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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do we hear a second?

We're heartened to see that Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler -- one of the few smart and decent local politicians left in these parts -- plans to head down to Portland City Hall today to protest the shameful grab of 20 years of property tax increases from most of northwest Portland for the proposed Henry Paulson pro soccer stadium. To say that the area around the current ballpark, PGE, is "blighted," and that whacking the stadium up yet again (we just did it six years ago) for a "soccer only" facility is somehow going to cause property values in the neighborhood to rise, is just piling one lie on top of another. Bully for Wheeler for calling the Paulson robber barons out on it -- although assuredly he'll be more diplomatic than we could ever be.

Where's his fellow county commissioner, Jeff Cogen (above left)? Wouldn't it be sweet if he chimed in? We doubt that he will, though. Cogen's political big brother, City Commish Dan Saltzman, is probably going to cast the key vote in favor of the ill-advised stadium deal. For Cogen to tell Dan to his face, with cameras rolling, that he's stealing money from the needy residents of the county -- which he most definitely is if he votes for this scheme -- might be just a wee bit too uncomfortable for them both.

Comments (75)

I don't know why more people aren't up in arms about the prospect of tearing down the Memorial Coliseum for a Beavers stadium. It's an atom-age jewel, and in fact the only element of the Rose Quarter that isn't hideous and embarrassing.

Saltzman is a guaranteed yes vote. he votes with popular sentiment and money, almost always.

what'll be more interesting is to see Fish and Fritz's votes. let's see how fiscally responsible and true to their campaign promises they actually are.

while watching teachers being asked to work for free, how can a public servant ask us to send money for a pro sports team? doesn't an ego that size make them gag a little when they speak?

Unfortunately, Eco, I don't think Fish and Fritz's votes will tell us anything. Since they know that Saltzman is voting "yes", my guess is they both vote "no". Since their votes won't matter, they be able to bolster their "looking-out-for-the-little-guy cred" without ruffling any feathers...

Just my guess.

Furlough the teachers, whack days off the school year.

Close up police precincts, lay off detectives.

Delay infrastructure repairs, add more weight restrictions to area bridges.

Remodel one stadium to be less useful than it currently is, build another which is also less useful than the currently used one for that purpose; and then build a streetcar to go past it that very few people will use.

It's the Portland way!

By the way, the FutureScam Detector-o-Matic™ shows that they will declare Kings Hill to be "blighted" for the purpose of some tax increment financing shenanigans, and then start crying about not having enough money to pay for stuff; thus levering into place another siphoning of the citizens' wallets.

Just wait for it.

Actually Cogen was quoted last week in an article by Nigel Jaquiss. He acknowledges that money will be taken from schools and the poor to pay for the soccer stadium. You might have missed it because it's under a picture of Merritt Paulson with his foot on a soccer ball.

Maybe the reverse will happen: Saltzman will vote "no" because Cogen persuaded him that this is just not right.

Since they know that Saltzman is voting "yes", my guess is they both vote "no".

good point.

I still see Saltzman a guaranteed yes vote-perhaps for the same convoluted reason. surely these votes are discussed in advance.

They're on a roll now: (from today's Oregonian business section)

"A private task force appointed by Mayor Sam Adams has made a preliminary recommendation that Portland should move ahead with plans for a $227 million publicly financed hotel next to the Oregon Convention Center, Adams said late Tuesday.

The nine-member group of bankers, developers, union leaders and others suggested to Adams that the city and Metro, the regional government that owns the convention center, should pay for more detailed engineering work, the mayor said. That would cost another $5 million, according to city estimates."

Cogen's posts on his blog recently have been quite slanted against the deal. But will he step up today? If so, maybe "A Hopeful" will be right.

"A private task force appointed by Mayor Sam Adams has made a preliminary recommendation that Portland should move ahead with plans for a $227 million publicly financed hotel next to the Oregon Convention Center, Adams said late Tuesday.

"these people I appointed, who already agree with me about building more crap, agree that the crap will already cost more than estimated. however, please don't look at this when examining the Paulson deal."
--Sam Adams

man, public service in Portland is great work, if you can get it.

Son of a _____!!!! Those thieving bastards.

A convention center hotel . . . MLS to "promote our international image" . . . one has to ask what is in it for the average taxpayer of Portland.

We actually live here in houses and rentals we can no longer afford and on streets full of potholes, trying to cross bridges that either are in dire need of repair or will soon be toll bridges. REAL urban renewal-worthy areas are ignored in favor of designated "blighted" areas thick with expensive condos.

What does improving our international image by adding soccer do for our economy? Will people overseas say, "Wow, Portland has 'major league' soccer. Now that they get it, I guess I will buy Oregon products and locate a new plant in Portland!"

Is someone at the meeting going to text message or twitter updates?

from yesterday's oregonlive.com:

Portland Mayor Sam Adams said this morning that his goal to make the city's economy the most sustainable in the world requires that it build its international profile, "and the language the world speaks most is Futbol."

"Somehow, I've got to connect a sustainable economy with professional sports--even though we have a mainstream pro sports team and the promised economic benefit and Rose Quarter flowering have proven untrue."

Leonard said the two projects will create a synergy near PGE Park and the Rose Quarter that will attract new businesses, create jobs and increase the city's tax base. That would be especially welcome in the Rose Quarter, home of the Portland Trail Blazers, which has been a huge disappointment in terms of drawing businesses and customers.

"Somehow, if we just have TWO pro sports teams, THEN we'll realize all that economic benefit we hoped for from the Rose Quarter. and the Beavers. and the remodeling of Civic Stadium. and that other stuff."

I am lost on two counts.
One, how does Sam Adams have any credibility?

The other, WHAT is the Urban Renewal for?

I can't believe I have missed it.
I haven't seen it here, haven't heard Adams mention it and today's O story talks about how "the deal hangs on the use of $33.5 million in urban renewal money but doesn't say what it's for.

Adams and Paulson say the two projects need $88.8 million.
"more than $60 million in city backed loans"
"$12.5 million Paulson money'
"$11.8 million rasied-other sources."

And Paulson-Adams say the loans will be paid with rent and ticket taxes.

I can't believe the O writes a story, with UR as the emphasis and leaves out what it's for.

So can someone help me out?
I confess to being slow on this one.

Cogen (with Kafoury) is in Washington DC attempting to get the Feds to help out with the Sellwood Bridge or he'd be there.

Get a load of this:

Maybe we could use the money to repair the Sellwood bridge and rename it the Paulson bridge???

and in fact the only element of the Rose Quarter that isn't hideous and embarrassing

You haven't been in it in the last five years, have you? The place is a dump and should be torn down at the first opportunity.

"promote our international image"

Hasn't Sam Adams done enough to promote our international image?...

The Council meeting is on TV now on channel 30 (I was surfing for NCAA coverage).
Some bald dude with glasses is blathering about the process of asking the citizens: Do you support soccer?

I wonder what a pairwise comparison survey would have revealed...
Do yo support soccer or
a. funding to repair roads?
b. funding for schools?
c. services for families below the poverty line?
d. services for the mentally ill

Hmmm...I'm guessing that would be too sophisticated or honest.

Yep, and I support the big rock candy mountain in the middle of town, too. Let's build it! Think of the tourism dollars and international attention it would draw.

And the jobs! All those candy-sellers in little booths! Lock tenders for the lemonade springs! Extra revenue for dentists!

Commissioner Cogen does not support the funding structure for this soccer stadium. The creation of a urban renewal district to fund MLS takes money from social services. If you check out www.commissionercogen.com, you can read his opinions on this subject.

Chair Wheeler is representing the entire board in front of the City today. Jeff is returning from Washington DC today or would have also been in attendance.

Question #1: In Adam's comments today, he said something to the effect that in order to be the most sustainable city in the world, we need to cultivate our international standing via soccer. How does the idea of jetting soccer players in and out of town, along with the thousands of new fans (so they say) jive with ANY definition of sustainability?

Question #2: Exactly how does a NATIONAL soccer team bolster our INTERNATIONAL image anyway?

Question #3: Fish stated that the UR money is going to come from 2 districts - the Central Eastside (apologies if that's not the correct name) and the new one to be formed around PGE. How can they take money from the Eastside district to use in another district's area? Isn't that the same as the Pearl money being allocated for a new David Douglas school?

The Central East Side URA and TIF $$$ are probably for the coliseum demo and rebuild. That URA was extended some time ago (over objections from many including the League of Women Voters), no doubt with this or some other future scam in mind.
These things are usually in the works for years before hand. The east side trolley deal was an in place LID in 2000.

I'm watching it on channel 30. Janik sure has his ponderous patrician white bull male drone refined to a high art. If you were susceptible and didn't know the truth, you could easily be droned into buying the Brooklyn Bridge: "A guarantee means what it says."

We need to start an archive of these lies so we can check them off as they come due.

Have your cigarettes handy: Janik, "This is just the beginning."

A city that can't pave its streets, can't educate its children, remains short of neighborhood parks for 50 years, can't keep its neighborhoods safe, etc. needs....needs more sports facilities for rich people!!!

The other thing I notice here is that the parade of lying bull males is always dressed in their most expensive suits when they come in for the kill.

Chris Snethen,
The Memorial Coliseum was left out of this discussion until the last minute so we could get in some Happy Talk about helping the people of the Lents neighborhood.

The last big event I attended there was an Obama rally. The facility worked great for that. It looked great too and I have the pictures to prove it.

You act like these new facilities won't spend many days shutdown as well. You act like they won't need maintenance especially the new grass lawn at PGE Park.
You're splitting one facility into two with the same number of sports involved, so PGE park will go empty more than ever, especially if/when this league folds.

I'm not a sap about keeping historic stadiums etc, past their times, but it helps if the idea that destroys them has merit, not Merritt.

Couldn't Wheeler's position protest be as much of a scam as Randy Leonard's cold feet?

Imo, in Portland, we have a political machine where really bright and independent people have no chance. Until we get that, I don't think there is going to be meaningful change.

Chair Wheeler's protest is not a scam. Ted & Jeff are fighting for vital services and they are doing so at the peril of their political careers. They know that cutting human services and funding for the schools all for MLS is amoral.

Please, let Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish know that human services and schools are more important than the minimum wage jobs and another empty stadium that MLS will bring to Portland.

Hellooooooo, Randy -

An unconditional personal guarantee is not a magic talisman. It may not be collectible if it's not secured by assets, or even if it is.

Ok I got it now.

Paulson is NOT agreeing to paying off all the debt for this boondoggle.

He's only agreeing to up surcharges 1% for paying on the $31 million the city borrows the Spectator Facilities Fund, which today collects rent payments and 6 percent ticket surcharges.

This is blatant lying by city officials.

$35-$40 million, nearly half (plus millions in debt service/ interest) of this boondoggle will be paid for with millions in property taxes diverted from general fund basic services, for 20 to 25 years.


Sam Adams pitching this as the city being held harmless is worse that his Creepy behavior.

Any commissioner who misrepresents this should be thrown out of office.

You act like these new facilities won't spend many days shutdown as well. You act like they won't need maintenance especially the new grass lawn at PGE Park.

Where did that come from? I simply said the MC is a dump and needs to be torn down. It is and it does. I would love to see it replaced with a five or six thousand seat arena for Portland State hoops and the Winter Hawks. But that's a discussion for another time.

For the record, I'm against the soccer stadium/baseball park deal. We don't need either. I've seen stadium districts in other towns (Seattle, Phoenix, San Diego, Baltimore) and they're ALL dead unless there's an event happening. As for Merritt's guarantees... We've seen what similar guarantees meant to Paul Allen.

Bill, I respect and appreciate you. Please don't project upon me more than I've written.

Thank God I live in Washington County!

It may not be collectible if it's not secured by assets, or even if it is.

Exactly. Why not require Paulson to put $50 million in escrow for the project? Those funds could be tapped for construction overruns or if revenue projections come in lower than expected. Clearly neither is possible, so Paulson could collect 5% or whatever on the escrow funds and not have to worry about a thing.

Chris Snethen

It sounds like you really want the Memorial Coliseum torn down, even though it just needs maintenance. Here is what the task force had to say about the Memorial Coliseum:

"By way of example, in the past three years about $25 million has been spent on Rose Garden improvements by the Trail Blazers. In 1982, then Civic Stadium received a $9.5 million upgrade and in 2001 another $35 million was spent on PGE Park. A major reinvestment program in Memorial Coliseum has not occurred since the building opened nearly fifty years ago. Plumbing, electrical, HVAC, ice floor, etc are original systems. A major upgrade to these systems alone would cost up to $10 million. It would, therefore, be prudent for the fund to build-up the Capital Reserve account."

The Memorial Coliseum may be showing some signs of neglect due to current management, but it sounds like that building was built very well and is still a sound structure.

My point was that if they wanted to upkeep MC, they could skip this deal and do it. I was comparing the upkeep costs in the sense that it wouldn't take as much to take care of MC.
I appreciate you too Chris but calling the place a dump the last 5 years is simply hurtful and inaccurate since I was just there during the campaign.
I occasionally exchange emails w/ a favorite redheaded legend of this city and I sent him pics of his old stomping grounds with a note about how historic the event was and how great Memorial Coliseum still is. To be accurate the red hair now has more of a touch of gray - so to speak.

I'm wondering:

the Rose Quarter was "guaranteed" to be a hit, with businesses competing to get into it. the Garden was going to be a sellout every week, crowds were going to be spending their evenings there.

the "upgrade" of Civic Stadium to PGE Park was "guaranteed" to change Portland's relationship with baseball, pack in fans, *and* provide "hundreds of living wage jobs.

The building of South Waterfront was a "sure bet" to provide "10,000 biotechnology jobs within the next decade", and a host of other goodies, including...sustainability.

The Tram was "carefully managed" and part of a "public-private partnership" guaranteed to keep costs reasonable and minimize overruns. it ended up costing about four times the cost we were promised. did I mention it was supposed to "put us on the international map"?

whoops. and man, this list could be much, much longer--and it would just contain projects from the last dozen years.

Has anyone noticed (obviously not the City Council) how the $80-some million this was going to cost is now over $100 million?

The ball hasn't even been pitched yet and it's out of the park.

Like I've written before, MC, designed by Skidmore,Owings & Merrill, one of America's premier architectural/planning firms, is an outstanding structure. A 12,000 seat arena is a very marketable facility. The City Council MC Task Force is correct, it just needs maintenance.

This brings up another major issue-Maintenance. Since this city seems to never allocate money for Maintenance, where is this in Adams/Leonards/Paulson's budget for now, two facilities? It isn't.

The taxpayers of this region are fed up with public officials building things and not budgeting for maintenance.

There is also the "operating costs", the daily, monthly cost of administering these facilities (city staff, attorneys, accountants, etc.}. Where is that in the budget? The tram itself, a very self contained system is costing near $2 Million per year for operating costs. Could we expect $4 Million per year for these two facilities?

Our Council needs to ask about these not-small dollar considerations and then require they be in the budget and understand who is paying for them.

Don't forget, Maintenance is a major part of being Sustainable. Where's this Council on that important point?

So, was there an actual vote today, or just testimony? Where can we find that info on the City site? I couldn't find it in a lackadaisical search.

Like I've written before, MC, designed by Skidmore,Owings & Merrill, one of America's premier architectural/planning firms, is an outstanding structure.

Of course SOM was also the architect of record for the original 5th-6th transit mall. It was their brilliant idea to have the glued down bricks and granite slabs in the intersections and gutters. That worked out real well....for about five years.

...calling the place a dump the last 5 years is simply hurtful and inaccurate since I was just there during the campaign.

How were the concession lines during the event? Were the concession stands even open? I've been to several hockey games in there over the last decade when the place has been less than half full. A couple even this year. The lines stretched across the concourse creating traffic jams that make the place impassable. Stick 7,500 in there for a sporting event when they'll be leaving and returning to their seats a few times and it's no longer a pleasure. It's a burden.

The seats are too small (yes, I'm a big guy...but even the skinnies agree). The bathrooms are also inadequate. New plumbing and wiring needs to be run through the entire place. It's been replaced with something much better right next door. There's no need to hang on to it for sentiment. It's served its purpose. Yes, I know it hosted the Beatles AND the Stones. A former co-worker of mine opened that Stones show. And I'll never forget seeing Clapton there in 1986. But it's time to move on.

Some more pearls from the story re: the proposed convention center hotel:

Adams' task force has worked out of the public eye. He created the task force to report to him. If the task force made its report to the City Council, the group would have had to meet in public under the Oregon public meetings law.

Adams appointed a similar task force to study a proposal to bring a Major League Soccer team to town. That group met in public each time and accepted public comments.

Adams said he wanted the hotel task force to meet in private so it could give a "quiet and thoughtful evaluation of the proposal" and because the group had to review proprietary information. Unlike the soccer proposal, the hotel has had years of public comment, Adams said. The confidential information included financial projections from the hotel's proposed operator.

Portland leaders have sought a convention center hotel since 1989 and have been reviewing developers' proposals for four years.

The city and Metro spent thousands of dollars on consultant reports on the hotel's economic impact, financing and risks.

Under the current proposal, Ashforth Pacific of Portland and Garfield Traub Development of Dallas, Texas, would build a 600-room hotel. Portland would sell bonds to pay for the hotel construction, then pay back the debt with hotel revenues.

One key stumbling block to getting the hotel built: The revenues wouldn't be enough to cover the debt payments and provide the cushion required by bondholders.

Metro tried to kill the project in December. But Adams revived the proposal after a closed-door meeting Dec. 16. "No question it's troubled," Adams said in December. "But we haven't exhausted all the possibilities."

That's what led to the task force, which has been led by Mark Edlen, one of Portland's most prominent developers as managing principal at Gerding Edlen Development.

After he took the mayor's seat in January, Adams asked the group to start over with another thorough review. The key questions, according to city records, that Adams wanted answered included the hotel's economic impact, financing and risk.

Adams also asked the group to decide whether the proposal is based on "thorough analysis and reasonable, informed assumptions."

So after spending four years and thousands of dollars to study the issue, Adams doesn't get the answer he wants, so he appoints his own little task force, headed by Mark Edlen, to "start over with another thorough review," this time out of the public eye? And, imagine that, his hand picked group of lackeys (oops, I mean stakeholders) decide they should spend a mere $5 million more "for more detailed engineering work." For a project that doesn't pencil out financially any way you look at it. Wow.

What exactly has changed, other than Adams becoming mayor, since Metro tried to nix this in December?

I don't even live in Portland, but the way this city operates is infuriating to anyone with any kind of common sense or integrity.

I just don't want to throw pieces of Portland away because some rich guy is out over his skis on this project as he testified this morning.
What they say we could gain could be 100% BS but losing Memorial Coliseum would be real.
I'm also suspicious of the noble talk about the long process of over a year everybody took to study this, followed by how there wasn't time to study whether people in Portland want MLS. That reeked and sounded to me like not wanting to know.

Still watching on 30. Saltzman just sold us down the river.

As of this minute saltzman voted for the MLS/triple A. Fish and Fritz were nays

If I had lots of money I would send in a couple of grain hauler dump trucks full of soccer balls and dump them at the entrance to City at this moment!

and to nobody's surprise, the vote went exactly as expected.

Saltzman went with the popularity contest, proving himself once again the ethical and political lightweight.

anybody else find Leonard's treatment of Wheeler--and of Saltzman for reiterating Wheeler's point--childish and arrogant?

I just don't want to throw pieces of Portland away because some rich guy is out over his skis on this project as he testified this morning.

On that, we're 100% agreed.

Saltzman is a sleazebag. This is the man who runs on "supporting the children" theme and then abuses them after being elected.

I've talked with Cogen several times about this... including day before yesterday. He was in Washington DC and I think he still is.

I have to say, I like this plan because now when my kids' teachers are laid off, they can apply for jobs to sell popcorn at the new fútbol stadium.

Sheesh, who says that Randy and Sam aren't thinking of creative ways to employ Portlanders?

Steve | March 11, 2009 12:39 PM

"Thank God I live in Washington County!"

Beaverton is about to engage in the same UR scheme to throw million more at the Round in Beaverton.

Washington County chair Tom Brian is seeking to impose a multi-jurisdictional Urban Renewal district the full length of the WES.

More of the same UR schemes are coming.

And it passes 3-2. Fish and Fritz: No
Adams, Saltzman, Leonard: Yes

Randy's efforts to bully and shame Chair Wheeler and Commissioner Saltzman were embarassing and offputting. It wouldn't surprise me if he was the Troll I confronted the other evening who posted a shaming piece on a previous thread. (Jack, in his infinite wisdom, removed both posts.) I won't be voting for him anytime soon, except to recall him.

Thank you, Commissioners Fish and Fritz. Your stated reasons for voting "no" were thoughtful, sensible, articulate and compassionate.

Recall Adams, Recall Leonard, Recall Saltzman (remember, you put your name here)

I am an absolute nobody, known to maybe 100 people in this city (and perhaps 60% of them would deny it), but I'm so pissed about this flagrant misuse of vital city funds during the worst economic crisis in our country's history. How hard would it be for a completely average guy to get the 1,000 $5 contributions for "Voter Owned" elections, anyway, and run against one of these jokers? ( I mean, without paying a shadowy Ukrainian to collect them for me.)

Let's not forget that Dan Saltzman is the person who wanted to cover up the reservoirs, and then bought the useless tarps to do the job!
A dim bulb...and fading as we speak.
Also NO personal integrity

By the way, for those of you who did not attend the hearing or watch it on TV, Saltzman's proposal to remove the urban renewal funds from the agreement was passed "in the spirit of compromise" with the mayor and all commissioners voting for it. The deal with Paulson is now short $15, at least for now.

This whole debacle reminds me of the Simpsons monorail episode. Poor Marge Simpson wants the town to use the money to fix up Main Street. Along comes a shyster (Paulson) and pitches this great monorail (Soccer) idea. Springfield (Portland) buys the dog and pony show and votes for the potholes, schools, etc.? NO...MONORAIL (SOCCER)!

Saltzman is up for re-electionon 2010. I suggest that he not be re-elected.
This whole deal stinks and I can smell it where I live miles and miles out of town.

Oops, $15 million of course.

Only Dan Saltzman would have the cojones to not just put the city in a financial hole by voting yes, but by simultaneously putting us in MORE of a hole by adding an amendment that ups the general fund obligation ('cause you know that's what will happen) by 15M.

It's all zero sum, people. If money is going to one place, it's not going to another place. I'm outraged by this "it's not coming from the general fund!1!!1" nonsense.

A couple of news stories:




I hear Paulson is thinking of pulling out now that there's a $15m hole to fill. He says he won't fill it. Indicative of how he'd behave with overruns and other issues, IMO.

Leonard was appalling. Acted like a child bully who wasn't getting his way. In addition to his treatment of Wheeler, he couldn't contain himself enough to feign respect for Mayor Adams.

I'm over it. To me the fun part is watching political creatures act predictably. I'll miss Memorial Coliseum. That does hurt to lose the history. If those walls could only rock.

I watched Manchester United beat Inter Milan today. Soccer is great. I'm not going to let this affect my love of the game. Good luck to the Timbers players. Good luck to the new better players that replace you.

Salzman pulled out the marriage analogy again but it was much less sickening than during the tram vote. Back then he compared thie tram deal to a marriage between OHSU and the city. He then went on to say how he had seen the damage
that can happen to children in a divorce, so he had changed his mind and was voting for the tram. I'm not kidding.

This time he put his foot down about the Urban Renewal district, talking about the marriage between the city and the county.

Maybe after he leaves office he should become a marriage counselor.

Well done Jack, you correctly predicted the (sad) outcome of this whole affair, including Saltzman as the swing vote in favor. Let's hope this the axing of the TIF money will kill the deal and not just mean the city pays for that $15 million out of another pocket.

Let’s hope Cogen get’s them to put the calorie counts on the pop corn bags and hot dog wrappers. At minimum have the vendors call it out. I can hear it now. “Peanuts, pop corn, hot dogs, no transfat. 200 calories for the regular 350 for the jumbo! Get ‘em while their hot!”

The "no general fund money" is the epitome of dishonesty. It's so blatant it boggles the mind.
I don't know how they get away with it.

Urban Renewal always does and MUST come from general fund money.
It's the only way for it to fund and function.

That's why 100s or even 1000s of acres beyond the project and it's effects are swooped up INTO every Urban Renewal District and plan.

Watch when they draw the new district around PGE park. It will expand many blocks away from the park.

The property taxes from many adjacent, fully developed, properties
are skimmed for decades to pay the UR debt payments.
During the typical first 20 years of the district at least 45% of the adjacent real estate property taxes during that time will have been divereted to pay down the debt. Along with nearly all of the property taxes from the plan's project itself, if any.
This is the case with every UR district.

SoWa projects when all completed will total 130 acres. The district is 411 acres.

North Interstate projects are mainly a ribbon of development along MAX. The district is 3744 acres. All of which will have property taxes diverted for decades.
In that district $50 million in property taxes will be going to pay for MAX.

All of the yearly routine property tax increases (which we all see) on all of these adjacent properties are diverted from general fund budgets.

Another whopper is the farce that these plans increase the property tax revenue throughout the district.
THAT is impossible. Those adjacent properties cannot have their property taxes raised any more than the 3%/year limit that would happen without any urban renewal "investment".

The average routine property tax increase county wide is around 4.5 % without any Urban Renewal. This includes the routine 3% plus all generic remodeling and new construction.
on these

Whether or not a particular project merits public participation and funding is necessary debate. And most everyone would agree the public should fund certain improvements.

That's how some bond measures pass.
People support the project and vote for them knowing additional taxes will be used.

But with Urban Renewal/TIF schemes the public is lied to about where the money comes from and they rarely get to vote.
Among other shady things.

What does anyone want to bet that the Paulsen's "guarantees" are backed with some sort of paper that -- given the way the market sits these days -- isn't worth anything like its face value by the time we need it to pay off the hole?


Paulson's guarantee, as far as I know, is only verbal, which is worth nothing. Writing guarantees is an art, and Paulson is going to hire an artist to produce the right document, if the city actually asks for it at all of course. Paulson is going to be sure that any guarantee he has to sign will have an easy exit creating little or no actual obligation to himself. Adams and Leonard will probably even help Paulson create a condition where he can make a free exit whenever he wants. it's all part of keeping it business friendly.

From Steve Janik's description at the hearing today, it sounds like it will be a written unconditional unsecured guarantee, for a 25-year obligation!

Mr. Janik stated today that he was testifying as outside counsel to the City Attorney's Office but a few posts back Jack wrote that he was working with Paulson.


Would you be surprised if Janik was getting paid by the city to push this thing through? At least he's qualified, which is more than you can say for many of the people on the city pad.

Amanda Fritz seemed genuinely confused as to who Janik was representing.

I'm genuinely confused, too. Is he wearing more than one hat?

At least he's qualified

That's an understatement. I've observed him in action, and he's worth every penny, and then some, to whoever is paying his hourly fee.

You never turn your back on that guy.

Will anyone inquire about the potential conflict-of-interest issue concerning Janik? From what's been reported and all the recent opposed sides he has represented, it sure seems like the Oregon Bar should investigate.

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