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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Recipe for corruption

One of Nick Budnick's last pieces in the Trib is a lighthearted blurb about the fact that the Portland Development Commission recently "found" $17 million in "unallocated" funds that were floating around in its coffers under now-departed financial managers. Those of us who pay urban renewal taxes -- and about a quarter of what every Portland property owner pays in property taxes goes to the PDC -- may fail to see the humor.

How can a public agency's accounting be so slipshod as to leave $17 million stashed away in a slush fund?

Comments (9)

I guess this news is not a surprise to anyone who reads this blog...

Good thing City Council unanimously voted yesterday to pass a resolution that set a special election for the new Auditor four months from now.


If there happens to be a CPA that is not busy during this tax season to run for the office... they only have 54 days to get 1000 five dollar donations and signatures to be be publicly financed. Which, next week council will vote to give 1/3 of what public financed commissioner candidates got ( 50K instead of 150K ).

If ever there was a ripe time for the PDC to elect a new Auditor... this is it.

How can PDC accounting be so slipshod? Well, add to the $17 Million in cyberspace an additional $3 Million Portland taxpayers paid to OHSU for 100 parking spaces in a SoWhat parking garage that may never get built. PDC can't seem to account for this either. Or add in the $3.5 Million for air rights above the phantom garage that taxpayers paid to OHSU. No accounting again.

If OHSU doesn't perform why doesn't PDC (US) ask for the $6.5 Million back? That would fix a few pot holes or cover the cost of more than three snow storms.

Lee, you are Ben, right? And Jerry? And Harry? Who else? I agree with a lot of your comments, Jerry, but posting multiple comments to the same post using different pseudonyms disturbs the blogforce, because it creates the appearance that more people have the same opinion, when really it's one guy pretending to be lots of people. Poof.

"Lee, you are Ben, right? And Jerry? And Harry? Who else?"

Maybe there is more than one person in town who thinks we are getting a pretty raw deal from our great city councilors?

Forgot to mention - $17M at PDC is just the coins between the couch cushions.

Sam just did tell us they have $900M in reserves, less than a year after he said he needed to raise taxes to fix streets.

No I am not Ben, Harry, Jim, Steve....thanks.

I am Ben and no one else here.
But I know who everyone else is so behave.

This $17 million is BS. There's no "extra" money.
It's property taxes being diverted from going to basic services, (schools, libraries, parks police and fire)
that is supposed to be used to retire the Urban Renewal debt for the that UR district.
So use the $17 tohelp pay down the debt so that the property taxes being diverted to UR can return to basic services.

That way when Sam the big shot Mayor soon says there's not enough money for basic needs there will be $17 million more.

A better question is, why did 10 year City Auditor, Gary Blackmer, never find it? He either missed it or he never bothered looking or he looked the other way.

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