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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 11, 2012 8:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Thumper Humphreys running for sheriff. The next post in this blog is Portland parking meter gouge doesn't hit everyone. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Portland polishes its "urban renewal" shinola

That awful odor you're smelling is rising from the proposed new City of Portland "education urban renewal district." It's on the super-fast track, and it's going to be rammed down residents' throats before they know what hit them.

This goofy district, gerrymandered to the max, will include the Portland State area, but it will reach all the way over the freeway to suck up Lincoln High School, whose land will be turned over to condo weasels as the high school is shipped out to what used to be industrial northwest Portland. As always, the area is being declared "blighted," even though it isn't really, and on that premise, perfectly good property tax revenue will be stolen from basic services and steered away to pet projects that line the pockets of the chosen few.

An alert observer has posted the proposed spending of the skimmed property taxes in the district, here. It's quite a list. Most of the money will go to the usual suspects in the real estate overlord community or to the hefty staff at the Portland Development Commission, in one guise or another.

Some of the funds will be handed to Multnomah County to buy that entity's silence, and public housing projects will be included, to help Nick Fish feather his cap and secure his vote for the rest of the foolishness. It also appears that the city will blow $25 million on building up Portland State University. (Meanwhile, City Hall will throw a few meager bones to the neighborhoods, with this dubious program, and maybe the neighbors will be dopey enough to miss the much larger fact that "urban renewal" is robbing them blind.)

Most interesting to us, though, is that many millions of the "urban renewal" funds are purportedly going to be handed to Lincoln High School, in a "strategic partnership," presumably for relocation after the school falls to the wrecking ball for the apartment bunkers. Is that legal? We thought that under Measures 5 and 50, the city couldn't spend tax money on schools. Then again, many of our expectations about the legal and tax systems have been trashed by the actual operation of "urban renewal" in Portland. It's largely a pork pot that seems to invite corruption, and obviously, it's not helping the average Portlander much, if any. The latest version just makes a bad joke worse.

The first PDC meeting on the district is this afternoon; it will be slam-dunked by that body and sent on to the eager City Council on April 30.

Comments (17)

I think Moonbeam in CA is a fool, but one thing that he did do was kill off the UR scams in that state.

Too bad the folks in Salem are too dim to do the same here in OR.

We are watching the final ransacking at the tail end of a long municipal fiscal riot that has been pilfering resources for years.
The players know the gig is up and this is their last grab before it all comes crashing down.
So they really don't care how far they stretch the truth or how corrupted it all appears.
All of the individuals involved are confident they will escape consequences leaving the "system" and Mr. Nobody to be held accountable.
Every one of them is saying, "Hey, it's not my job to make it all work out".

From their little individual sphere it's
a cozy deal.

Or they are all brilliant and this is the model for all other cities.

Massive socialized risk, massive privatized profit, massive transfer of public assets to private ownership, and ratified the day before the general election? Squeaky clean Portland? On some level, they have to know this is going to be the final load of lead that sinks the civic ship. Don't they?

Wish you could easily do a left column meter like the press release meter, except counting transfers of public assets to greedy private ownership.

How to steal from the public:

a) Elect a bunch of ego-fueled slime that think their crap doesn't stink

b) Make sure they have plenty of skeletons in the closet or have a central weakness that can be exploited

c) Create a language that obscures the outright robbery (public/private partnership)

d) Have your lawyers draw up the details and then let your political puppets pretend it is their idea

e) Make sure the press reports the story with the appropriate slant (it's for the kids)

f) Deposit the funds into your account (this can be done while on a European vacation)

And just 19% of the total going for bond issuance costs and PDC overhead. These people should be going to jail-IMHO!

Who, this won't be the final ransacking because the 3 leaders are there for a reason in this election. They are there to continue the greed is good policy of the chosen few.

Lincoln High School, whose land will be turned over to condo weasels as the high school is shipped out to what used to be industrial northwest Portland

Am I the only one that fails to see the logic here? I thought PPS didn't have any money; how are they supposed to afford to build a new $150 million school, on likely contaiminated industrial land? Aren't there plenty of vacant lots and parking lots right next to the MAX line that just scream "develop me!" - you know, like the blocks north of the Convention Center station, north of N.E. 7th, nearly every Beaverton MAX station has plenty of vacant space...

Problem: Portland State's budget doesn't cover operating costs so their going to have to cut faculty.

Solution: Borrow money to build more stuff.

Problem: Trimet's budget doesn't cover operating costs so their going to have to cut service.

Solution: Borrow money to build more stuff.

Problem: PPS's budget doesn't cover operating costs so they're going to have to lay off teachers.

Solution: Borrow money to build more stuff.

Anybody else starting to see a pattern here?

Old Shep wrote: this won't be the final ransacking

I think it is, because there's nothing left to steal, and nobody left to borrow, cadge, or mooch from. If only the City could print and issue currency. =-)

Tried to get a loan lately? I know, they have insiders... but it's still harder than before, and your balance sheet may actually matter. Portland's looks terrible.

What can't continue, will not continue. Eventually reality will catch up with their cunning plan, whether or not the green class understands.

Don't be left holding the bag when reality catches up with their cunning plan.

If only the City could print and issue currency.

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if that turned out to be the next "big idea" from City Hall.

Besides "public housing" for Fish, some of these UR dollars are allocated for student housing and workforce housing. PSU and OHSU are going to take our property tax dollars to build housing that will benefit students having no criteria of income for themselves or their extended family. Plus work force housing includes those making up to $65,000 for a family. Not bad that the rest of us will be subsiding them. And don't forget all the other subsidies that the city gives for transit districts. Keep working all of us peons.

That's why I won't own a parcel of property in Portland. It's like having your assets "nationalized" in slow motion. You get to pay for it until you're forced to leave, then it gets recycled via PDC, URA, etc.

It's brilliant, really.

Portland polishes its "urban renewal" shinola

Ever seen anything polished so quickly?
Am afraid there is lots more to be polished before SamRand leave!
264 days.....
and if we can't change the insider game and their candidates from getting in and continuing, there will be ongoing polishing until nothing of value is left to polish.
Shame on those who are supposed to be leaders and good stewards of our community
for being such a pathetic bunch!

Tim

What a cynical outlook. Tim, you just don't get "progressive" policy making.

Besides, how do you know they're vacationing in Europe? Could be Tahiti. Or St. Kitts. Or the Caymans, to be near their offshore cash.

Or, in Mayor Sam's case, Bangkok.

Besides, it's for the children, which goes both ways in the mayor's case.

Step 1 - Divert property taxes to developer crony subsidies & ego monuments

Step 2 - Collect legal campaign contributions, beach house subsidies, and
other considerations (like post-council employment opportunities) from cronies

Step 3 - Decry the lack of funding for schools, fire trucks, and libraries, and push for dedicated property taxes for each "necessity".

Step 4 - Bribe the County with upfront cash so they quit talking about all the property taxes diverted from basic serviced.

Step 5 - Get re-elected, or become a consultant, and PROFIT!

Step 6 - Extend the sunset date of the old URA's or create new ones. Then go back to Step 1.

Step 3 - How eager do you think people will be to pass a road/pothole tax after five years of no paving?

Step 4 - Remember when Ted Wheeler said No to the URA's? Jeff Cogen, coming out of Saltzman's office, willing to go along. I consider it a betrayal of his duties to the Multnomah County needs. A new building more important than the people's needs? I am very disappointed in Cogen for various reasons, another that he didn't step in to protect the health of our community, and allowed the every other week garbage pick up.

Step 5 - Don't tell me Sam and Randy are planning to become consultants!


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