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Friday, May 6, 2011

Fireman Randy borrows another $26 million for you

The City of Portland's about to go out and borrow the money that voters narrowly authorized it to borrow last November. The bank's money will go for fire equipment, a fire station, and the spendy new city 911 dispatch computer that's being called into question as a $15 million waste item. The official sales pitch for the new IOUs is here.

Unlike the city's "urban renewal" debt, this bond issue is a rare "general obligation" of the city, which means that the bondholders will get paid come hell or high water, with the city promising to raise whatever property tax revenue is necessary to pay the bonds off. That gets the bonds the highest rating of AAA from the see-no-evil folks at Moody's rating service, who get paid by the city to rate its debt. Out of more than $3.2 billion in bonds that the city has out there, only $0.06 billion -- $60 million -- are general obligations, which get the high ratings. The new round will add another $25.8 million to that relatively modest pile.

There'll be plenty more borrowing by the city this summer -- it's talking about $105 million of new bonds, about $65 million of which will be refinancing of moldy old "urban renewal" schemes, and about $40 million of which will be new debt for more "urban renewal" malarkey over in North Portland. Borrow, borrow, borrow -- sometimes it leads to bad things.

Comments (8)

Maybe it is time to lock Randy in one of his loos and bar the door.

Anything is possible with other people's money. Why did you think Randy would care?

I'll give him credit, though, how the heck did he get these to be called general obligation?

Randy keeps paying back the Paulsons for that "fun" trip to New York at their request. Get their narcissistic bumpkin-boy to do their bidding for a few years generating bond money for unneeded projects that pay fat returns. Add this to the unneeded Kelly Butte reservoir "it's the law" boondoggle, added to the unneeded 911 center paid in part by your water bills. Fire bonds...no problem...computer bonds....how much can we borrow for you? Sink the ship Admiral, you won't be back next year.

What do you expect?
The Admiral is a Looser!!

What is behind Commissioner Leonard's intent on piling up more debt?

Question more like, who is behind the curtain pulling Leonard's strings to pile up this debt and why?

Looks to me like something is amiss here, why would our City Council keep spending like mad? We need a thorough investigation.

Expertise on bonds and debt?
Could there be a default on these bonds and then who would benefit?

What would "collectors" be entitled to get from our community, if we no longer could pay, or would the taxes just continue to go sky high?

I don't understand what the problem of paying this back is. Randy can simply skim it off our payments going to the Water Bureau. That is one of the ways they have financed their pet projects in the past.

I would like to know how many thousands have been skimmed off of countless road projects for bikes. Think how much all of the special ramps, lights and human engineering resources to plan and implement the special bike traffic plans across the city ends up being. The people weren't asked if this was how they wanted their money spent.

The people at City Hall think our taxes are their money. I have worked downtown for 20 years. It is a ghost town now, so what do they do? Raise parking prices and build buildings on parking lots, like we need more office space. And who is going to buy food at the new proposed market at the base of the Morrison Bridge? They are driving people to malls because they think they can re-engineer people to take a bus to town to shop. Earth to Adams - It ain't going to happen. You are making a lovely bus/train system to nowhere that will only be used for workers. Do you think they are going to schlep groceries home on the bus? Wake up bright boys.

Stop with these bonds and debt already!!

What will the children think when they find out
we just let these debts accumulate for them
and on projects not needed?

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