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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 4, 2012 2:09 PM. The previous post in this blog was Two peas in a pod. The next post in this blog is Renegade Portland City Council starting to get message. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New "urban renewal" scam is on super-fast track

The so-called "education urban renewal" district in Portland is going to be rammed down the public's throats as quickly as the Sam Rand Twins can get away with it. Portland State is "blighted," don'tcha know, and so it's time to let Edlen and Homer and the boys build a condo tower over Lincoln High School. A reader reports:

I was in a meeting today with the mayor and PDC staff. At the meeting they presented a timeline for the "Education" Urban Renewal Area:

April 11: PDC Board Hearing

April 24: Planning & Sustainability Commission

May 9: City Council first reading (public input allowed)

May 16: City Council vote (no public input)

SamRand bought Fish's vote with the lure of affordable housing, so the fix is in.

Quote of the day from the meeting from PDC director Patrick Quinton: "Lincoln High School has always been a redevelopment site for the city."

Bankrupt City, here we come.

Comments (22)

I think Sam and Randy already know this, and that you guys are already on your way. I've seen this quite a bit with dying companies, where the innumerable insane or borderline illegal stunts suggested "to improve profitability" do nothing but make the senior officers' buddies richer. If the perps can get out early, they'll collect golden parachutes and leave everyone else to clean up the mess. If they can't, they'll make sure that they collect their executive retention bonuses, whether or not they actually earned them or even met the basic requirements for said bonuses, before giving creditors and employees the finger.

In this case, I'm curious about compensation for senior City of Portland officeholders, and who gets paid what if and when Portland has to pay the piper on Sam's and Vera's games. Obviously, the rank and file will lose their pensions and benefits with a bankruptcy. However, does Sam have some special clause guaranteeing additional compensation, even as he tapdances away into the sunset at the end of his current term?

They've already started the destruction with the glass-steel-recycled wood-front eyesore on what was once a classic piece of architecture.

He just does what Randy tells him. It would be interesting to see Randy's cash flow sources, though, once he's left City Hall.

"Lincoln High School has always been a redevelopment site for the city."

So what happens to the school? Do they just close it down, or move it somewhere else?

Over ten years ago one of the local papers printed the results of a CoP "study" that stated that Portland's future would depend on a population of healthy, young, active singles because families, children, and the elderly basically cost too much. It further said that the city would begin realigning resources and services to encourage that demographic shift.

Bye-bye schools, playgrounds, affordable housing, affordable transportation, and all the expenditures related to them. Hello kids on bikes, single occupant condos and apartments, and expensive but "fun" forms of transportation.

That was right about the height of the exodus of locals and property values were soaring and changing hands like stocks on the market.

I sent that schedule here a dew weeks ago. Public "input" on one Wednesday, approval (er, sorry, "vote") the next Wednesday.

There's a beautiful magnolia tree in bloom right now on the west side of Lincoln's athletic field. Stop by and pay your last respects....

If it was an ash, at least the public could have some handy bats made out of it. You know, for those games of charettes.

And here are what schools are facing. I wonder if any of the mayoral candidates have a comment about continuing to erode property tax revenue for the schools.

http://www.pps.k12.or.us/news/7404.htm

Jack, I'm sure Randy's aware that his revenue streams may be severely constricted once he leaves the city council and so he has endeavored to rake it in as quickly and as abundantly as possible.

That way, his other public pensions can be his walking-around money.

Re; "I wonder if any of the mayoral candidates have a comment about continuing to erode property tax revenue for the schools."

jj,
Perhaps you could ask them on Saturday morning:

http://www.portlandonline.com/oni/index.cfm?&a=391619&c=29385

Despite the focus on Portland's "honored' citizens, AARP/Elders in Action assert:

"...the candidates discuss their plans and visions on helping create a Portland that is friendly to those of all ages and abilities."

It is not specified which candidates will be present. One can hope the undifferentiated trio promoted by mainstream media will not be the only prospective mayors present.

Texas T -

The non cop and non fireman peons retirement is safe in a CoP bankruptcy, as is the retirement of everybody from the Mayor on down who is not a cop or firefighter..

That money (non cop / firefighter) is current paid into PERS on a quarterly basis. Its not a preferential transfer, and its in PERS. No way a BR court can reach that money in PERS. Most the non cop / fire fighters could lose is one calendar quarter's contributions.

Cops and firefighters may have outsmarted themselves with their separate setup outside PERS in which the City has no reserve, but pays the current retirement benes solely out of current general fund dollars.
In a BR, the cops and firefighters would be in the same (leaky) boat of any other unsecured general creditor. NOT a good place to be in a BR given the extent of the CoP's secured debt.

.

"Randy's aware that his revenue streams may be severely constricted "

Puh-leeze, Randy already pulls in about $50K/yr from PFDR and he still qualifies for PERS (him and Minnis got that bill passed). Which probably jumps to the average of his last 3 years, so about $150K/yr for life to start and then inflation overrides.

In addition, he'll get full-ride medical coverage for life courtesy of the voters.

Makes you proud to be an Oregon taxpayer.

Steve,

Perhaps I was too obscure.

When I said Randy's revenue streams would become more constricted, I meant that as an ex-councilman, his opportunities for graft, kickbacks, bribes, contributions and other political "considerations" would no longer be as plentiful or as lucrative. Which gives him incentive to be as avaricious and acquisitive as possible in the remaining months of his public service.

I'm fully aware his multiple pensions already bloat his accounts at public expense.

"Which gives him incentive to be as avaricious and acquisitive as possible in the remaining months of his public service."

YOu mean to tell me that a man whose entire career has been built on grooming hey-boys like Kovatch and Shaft with high-paid jobs really gives rats butt about people who struggle to pay their water bills, have no real pension and pay exorbitant amounts for medical insurance are not enough to stop him from being even more greedy?

His entire incentive is just being able to say eff-you to the taxpayers. He lives for the day when, to quote him, "If people don't like something I like it even more."

PPS (with help from the State of Oregon) is doing it's part to hasten the city's utter and complete bankrupcy:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/04/portland_went_too_far_in_requi.html

It may be a jail for children, but at least they'll reduce the number of inmates per cell. Surely they will now actually learn something!

some one please tell me how the school district is going to pay for a new high school?
Oh I forgot..."we must keep the masses ignorant so they do not disrupt our plans for the future". We don't need no stinkin' schools!

Downtown -

Your comments re Portland Public Schools and City of portland re bankruptch are like comparing apples and flounder.

Nothing PPS does or will do has any impact upon CoP and podssible CoP BR.

Conversely, CoP and its neverending Urban Renewal Districts does reduce available real estate taxes to PPS, but not enough to trigger a PPS BR filing.

Everybody who vaotes should be crowding the various "candidate fairs" for Mayor and Council races and pointedly ask each candidate to take a pledge, right there, to allow ALL URDs to sunset after the 20 year statutory period, and a pledged to not create any new URDs during their term.

That phoney Brady ought to be pointedly asked why its a good idea for PSU to commit
tuition dollars at 3 times the going rate per square foot in the "Sustanability Building" for new classroom space, when the same square footage can be constructed for 1/3 the cost. For an "education advocate" that Brady poses as, it seems discordant, at best, to advocate that PSU run up student tuition cost for the "sustainability" farce.

Then again, with Brady's bucks, its the kind of thing that would never cross her 1% mind.

But the elected officials need to keep those projects going for the insiders, and if we fast track towards the cliff, no matter to those who can get out of here, and I might add for some to leave in a mighty royal fashion.

A microcosm of our country. No allegiance to our country, and here no allegiance to our city. Just what one can get and get and as long as the there is getting to be had....
until the country or town's pockets are empty. Kind of like a modern day gold rush.

As long as "There's gold in them thar hills!"
In the case of pdx, it is more like as long as there's even some gold in them thar hills and flatlands we can still mine....

All for sustainability through "real community involvement" here!

Nonny Mouse, PPS has long used their facilities as a political lever. Arbitrary limitations on class size are crazy when these entities are in a financial crisis, and are busy closing facilities (and thus reducing classrooms).

This is just one article that happened to be published yesterday, while this post was new. This is to illustrate how the public education system works: Put up artificial barriers (such as closing busy schools), plead poverty (we must have smaller classes), repeat.

The juxtaposition was too juicy to overlook...

I am not too much in the know about the details of the school scene here.

What I do not understand is why parents are not outraged about all the URA's that take money out of their schools? Is there a disconnect, are the parents aware of the impact of URA's on the schools?

What I do get though is that land being scarce within our UGB, our schools are definitely being "looked" at for their extensive property.

In my opinion, it is really about land here and playing chess with land and our school properties throughout our city as if a board game, and I doubt whether education is the primary consideration here.

Can somebody give me definitive numbers (with citations from reliable sources) on the current and future revenues foregone by PPS because of the current URAs and the proposed ones? I've seen dramatically different estimates and I don't really trust any of them. Thanks.


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