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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 14, 2011 3:12 PM. The previous post in this blog was Sneak preview of Portland public market. The next post in this blog is Reader poll: Thunder or Grizzlies?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Last-minute election porn for Portland school taxes

We're just a few days away from the vote count in the Portland school tax bond measure election, and the pro-tax propaganda continues to flow like superheated corium from a failed General Electric boiling water reactor. Here's the latest election porn to show up in our snail mailbox:

Ya gotta love these direct mail pieces. There's somebody's name and picture on it, and the illusion is that this is a personal testimonial, but then you read it, and it's worded exactly the same way as all the other pitches that have been floating around:

Do you think that some guy named Neil Cooper actually wrote or said that? Come on. He may have signed it, but it was written by master manipulator Mark Wiener or one of his minions. We can't wait until Tuesday, when the flow of slick drivel from those folks is shut off for a few months.

And let's hope these bond measures go down, so that the school board can come back with something more reasonable for taxes in a recession. Four dollars a thousand is ridiculous.

Comments (21)

We voted no. A total of eight friends also voted no. We're all registered Democrat or Independent, and usually lumped under the "liberal" label. The problem isn't schools needing maintenance, the problem is schools needing a Better Plan and better fnding structure. Pushing homeowners over the financial brink so public schools can supposedly "fix leaky roofs" is not only stupid, it's self-destructive to society.

I'm not sure if your quotation marks around "fix leaky roofs" means you don't think that many PPS buildings are in dire need of repair or if the emphasis should be around "supposedly fix".

No question that there is great need for repairs. Not so certain that we can trust that there would be any oversight on money spent on repairs.

First, it's not $4 of new taxes. We're already paying $1.25 for the levy, so the net increase is $2.74 if both pass.
Portland is the only sizable district in this part of Oregon without a construction bond. We need to learn what the suburban districts have known for a long time - good schools attract families and make strong communities. My wife and I voted "Yes" on both measures and I encourage others to do the same.

If the measures pass, it will be $4 more in taxes than if they fail. Come back next year and ask for $1.50.

If the high school football coaches want Astroturf, all of you who love the school district and can afford it, send them your other $2.50.

2 no votes form this liberal household.

But "as a builder" he can't recognize the
asinine idea of spending $80 million to remodel Cleveland High School when a new Hogh School costs $45 million?

Some builder.

Let us hope that this measure goes down so that those who know the toll this will put on our community can all take a collective sigh of relief breath for a change around here. Look at the long term debt meter already on the left column here, this is without all the pile of more debt being proposed everywhere we turn!!

Is this a good thing to get that debt meter so high that the children will be loaded with more debt?

For those who are out of touch and have no financial problems, well maybe a designer new school fits the bill, but at what cost and especially to those families where this tax would become a real hardship?

That's the crux of the problem. PPS has been patching up old buildings for decades instead of tearing some down and building new ones on that site.

There's a surplus of buildings and property, so they could certainly have done this years ago.

To dig yourself into a hole, then continue digging until you cry wolf is just ridiculous.

Is there a school in Portland that's less than 40 years old?

First, it's not $4 of new taxes. We're already paying $1.25 for the levy, so the net increase is $2.74 if both pass.

According to the Voter's Guide--and to a PPS representative that explained the measures to a group of parents--it's a total of about $4 if both pass. You're wrong.

we just got more Sellwood Bridge porn- the third mailing using large ,full color, two sided heavy card stock. Full of drama and threats of the Sellwood bridge collapsing any second- oh really? Then why did they transfer that $2million from the Sellwood Bridge to the new light rail Milwaukie bridge? Why would I support stupidity and greed? One wonders how much this mailing cost the taxpayers?

Kathe W, you forgot the second "2", it's $22 Million that Sam is stealing for MLR from the Sellwood Bridge.

It's $18 Million for an expanded bike trail from the bridge to Willamette Park in the bridge budget. The little bridge over Stephens Creek at the Macadam Bay Club (city park land) is costing a fortune. The culvert for the existing trail won't quite do, you know. But there were over 200 sewer leaks into Stephens Creek just upstream in only a distance of 1000 ft of creek bed where Leonard's sewer is located. Priorities.

Looking for a Teachers' Union rep on the PDC. Or, better yet, running for Mayor. Or, even better yet, both.

"Independent construction professionals" my arse. Check out all the big contributions to this campaign from architects, engineers, builders, and construction unions:

So much money, pushing the little guy right out of town.

Is this the same Neil Cooper of Silver Fern Carpentry and Remodeling who ...

  • Looks like is not registered to vote in Portland, (at least in the last election) even though he has been in business here since 2003, and
  • Will face a tax increase of less than $132 a year

I think a more appropriate quote for Mr. Cooper should be, "I'm just in it for the money."

lw- thanks for pointing out my typing error- meant to put that second 2 in!

"Portland is the only sizable district in this part of Oregon without a construction bond."

Portland also has PDC, URDs and METRO skimming off property taxes instead of spending it on schools.

Let's keep focused on the real problem - Portland homeowner are not the sole fix for schools and Portland Water Bureau issues. If CoP and METRO want to steal from schools, lets make them put some of it back.

I'm living on a poverty-level income and paying half my income to rent a room in a small, old, crowded house with four others.

Inconvenient truth not yet generally known: rents in Portland are up ten percent over the past year, according to Joseph Chaplik, a principal broker specializing in multifamily properties.

I voted no on the bond and the levy. If both pass, affordable housing in Portland is toast for at least the next six years.

Since new construction remains in the tank, affordable housing in Portland is probably toast for at least the next six years even of both measures fail.

I'm not taking any chances. I can't afford to take any chances.

Nice link, dg. Pretty telling to see so many construction & engineering firms on there with contributions. Not to mention unions.

Its also amazing to see how much money they spend on PR firms and advertising for something like this.

Thanks for that link, dg

How many would have contributed that money to a fund to help the schools?

I mentioned before that a fund raiser in these economic times might have been a way to go. Those who can afford to give could give and some would be generous donors. That way those who simply could not afford it, would not be forced to do so.

I wonder how much stress and tension this has caused amongst neighbors and families.

Last minute & I am still deciding. Certainly difficult for me not to feel responsible for fixing unsafe schools. Yet $4/$k assessment is quite high and it is not clear to me that these increases in indebtedness and therefore taxes will suffice without new requests in the future.

In many ways, it is not fair to lump schools in with what looks like unwise spending by other govt agencies, but I think I am ready to do so. A particular issue for me is pushing for solar power where it is totally not economical...Metro buildings, rest stops on I5 are examples.
Last year (maybe still now?) I could receive a $12.5k subsidy to put a $14k 2 KW peak solar system on my roof...power generated would be worth $200 per year. Good payback for me, but totally insane for society, that is tax payers. And I am a dedicated environmentalist. Will I have to give up my Prius if I vote no? By my admittedly weak logic, insane spending by one group of govt entities steals from what likely is a higher priority--in this case schools because it all comes from my limited pocket and yours.


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