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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, November 1, 2010

And after the schools, are the parks lining up for new taxes?

We noted last week that the Portland schools have about $900 million in construction projects that they'll soon be asking voters for new property taxes to pay for. Now it appears that the Portland parks are also in the wings, brooding about the possibility of new taxes. At least, the union workers over there sound like they're thinking along those lines. A reader forwards this telling e-mail message:

Hello Neighborhood Association and Community Leaders,

Portland Parks and Recreation is facing the possibility of having another cut to it's budget this time that of 6%. This may have significant ramifications to the neighborhoods that you represent in terms of lost services and lost care to existing sites.

The workers of Portland Parks and Recreation, cordially wish to invite you to come to our community forum that we are holding. Presentations will be made in regards to who performs the work, why it matters who performs the work, what taking this work away will mean to the community.

Our effort is seeking to be as inclusive as possible, to that end we have formed a new coalition called *Progress Forward NW* because we are seeking solutions that progressively build a better tomorrow for PP&R and the community it serves.

In addition, we are open to hearing from the neighborhood associations, what projects or initiatives they are working on and what opportunities there may be to support your efforts as well. This may prove to be a great event to network different plans for the greater Portland area.

So please join us this Saturday, November 6 from 1-3 P.M. The site is 1125 SE Madison, Portland Oregon 97214. Food will be catered in by Madison's Bar and Grill. There will be a Q&A session in which you will be able to ask questions of the presenters.

For more information, please contact me.

Thanks for your time,

Toby Green
Progress Forward NW/ Laborers Local 483

I suppose they could be talking about simply fighting other city bureaus for budget dollars, but the invitation for neighbors to bring along their pet projects sure sounds like the makings of a "bond issue" -- borrowing millions that will eventually be paid back, with interest, out of property taxes.

Comments (14)

"Progress Forward NW" translates to Progressive, right?

Progressives are about progress in much the way that conservatives are about conservation.


Wouldn't disposing of Zari Santner save 6% of their budget?

If not, we should start there and work down from the top...with 'planner preference' until we hit the 6% figure.


I usually get stuff like this by Email because I fit one of the descriptors in the salutation.

Haven't seen this one yet.

Free eats.

Shame I'll be having a final that afternoon in a course I'm taking.

Dear Toby - thanks for the free food.
Do you have any shred of a clue as to how the unemployed, broke American people are viewing public employee unions these days?

Is this open to the public? Or just those who may benefit from more dollars?

A billion here (bike paths/South Waterfront), a billion there (Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge), and pretty soon, you're talking about real money.

Who will pay property taxes when all the homeowners move to Clark, Clackamas and Washington Counties? Renters, I guess.

I worked for these folks. Pretty inbred outfit and one that is convinced of its rightness in all things.

My first suggestion would be to fire all of the political officers: those creatures that provide training in how to work with diverse communities and on and on - they are really political bullies with no real knowledge or expertise but they are very, very powerful. Most importantly, their pronouncements and judgements are deeply biogted and destroy honest people more that they help any further even the remotest social justice.

In fact, fire anyone who gets taxpayer money who so much as salivates when he hears the term "social justice." These brutes acheive position, status, and income for antics that would make the Three Stooges blush, shame a Marx Brother, and make an organ grinder's monkey apologize.

This email just came in:

"Hello Neighborhoods and Community Leaders;

We've reassessed out earlier email. We've realized that with the additional Black Friday Holiday recently proposed for us, plus all the other recent-years acquired benefits, and acknowledging that the private sector has had various reductions in pay and benefits, that we should accept in various compensations (health, PERS, sick leaves, comp. time, child care, mass transit incentives, maternity leaves, death leaves, family leave of absence, etc.) a total reduction of 4% to help match the 6% budget reduction. The remaining 2% of reduction will be matched with employee attrition and higher performances required of staff to meet our Parks performance expectations.

We realize what our citizens are experiencing. Our new coalition Progress Forward NW is seeking solutions that progressively builds a better tomorrow for PP&R and the community we serve. We want to provide sustainable services and sustain PP&R.

Thank you for your responses and time.

Toby Green
Progress Forward NW/Labor Local 483

A woman interviewed last on KGW got it right. "I can't pay my property taxes without borrowing, and I can't sell my house because no one is buying. What am I supposed to do?" Reminded me of Enron's boiler room energy traders laughing at the thought of Grandma Millie and her money troubles.


Pull out that list of city employees and look at the ratio of field(actual workers) to "support" staff and it would be easy to see where the savings can be made.

"Portland Parks and Recreation is facing the possibility of having another cut to it's budget this time that of 6%."

Gee, I'm sure that cut will impact the bike paths, green houses, streetcars and their dedicated bridges and the 25% bump in PERS contributions. Won't it?

So what cuts are they threatening us with now? Is this like the threatened public workers strike (by all means I wish them luck)?

If a postage stamp can give rise to an electioneering court case then I wonder if the "catering" should be the focus of an objection?

Have the parks folks ever had a catered event before for anything anywhere for the public?

I love how "higher performances required of staff" was the last of the money-saving ideas mentioned. Desperate times, indeed.

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