variety--they call them "stated income" loans. If Sten misrepresented his income on his loan application he could face a long jail sentence and a hefty fine. If he truly does have the $400,000 per year coming in it would be nice to know who, beside the city, is giving him a paycheck.

Of course there's plenty of "facts to back up the allegation.
But what good is it when there's no one to take it to?
That's the nature of the local corruption.

Are you just projecting your own approval of corrupted government by helping them cover it up?
Maybe you are one of the paid off stakeholders?

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