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Monday, January 31, 2011

Guess who gets to play with your Portland leaf tax check

An observant, and concerned, reader writes:

I finally broke down and paid the "Leaf Tax" after the third bill threatening to send me to collections. (And I did not get it together to clear my Laurelhurst street front.) Guess what -- we made the check payable to the "Bureau of Transportation" but the endorsed check was cashed by the "City of Portland Water Bureau." The piggy bank only grows...
Don't worry, reader. We're sure it will all go for something really important.

Comments (9)

I wish the media in Portland did something other then publish our local government's PR releases.

I do remember reading awhile back that PBOT was going to make use of the Water Bureau billing system to manage the leaf tax rather than create their own, so this actually doesn't surprise me. It does mean, I suppose, that the Water Bureau could hold PBOT's money hostage: hello, "water house" number 2!

We need to make a list of the money used for what - out of that Water Bureau piggy bank? Just looks like our water rates are going up and up for the piggy bank for the city and for corporate interests.

What is the status of the $10 Million they wanted to use at one point to buy property for the O?

Hey Randy....I mean David.. your PWB is now the national bank of City of Portland.
Good way to scam the citizens and ratepayers. Yes, what happened to the overpriced property on Vaughn you were trying to hide in the PWB budget?

Here is a list of 20 people that can refer a change to the city charter that goes directly to voters and does not need City Council approval:


This group is only in existence till the end of June and you bet that Council is up to their normal tactics of misinforming, underfunding and making the group as inaccessible to public input... because citizens just might actually take away power from Council by strengthening the city charter on how taxpayer money can legally be used.

Third Thursday of each Month at City Hall (next is Feb: 17th). You can call commissioner Fritz's office for more info.

Tell your friends... because City Council will not.

Old Shep,
It is interesting that people are really upset about that $600,000 water house, yet Randy and David are into the millions here and there, like debt means nothing to them. It does to the people. . certainly to me. I want the spending to stop and it does not look like they are planning to do that.

So,$600,000 for the water house, how about the $135 million for a Powell Butte Storage Tank? Randy got that money on an emergency ordinance and of course they voted for it. Now,they want more money for the Kelly Butte Tank?? They sure do like to spend other people's money.

Unfortunately, in many instances, people are running out of money for all these ventures. What is the plan here, to run people and businesses out of town as they cannot afford the water rates?

Jason Wurster,
Is this group willing to refer a change to city charter?

I do agree with you Watching for our Children,

As that is the 'real' question. From what I saw at the first meeting Amanda was nothing more than a mouth-piece for the rest of council to praise the group and them misdirect them... It honestly makes me ashamed that I worked on her campaign.

But back to the question, will 15 out of 20 people with some impressive civic backgrounds realize that they have the opportunity to refer directly to the voters some substantial changes to the charter... or will they simply be the 'housekeepers' that Amanda and the rest of the Council are forcing them to be.

My best hope is two-fold:

1) citizens show up to give input to this commission to empower them to act more as 'fixers' of the city charter... than 'house keepers' and place a few meaningful measures for the voters to contemplate in May of 2012.

so that...

2) those running for the 3 City Commissioners defending their seats will be forced to address some of the 'real' deficiencies in our local government (unlike made up crises like Sam and Dan's problem with teen prostitutes\street renaming\surly food carts)

When you look at how hard City Council is trying to hamstring and control this commission... it make me wonder if the powers that be are frightened of the outcome... if the people were to take action.

1) Make all urban renewal projects and their extensions subject to voter approval.
2) Something to prevent back door deals after the voters turn down light rail. (to the airport and yellow line)
3) Spend money on maintenance before building new stuff.

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