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Monday, November 22, 2010

Goofball new Portland "urban renewal" district in trouble

That gerrymandered scam-fest known as the proposed new "central city urban renewal" district in Portland has been put on hold for several months. It seems that the county and the school district, which are both quite broke, would rather not have the future property tax increases in the affected areas diverted to developers' pockets rather than being spent on essential human services. And besides, right now you couldn't probably couldn't "sell the bonds" (i.e., borrow the money) for that district on anything but cutthroat terms.

Good news for taxpayers, but doubly so in that it shows how ineffective the mayor is in pushing his pet projects. The leaf tax, "voter-owed" elections, now this -- it seems that the City Hall crowd isn't quite getting it done the way they used to. And pretty soon, the developer bosses who pull their strings are going to be looking for new puppets to send to Council Chambers. Maybe there'll be an opening for somebody who really cares about the average Jane and Joe in Portland.

Comments (10)

This might be one of the few reasons to vote for Cogen to get replace Sam.

Maybe he'll keep his conscience about funding schools and these rip-off URDs (which never die) once he comes over to the dark side as mayor of Portland.

Dream on about Cogen.

The County, with the Library ballot measure, turned around and did to every taxing district within the county, including PPS, Parkrose, David Douglas, Gresham Barlow, etc., exactly what the City does to Multco and PPS with the URDs.

Prior law required the active consent of each taxing district in the county to the creation of a new tax district to feed at the trough. The library ballot measure short circuited that mechanism, and the sheeple in Multco fell for the pretty pictures in the nrochures without asking "Why"?

MultCounty government is no better that the City government. They are out to cut each others throats while they belled us.

The County, with the Library ballot measure, turned around and did to every taxing district within the county

Yeah, but at least the average MultCo resident will get something out of the library district, i.e., stable funding for library services. That's unlike Portland's urban renewal districts, where only a handful-of well-connected developers ever get anything out of them. The average city plebe suffers first from the decreased city services as the URD skims off money to pay back Wall Street and second from the rising land values that means he can no longer afford to pay the property taxes or the rent on his home or business.

I might be a bit more atuned to the idea if the current processes at MultCoLib didn't encourage hemorrhaging of materials because there is little to no active pursuit of unreturned materials.

And, "Books by Mail"? How expensive is that?

I'm not convinced that the current manifestation of the Library is being run on any kind of fiscally responsible basis. Why would I think that they'd do "better" being run with a separate tax source of their own?

And...WHO will make the decisions at this new taxing district? Won't it just become another parking place for "friends & family" of the West Hills Gang?

I hope PPS Board and staff reads the documents going around that PPS loses $162 Million in today's dollars in just 5 years from Portland's urban renewal areas.

The average life of Portland's URA's is now approaching 40 years. That means over $1.3 Billion dollars are lost to PPS. That amount would pay for all the school maintenance and repairs that are needed for the 40 year period and maybe build a few new, replacement schools too.

Multnomah Co. needs to took at the big picture too on what they lose over a 20 to 40 year period of the life of a URA.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Clackamas Co. is figuring out the deficit of urban renewal (except for Chairman Lynn Peterson). It's about time PPS and Multnomah Co. speak out.

I never understand why the legion of schools activists and motivated parents -- not to mention Carol and the head of the teacher's union -- fall silent when this topic comes up. Is it too complicated? Do they not want to p*ss off the Mayor?

Don't they realize the city is stealing money from PPS? Well, not technically stealing, since PPS is supposed to get a share of the rising property taxes eventually after a decade or two. But PPS is in no position to forgo that revenue, if they are really hurting for money like they claim.

Where's the "Close the Gap" group now? Where's Martha Perez? I'm sure some Hispanic students or Spanish-language services will be harmed by this . . .

Eric: I never understand why the legion of schools activists and motivated parents -- . . .

I wonder what is going on with all this silence around town with so many critical issues before us??

You would think with all the school activities parents would be in a position to be organized. Is it that they do go to meetings to speak up etc, but that a "rigged" agenda is against them too?

Are people afraid to be too vocal? We can't afford to be shy about these matters.

"Are people afraid to be too vocal?"

You're missing it - Tell me when Portland has said no to either Randy or Sam on anything like recalls or bonds? MOst of the population wants it this way.

The voting population of Portland doesn't care enough, that's why the thing needs to collapse before we can make change. Y'know the line (I"ll paraphrase) - "If you strike the king you must silence him permanently." And I mean press releases or Tweets.

"here's one I think you'll like"

Perfect example, let's chase after straw men while Sam/Randy keep plundering and blaming everyone else.

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