This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 4, 2009 6:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was Maggot in the Apple. The next post in this blog is Badge of dishonor. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why we love Wheeler

The guy is doing a bang-up job. Read his right-on comments about "urban renewal," here.

Comments (9)

Wheeler is pretty much the only person in government I trust 'round these parts. Great interview, great guy.

Because Measure 50, make no mistake about it, whether you’re liberal or a conservative, Measure 50 will make local government extinct in the state of Oregon.

This is the money line of the interview.

Always so easy to pass ballot measures that cut taxes--as far as funding the services--ehhh, services, shmervices. who needs 'em.

Two things --

1) Isn't it strange that you get a much better, long look at a hugely important issue in Street Roots than the Oregonian has ever printed?

2) I know this would drive some people berserk but I have to ask -- isn't this exactly what Metro was supposed to do (provide coordination among local governments and stop the beggar-thy-neighbor policies typified by the current urban renewal mess, where the city essentially spends county money without any regard for the overall regional priorities)?

Wouldn't it be better for all concerned if any proposal by any local government to use TIF/Urban Renewal financing had to pass -- really pass, as in be supported by -- a local council of governments and special districts affected (Metro)?

I commend Wheeler for joining the efforts to reform the misuse of urban renewal. There are many individuals and even some organizations that have been saying it for several years, like the League of Women Voters. More Multnomah County's efforts are needed to join the efforts.

The 30% Affordable Housing UR requirement pushed by Eric Sten and others should also be reexamined for its inflexibility and maybe a decrease in portion, as well as a better definition of "blight".

And beyond Seldes's recommendation that UR TIF dollars must be approved by a council of governments, any new or reconstituted existing district with value increase of over $20M should also be approved by all taxpayers affected.

I'd be happy to see an amendment to the state Urban Renewal laws that declare a fixed percentage of land in the jurisdiction as being available for Urban Renewal. Hopefully it would be ≤ the current land tied up in URAs.

Oh, you're at that percentage? Sorry, no. Close down an existing URA first and return it to the general tax rolls - you know, that thing that Portland has *never* done since the beginning of Urban Renewal.

A knowledgable politician who actually tries to spend money where it does public good. He has to get lonely at those cocktail parties that the Mean Girls and Friends of Sam attend.

What's the over/under on his career in local politics?

...declare a fixed percentage of land in the jurisdiction as being available for Urban Renewal.

State law limits URAs to 15% of the total land area within a city. Currently, Portland's URAs include about 14.25% of the city's total acreage.

State law also limits URAs to 15% of the assessed value (taxable property value) of the City, but Portland will hit the acreage cap before it hits the AV cap.

I'm glad that such a provision exists, but I still find it amazingly abusive of the system that they have yet to retire a single URA.

Not one, in 30-ish years of "Urban Renewal"

Fitting in with the Mean Girls and company is still important to Ted on issues where he does not discern that he can get hardline populist support. He is demonstrably a politico, not a statesman.

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