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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Council newbies on the stadiums deal: Maybe

Jim Redden has this in today's Trib:

Amanda Fritz and Charles Lewis both told the Portland Tribune they are willing to consider the plan, provided that certain conditions are met.

“We must evaluate how many family-wage jobs will be created, compared with spending the money on other priorities such as basic infrastructure and economic development,” said Fritz, a registered nurse and longtime neighborhood activist.

“I’m willing to look at it, provided the existing debt at PGE Park is taken care of,” said Lewis, a nonprofit director. He was referring to the approximately $28.5 million in bond payments still owed from the last renovation of PGE Park.

Could you possibly get more noncommittal answers than that?

Comments (15)

"how many family-wage jobs will be created"

OK, none - Unless you count ticket-taking and refreshment jobs as family-wage. Or better yet, how many of these jobs does PGE Park create for the $40M investment?

You'd think after they seen the job Paulson's father is doing to the taxpayer, they'd take the "like father like son" maxim more serious.

Of course, I am sure city council thinks they are far smarter than any other person who has been doing finance for 20+ years.

None-of-the-above I'm telling you. Voters need this option because in places like PDX the only menu of choices presented is borrow-tax-and-spend-big. This project of re-renovating PGE park and building a small scale professional ballpark has a starting figure of $110 million based on Tribune figures. That's almost $200 per resident. How about lowering our property taxes by $200 or more for each homeowner/renter so we can more easily afford to live in Portland? A place where property taxes rose more than 10 percent last year, water and sewer rates escalate at twice the rate of inflation, and you're forbidden from shopping at places like Walmart because its too cheap.

Surprised? Not me. Amanda make make hoopla on the cable network and throw tantrums but she kisses a** just like the rest of the crowd if it pleases her masters.. As for Fish, he flip-flopped during the campaign. How many times did he boot lick to finally be a councilman?
All servants of the Arlington Club..nothing ever changes.

He was referring to the approximately $28.5 million in bond payments still owed from the last renovation of PGE Park.

At least the Trib now seems to be reporting factually on the remaining debt from the last renovation.

The concern for family wage jobs has a perfect parallel to the folks that would have to pay property taxes to cover the cost of those jobs for someone else, in a zero sum or less than zero sum game of take and give.

If the taxing power of the city is not used then one could argue that the jobs question can be confined to considering how many jobs would be lost against the new jobs introduced. From a normative economist's view, this is a simple create destruction (see Joseph Schumpeter) type of observation.

If Mr. Paulson wants to create jobs, net jobs, with his own money then the city would perhaps be foolish to stand in his way.

If Mr. Paulson wants to taint his plan with "public interest," via a tap into the taxing power of the government, then he should not object to a wholly publicly owned operation that is devoid of any private component, except like the opportunity to sell snacks. Mr Paulson should not be automatically excluded from the list of candidates to reply to a RFP related to snack bar operations. Such exclusion would be unfair.

Does Mr Paulson support a wholly publicly owned stadium so that he can run his little snack bar? It hardly seems worth the effort.

At least the Charles point does not involve sticking one's foot in their mouth. Amanda just babbled bumbling code words that have a nice ring to them, in a pie in the sky world.

The most family wage jobs for the buck will come from returning or lowering the business income tax across the board.

FieldofSchemes.com has nice links to a whole host of studies that show, in detail, that stadium subsidies COST family wage jobs, not create them.

There are those who think of every tax dollar spent, as a dollar "wasted." That fails to recognize the effect spending has as dollars circulate and recirculate through the economy.

A dollar spent on a bomb...it blows up, maybe accomplishes some laudable goal, but the circulation of that money ends right there. It's a dead end.

You pay a construction worker to help build a building...that money keeps working its way through the economy as the asset built creates further value and growth, as does the money from that worker's wages.

When someone wants to put a $40 million investment into our economy, you don't just throw that away. I think both Amanda and Charles Lewis are saying "let's see." That's not a knee-jerk reaction, that's trying to figure out what's the responsible thing to do. That's a lot of investment, as is the public subsidy that no doubt will be demanded. When neighbors seem split on what this will mean for their neighborhood, I don't think this should be a rush to judgment.

Look folks,

Give the lengthy track record of the CoP/PDC schemes, scandals and reptilian conniving agency hierarchy there is no reason anyone should believe ANY number or pitch from the city on any major plan or project.
Their credibility is nonexistent.

ESPECIALLY since major revisions are being adopted in SoWa wihcioh is further blowing up the planned urban renewal/biotech cluster scam.

You can't buy their BS on any stadium deal while they are continuing to scam you on the last ones.

Whatever happened to the "VOE candidates won't be beholden to special interests" meme? Here we've got two VOE candidates and they're BOTH afraid to say NO, we won't use your tax dollars to pay for sports arenas while basic infrastructure is being neglected.

Remember when Tram Boy told us that people are dying due to inadequate road taxes?

Kids going to school in unsafe facilities that haven't been upgraded to seismic standards. Music and arts programs have been slashed.

Cops need a new training facility and upgraded computers and radios.

We can't keep up with road maintenance, or fix bridges, or maintain the buildings where most of the Parks and Recreation plebes spend their days.

The Portland Building still needs to be reskinned, our water has to be filtered or UV'd for cryptosporidium, and hundreds of miles of neighborhood sewer pipes replaced.

But we're building sports arenas?


Anyone who spends money on a Blazer's ticket when their roof needs mending, or they're carrying credit card debt, we call...what??

Sports play an irrational force in our lives. Our hearts beat faster, we yell, we get angry, we beam with joy, sweat in excitement. All for a fleeting moment, and a thrillng victory or a crushing defeat that doesn't mean squat in the long run.

Gotta wonder if this wasn't about bringing in Major League BASEBALL instead of soccer the tone would be different. Or maybe government just never gets anything right as there's always potholes and the poor.

I grew up going to Yankee Stadium when Mantle and Maris ruled the roost. As a newspaper delivery boy if I could hustle up three new subscriptions to our daily "Newsday" I won a free trip to see the Yankees, and they always threw in free food, and a hat or sunglasses or some other cool swag. I didn't know then --nor do I remember now-- what subsidies went in to gave me my favorite, bestest, place in the world to go to.

Should government use tax dollars to subsidize the fields of dreams? It's not a yes or no answer.


Not when bridges, roads, schools, and city owned roofs are failing. If they can afford $75 million for a sport arena, I'm sure the Gates Foundation would provide a $75 matching grant to bring arts back to the classroom: I'd rather spend it on kids than on scions of industry.

The insidious nature of Portland governance reached a crescendo when they had the audacity to claim they were experiencing a budget surplus.
With soaring debt and deferred maintenance piling up, that surplus claim was equivalent to a homeowner
celebrating over extra spendable income because they took out an equity loan to pay down credit cards and go on vacation. Surplus indeed. And with a straight face.

I'm disappointed that Amanda and Charles can't step up to the plate and give a forthright answer-now. I disagree with Frank. Enough information is present to give a more precise answer. And if the background information changes in the future then I would accept their modified answers.

What I detest is that these two are compounding Portland's bad habit of leading everyone (including the developers) down a path with these kinds of comments that makes it hard for public officials to change their mind-"Its too late or.....". The tram is one of the best examples. And Sam will probably continue this bad habit, but I thought these two candidates have promised a Change in how city government operates.

Now watch the screaming and yelling from both sides of the aisle about what consititutes a "family wage". I'd put down $10 that the whole deal goes through, just the way Paulson wants it, the moment some noncommital vague excuse for a promise of offering a decent wage, so long as Paulson gets to choose the definition.

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