This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 25, 2008 5:13 PM. The previous post in this blog was How City Hall sees Peterson's. The next post in this blog is Hookups in the lockdown. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

See you in court

No Erik Sten Big Dopey Idea® would be complete unless it cost at least a half-million dollars before being pronounced a failure. Here's the latest -- let's hope it's the last.

And for those keeping score at home, it took Nick Fish exactly 15 days in office to prove that he's going to be just like the rest of them. The making a face and pointing out problems with a proposal, and then voting for it, is truly Francesconian. Go by streetcar, Nick!

Comments (23)

Why are these guys going thru these gymnastics and not just ending the URA? Any any other URAs? It's almost like they are trying to justify these things by the most complicated means necessary.

I know they love the way they can pcik and choose what to do with the property taxes. Oh well, I guess this is what you get when Randy starts reading books and wants to show off.

No, Nick Fish, there is not a precedence for satellite URAs. If you don't know it, you should. I'm sorry I voted for you-I was hoping for better research and thinking. But I didn't see other candidates that suggested they would not follow the norm of the present council.

Who would have ever thought the League of Women Voters was anti-children--go figure?

Why would anyone expect otherwise?

I expected as much; Fish's public housing experience didn't impress me; there has always been plenty of money in pretending to care about housing the poor. I observe that when I have cases against the Housing Authority here on the east side of Oregon, it is generally quite conciliatory; I don't think it wants us digging around in its business.

What is equally disappointing is how many people on this blog actually thought Nick (or any local politician seeking to join the ranks of Sam Adams, Randy Leonard, and that other idiot) would be the voice of reason instead of one of the sheep pandering to the same private interests that have always influenced the City Council.

Randy's involvement with the new Animal Services task force is producing meetings that make planning charettes look like genuine citizen involvement. The recommendations of the first weren't enforced, according to meeting leader Sue Disciple, because of lack of "Political will". So we just keep paying for task force after task force until we get one to say that Lisa Naito's compromised friend, Mike Oswald is doing a good job. What is needed is an in depth investigation, not more task forces that presume a staff long embroiled with an animal use group is going to act in the best interests of people and pets. Randy is said to be concerned that barking dog complaints are not being investigated. I get the impression the county is afraid to do a good job with enforcment because it is rightly the subject of much criticism. A respected agency,rather than a corrupt one, can do all things, including enforcment well.

Once again, Portland has voted in the most astute, deep thinking, forward thinking politicians, developers could hope for.

If you need any other information, just check the Bojack Long-Term debt for the city of Portland. I've watch my portion of the debit rise from around $8100 to now over $8,800 dollars.

I hope that they are sued over and in the settlement agreement are required to verbally apologize to the citizens of Portland.

As recently as last October 8, it stood at $7842. We did add in retiree health care, which added about $160 onto the number, since then. But even with that new accounting left out, the debt burden per capita is up 10% in the last nine months.

Well, I guess we get to see if LUBA is worthwhile. I imagine that is where this is all heading. It is pathetic that Portland's City Council is so self interested that they can't see that they are jeopardizing the entire structure they are placing all their hopes on. No other city in Portland is going to support this satellite notion to pay for public schools, and what will likely happen is urban renewal will be repealed all together. Way to go Tom, Randy, Sam and Nick. I blame Erik for giving this crazy idea legs, but those are the four that sought to ignore reason and vote for it anyway.


I just got home from a long day and read your post.

I respect your right to disagree with any vote I cast. But you are flat wrong in your characterization.

Today, I opposed a proposed 21 year tax abatement to a developer, and the Council agreed to scale it back to one year.

I opposed the renewal of right of way contracts with cell phone providers until we get an agreement that cell phone towers will not be placed in front of homes in North Portland.

On the issue of satelite districts,
I explained my reservations with the proposal and my rationale for supporting the ordinance.

There is in fact a precedent for the action taken by the Council: an earlier satelite industrial district which jumped the Willamette river.

I pledged to be an independent voice on the Council. On three issues today, I acted after much thought and deliberation.

The "truly Francisconian" reference is truly unfair.


You said... "On three isues today, I acted after much thought and deliberation." So what? I had to act on 19 decisions today at my job, and many of those decisions impact family, people in Portland, and people on three other continents. Give me a break, you're paid to think and deliberate, just as I am. I don't wear a button on my blouse telling everyone "I'm Thinking - I'm Deliberating."

Thanks for the verbal gymnastics you used to support (or did you not support it, before you decide to vote to support it?) your decision to take funds which are actually long-term debt (not an existing asset or cash) to use for payoffs to David Douglas.

You admit that there needs to be a Plan B, but then you vote for Plan A. And then you stand behind a ill-founded precedent to justify your reasoning.

Get your head out of the sand. You are now involved in a process that will be fought in courts, taken to LUBA, and will expose our city to large litigation costs. And, plain and simple, it's wrong.

I look forward to an apology from you to the citizens of Portland for your "Francisconian" error.

(I wrote this blog after much thought and deliberation)

Nick: Aside from the bad fiscal policy involved here, there's a more fundamental problem. If you have reservations about the legality of what you're doing, you as the only lawyer on the council should not be voting yes. Didn't you swear to uphold the Oregon Constitution? What about the Measure 5/50 problems with this? Don't point up the fatal legal flaws in an ordinance and then vote yes. That is exactly what the Scone, another lawyer, used to do up there. It's not right.

I appreciate your response here, though. The next step in your evolution into just another commissioner will be when you stop commenting here and tell the media you never read this blog because it's just a "bitchfest."


Like Jack said, I too appreciate your posting here and hope you continue to do so. There are a lot of people counting on you and either Amanda or Charles to try to right this sinking ship we call Portland.

The satellite issue is secondary in this bad vote.

The greater failure was the vote for a $325 Million expansion to the district's UR debt.

Urban Renewal has long ago become an mismanaged, heavily abused diverting of basic services general fund money.

Despite the perpetual propaganda casting it as the rose colored investment tool it isn't.

What's lacking in the city council is any sign of genuine understanding or fiscal responsibility as the abuse worsens.

The knee jerk incompetence exhibited by the commissioners will serve to expand and extend the debt spending that will far and away do more damage than any benefits from the satelite gift to David Douglas.

I can only specualte that the commissioners are simply too lazy and politicly crippled to know what they are doing.

Anybody who thinks Saint Amanda will do anything other than pump more water into the hold of the already sinking SS City of Portland is out of touch with Amand's record of boondoggle support.

I agree with Ben. The real shame here is the endless renewing of UR districts so that the city as a whole can't enjoy the results of any redevelopment that has happened.

More typical examples of UR are the struggling Lents or MLK areas. Despite what Portlanders think of the neighborhood (I don't like it much), the Pearl has been an unbelievable smashing success from the city's fiscal standpoint.

As the area is no longer "blighted" and doesn't have the real problems of Lents, MLK or other UR areas, the River UR district needs to expire, to let the money flow back out to the city. If you're really concerned about the Eastside, then don't build them one school - let them partake in all the property tax revenues of the Pearl as soon as possible.

The way things are now, the rest of the city has to wait for all the current debt to be paid off, and now $325 more. A real shame for the whole city.

And Nick,
This was/is a bad idea. You know it. So don't vote for it. It's too early for you to be failing the gut check test.

If you want to help the rest of the city, start letting UR districts expire. Over the last 50 years or so, we've only expired 3 out of 14, I believe. It makes one wonder if they're designed to be permanent.

Fransconian error. Phrases like that are why I love this blog.

Nick, I wish your "deliberations" had an element of research to it. The Willamette Industrial URA was not sold by Council, PDC as a "satellite" URA in council. Read the transcripts of deliberations. Note that the word "Willamette" is in the title and a river has two sides. A navigatible river by law is considered like a street-a public right-of-way. This was in the city's deliberations.

And how many times has the city employed the use of a street to extend an urban renewal area a considerable distance from a main body of a URA? The latest example is SoWhat that decided to use SW Lincoln St to amend the existing boundaries of the District to PSU's recently acquired Double Tree Hotel site of seven acres-over ten blocks from the district. There has been a lot of stretching of logic, but David Douglas is the ultimate, and rightly challenged. A 125 block street r.o.w. extension of the URA to David Douglas isn't going to fly, if that is your solution. It will be Randy's, though.

Legal logic is going to get pretty messy as attorneys start examining Portland's logic to the state statutes. You added to it.

Urban Renewal has become a municipal mental disease. Nick, you caught it.

This satelite stunt is like Washington County thinking about declaring prime farmland out in North Bethany as blight in order to use UR to fund 100s of millions needed to make one of Metro's stupid plans sort of get started. Another Villebois, Orenco Cascade Station scheme.

No one is more infected than Randy Leonard. Well maybe Adams. Randy's strain has him pushing the gas peddle and brake at the PDC at the same time. He's so friggin incompetent he thnks he's funny.

I'm an idiot for voting for Nick Fish.

Rather than trying to restrain urban renewal spending and borrowing, he makes this Bushesque cynical vote to try to kill the urban renewal beast.

Thank you Jerry for pointing out how the David Douglas Satellite is completely different than the Willamette Industrial URA. There isn't precedent for this level of blatant disregard for the premise and rules of UR.

Unfortunately, the City will likely spend lots of money fighting for their crazy idea. There is no nexus between the Pearl District and the woes in East Portland.

My biggest concern is also that this will UR across the State and those jurisdictions won't have the big budgets to deal with legal challenges. A real possibility is that the State will kill urban renewal completely. That means the City Council will actually have to learn to live within its means.

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