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Monday, October 29, 2012

"Urban renewal" ship now has no rudder whatsoever

"Urban renewal" is supposed to combat "blight" by using "tax excrement increment" borrowing to stimulate private investment and increase the property tax base. In Portland, the concept of "blight" has become a sick joke -- it's wherever the Edlens and Dames want to slap up apartments and hotels -- and lately the goal of increasing the tax base has also been thrown aside.

In the failed SoWhat District, "urban renewal" paid for buildings and an aerial tram [rim shot] for OHSU, which wasn't paying property taxes the last time we looked. Now we learn that millions are going to Multnomah County for a new health department building in Old Town. And that hokey "urban renewal" district that includes the Portland State patronage center and Lincoln High School? There's a new county personnel department palace in the works in that one.

We're still not over the crazy deal that was cooked up four and a half years ago, in which the city issued "urban renewal" bonds and handed millions over to the county, supposedly to move the Hawthorne Bridge ramp for a new courthouse. That was a bogus premise for the transfer of the money, as no such project was ever seriously undertaken. Somebody at the IRS ought to take a hard look at that one. The state should, too, but don't expect the Network members in Salem to lift a finger to stop corruption.

So now we have city property taxes being diverted to pay for new buildings for the medical school and the county -- and in the case of the Hawthorne Bridge ramp, as a flat-out grant to the county, which did nothing with the money. That's "urban renewal," Portland-style: nothing but abuse.

Comments (11)

I think we're nearing that stage of development in our republic where the patricians gain complete and utter control over the plebeians.

In honor of the perfect storm back East, how's this for a scenario:

The "blighted" urban renewal stuff goes to court and that's when the city proves we're a blighted area by how many commuters can't even drive to work in a car, and are forced to ride a bicycle.

How can it be that there is not a single elected official or group of elected officials speaking out or spear heading anything to correct this runaway UR train.

It's a despicable demonstration of dysfunction that all who would are too afraid to speak out.

Outside of Ludlow for Clackamas County Chair I don't recall any candidate saying anything either.

Before voters passed the 3-386 UR initiative by 70% requiring county wide votes Clackamas County had planned to adopt widespread use of UR.
The county had an immense unused UR debt capacity in excess of $2 billion which Metro was counting on being used.

The county (w/cities) already loses $29.7 million per year to UR debt.

A huge UR district was going to be adopted by the county commissioners in the Oak Grove/McLoughlin Blvd area that may have been 1000s of acres (similar to Portland's 3744 acre North Interstate URA) stretching from the Willamette River to I-205.

The Sunrise Corridor was going to be another massive misuse.

Elsewhere UR is being pushed for expansion in Sandy, Canby, Lake Oswego, Oregon City and Estacada.

Elections next week will effect many of those efforts.

But it's going to be "spectacular".

Time for a Constitutional Amendment banning urban renewal/local improvement districts.

Just like it's time for a Constitutional Amendment requiring public votes and approvals for any new infrastructure project (i.e. light rail, entertainment pavilions/sports stadiums)...

The ONLY way to really show power in Oregon is by amending the Constitution...anything less will be trampled on by the "elected officials" because they know that they can change anything else without a vote. Heck they can even flip-flop daily all they want.

"Forget it, Jake... I mean JACK. It's Chinatown... I mean PORTLAND town."

This is the perfect reason to quit voting for these hacks. Remember it does start at the local level but it runs to the top.
This is the kind of BULL that you deserve when you vote for the Damons,Schraders x 2,Lehans,Bernards, Sodomy Sams, Randy,Wu, Felony Hales,Nutsys, NY Gatsby,BlueManures,Malaaarkly et al. Don't forget the Washington delegation as well plenty of the Cantwell group crap to go around.
Please remember our beloved POTUS, clearly a devotee of all things FUBAR. Cash for clunkers, green energy on and on.
Found this on Drudge this am:


There has been a scam of one sort or another going on for a long time.

I think what we are really seeing is the veil being pulled back and our eyes are opening - if you like, the dawning of a new golden age.

It is just the beginning, so much more dirt to uncover. But I remain optimistic that this is all leading to a better tomorrow.

Our job is not to make things turn around - as that is still a ways off, but to keep exposing the dirt and the slime.

There are three city councilors here in Lake Oswego that are fighting UR, but are in a 4 to 3 minority. Hopefully that will change next week.....

The only difference between Portland and Chicago is that they'd be remodeling the Commissioner's homes with funds diverted from the PDC.

We're fortunate that P-town is 100% corruption free excluding the occassional low-level city employee who gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

In Canby, they built a police station and are building a new city hall and library with URD money. None pay taxes.

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