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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 7, 2008 1:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Attention Portland journalists. The next post in this blog is Minority group speaks out. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

As if

All of a sudden, the Portland city commissioners are acting like they're worried about the city's finances.

As well they should be.

But of course, they're pulling your leg. Go by streetcar!

Comments (9)

Okay, I realize that I've been gone from Portland for a while, but have you guys checked the water supply for hallucinogens? Saving a whole $5 million, considering the insane debt the city has been collecting, and a "rainy day fund" that's going to be stripped the moment the new mayor sees a bright shiny object that has to go in City Hall? And where's this money going to come from: sales of pegasus feathers and dragon eggs at the zoo?

I used to just hate Portland, but now I'm legitimately and honestly scared for you lot. I have to agree with several previous posters in that Portland's heading the way of New York in the Seventies: massive default, threatened bankruptcy, and a longterm debt that's probably never going to go away. The difference here is that Portland is tiny compared to New York, both in population and in trade, and I very seriously doubt that anyone in Salem is willing to raise taxes on the rest of the state, the way Albany did for NYC, to pay to reward this sort of incompetence. In the meantime, a lot of innocent people are going to be the ones punished while the perps get to move on.

I concur and find it completely Portland 2008 that the City of Portland (COP) is talking about into a "rainy day" fund when the auto-refreshing bojack COP debt counter just spat another nickle onto my book.

The present COP leadership is just another simple redux of the Vera and Homer fiscal paradigm-but now there are wars being faught, revenue streams drying up, and growing debt.

The COP still spends with this ribbons-and-ponies-rainbows-and-kittens mindset. They should have thought about this when we had the revenue and growth in a true and actualized sense; we could have paid for the tram overage and saved some extra loot as well. Oh well, Sam was Vera's lap dog then and....

This is from the same group of clowns who were tripping over each other several months ago with new ways to spend the "surplus". Too little - too late.

OK, so we had $30M+ revenue upside for two years running and we can only put away $5M. Sounds like Portland to me.

Some pollster has told Adams and Leonard that golly, there are some voters out there worried about the money. And so they throw this gesture out there -- meaningless.

None of the commissioners knows what the heck is going with the dough. They meet once a year for budget meetings. Nobody has a long-term financial plan for the city. If the ship doesn't get righted soon, there will be nasty consequences down the road.

After reviewing the list above under "should be", there are several other projects throughout the city not listed adding to Portland eminent bankruptcy.

In reviewing just one, it is not looking good for Portland: SoWhat.

As posted before, the project list to be completed in SoWhat creates a deficit of $395 MILLION. There are not enough TIF dollars to even think of covering a small portion of that debt.

But just added to list are 13 additional projects as identified by PDC, PDOT and other bureaus:

Future Development Opportunities
OHSU Federal Funding Credits
Traffic Signal Installations in SoWhat
Hamilton Street Pedestrian Bridge
South Corridor Light Rail
Trolley in North District of SoWhat
South Waterfront Transit Hub
Lake Oswego Trolley
S. Portland Circulation Study Assessment
S. Portland Circ. Study Improv. Phase 1
S. Portland " " " Phase 2
S. Portland " " : Phase 3
I-405 Freeway Loop Improvements

No one knows the costs, but you can imagine it is over $500 Million.
Add that to the $395M in previous listed projects, and SoWhat, the City, us taxpayers are in the hole for $895 MILLION
That doesn't include the debt service costs.

Are there any commissioners really worried? Sam doesn't seem to be. The $5M rainy day fund won't even pay for all the meetings needed to wade through this stuff.


What is the difference between the reserve fund and a newly created rainy day fund? I remember the council dipping into the reserve fund earlier this decade when the economy sucked after 9/11. Do they work the same way? Does this just give the council cover to take a little from here, and a little from there, without it looking like they are robbing our savings?

Also, where might one find out how much is in this 'reserve' fund?

Whatever this is, it exists only in the minds (if any) of Sam the Tram, Fireman Randy, or Big Pipe. It has no actual significance in the real world. At all.

There's a lot of things that exist only in the minds of these clowns.

In some instances it's deliberate.

Like the Sauvie Island Bridge estimate of $5.5 million.

It is implausible that Sam Adams is not lying as he pulls back from that boondoggle.

The truth be told that reckless stunt was going to cost in excess of $10 million.
And that PDOT had informed Adams some time ago.
The only reason Adams cared enough to pull the plug is all the fiscal messes aligning with his mayoral pursuit. And they are all mushrooming at the same time.

This naysayer predicts that by midsummer the city will be awash in huge reveneue shortages on every major project as well as city services. Add the mounting pressure to further expand the mess with local funding for Milawaukie light rail and the mammouth maintenance backlog and city leadership will be in a fetal position playing victim and crying for a bailout.

Of course the mess creators will be presenting themselves as the mess fixers.

Will the voters be duped yet again?


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