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Friday, July 11, 2008

Urban renewal money for "freeway lands"?

Interesting exit interview with departing Portland Development Commission chair Mark Rosenbaum in the Daily Journal of Commerce yesterday. He takes some interesting shots at the City Council's misguided "satellite" urban renewal district move, and he indicates that the other outgoing Potter appointee to the board, Sal Kadri, feels the same way about it.

I will miss both of them on the PDC board. They were rare voices of reason within the Portland "urban renewal" "system." Mayor Sam the Tram is virtually sure to appoint less levelheaded board members to replace them.

One comment Rosenbaum made to the reporter really intrigues me:

Instead of spending $20 million on the elementary school in David Douglas, which is so badly needed, let’s take that $20 million and invest it in something like freeway lands, which could presumably be able to leverage about $100 million in private investment, and let us create an industrial tax base in outer southeast that would forever support the school system.
Huh? Is that a transcription error, or did he say "freeway lands"? PDC money to build freeways? Now, that would be an interesting prospect indeed.

Comments (5)

For your info, Freeway Lands is a big tract of land in Lents that could accommodate huge commercial development, not a freeway...it just happens to be along the freeway, thus the moniker.

Big deal,,,, a bunch of rhetoric and chaos as the PDC runs it's schemes.

The voters in David Douglas school district voted AGAINST building a new school. Does it strike anyone else as slightly absurd that the city of portland would go ahead and build one for them anyway?? If there's $20 million in unclaimed money laying around a PDC, perhaps you should just give it back to the taxpayers, rather than dreaming up unwanted and illegal schemes for spending it.

Indeed it does seem strange that the city could build a school in a district where the voters refused to fund it themselves. What happens when the school district does not have the money to maintain and run it?
Will it sit empty like the Wapato Jail?

If PPS voters refused to fund a school program would the city pay for one?

Schools are not the city's responsiblity even though they affect the "livability".

"If there's $20 million in unclaimed money laying around a PDC, perhaps you should just give it back to the taxpayers"

There's no actual money at the PDC, just borrowing capacity. But the PDC never saw a credit line they didn't like.

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