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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Novick starts his City Hall blog

And boy oh boy, is Portland's newest city councilman ever writing on it. Some of you may want to have a chill pill handy before you head over there:

Governor John Kitzhaber... raised another possibility: that the State could give counties more money for treatment and supervision of released offenders, and rehabilitation programs, if the counties stop increasing the prison population. (It's county officials - the DAs, the parole and probation system, and the judges - that send people to prison.) I think that's a great idea, and have been encouraging legislators to adopt the Governor's vision and encouraging County officials to take that deal....

[I]f you allow local options to apply to people already paying the Measure 5 limit, and you continue to base tax rates on the goofy Measure 47 / 50 assessed value, you will make our existing inequities worse.... [I]f we're going to allow local options to be collected outside the Measure 5 limits, at least the tax rate should apply to real market value, not the goofy Measure 47 / 50 assessed value. That way everyone with the same property value would pay the same amount....

We could ask the voters to simply eliminate Measure 47 / 50 and say that all property taxes should be based on real market value, effective immediately. One problem with that is that to some extent, the real estate market has probably adjusted the sales prices of houses to reflect the differing property taxes in each neighborhood.... I would like to see the relationship between assessed value and real market value restored, but I would be careful about doing it overnight....

There are a lot of reasons health care costs are so high, and a lot of innovative ways that we can try to reduce them. (Note: "dumping costs onto employees" is not an innovative way to reduce health care costs; it's a cop-out.) City government itself can do a lot, for example by building more sidewalks to make it easier for kids to walk to school, which will make them healthier. We could build more bike infrastructure, to make it easier for people to bike to work and to the grocery store, which will make them healthier....

Is it "manifestos" or "manifestoes"?

Comments (28)

Great, he's going to spend his time on everything but his job as a council-person (or whatever the heck he is).

No mention of police issues, high water rates, bad schools. Plenty of cosmological ponderings and new ways to tax us.

This guy is less focused than Jeffy-boy.

"if the counties stop increasing the prison population"

I think he forgot that perps increase the prison population thru their acts. Sounds like we get more crazies running the streets to me.

Maybe you can entice Novick to move out of state to a more suitable writing environment. I've heard that Ted Kacynski's cabin is vacant (where he can slam those horrible prosecutors for putting Ted into prison).

I read a half dozen books on the food industry last year. Saying that riding a bicycle to the grocery store will make people healthier is one of those classic distortions of reality politicians are so good at. It's not how they get to the store - it's what's for sale once they get there. The food industry is more corrupt than the military-industrial complex.

On a positive note, I completely approve of your take on earthquakes:

One of my highest priorities as a City Commissioner is to do what I can to ensure that Portland is better prepared to survive an earthquake. Geologists tell us that there is a 10 to 15 percent chance that a truly massive earthquake will strike Oregon, including Portland, in the next 50 years.

That is exactly the type of problem governments should focus on. I've read that the 9.0 quakes happen every 300 years, and it's been that long. Incidentally, they know exactly when the last huge quake around here was by the waves that arrived in Japan. I'd start by storing the parts for some temporary bridges in case the real ones all get knocked out. The length of the fault is such that the quake could go on for around 5 minutes. That's a long time. But I'm not trying to dazzle you with the science. The idea that you're making this one of your top priorities is good news.

Finally, while I personally feel no legal responsibility for you or Charlie Hales getting elected, there is a very disconcerting chance that my rants had something to do with it. Please, Steve - and perhaps you can pass this on to Mayor Hales - please do not screw this up.

I like the title of his article, "What does the City Do? Answer: Blog and tweet.

We could ask the voters to simply eliminate Measure 47 / 50 and say that all property taxes should be based on real market value, effective immediately.

I'm guessing that in his grand vision, property taxes would NOT fall 25% when house values fall by that much, however.

It's not how they get to the store - it's what's for sale once they get there. The food industry is more corrupt than the military-industrial complex.

... and everyone is a mindless drone who is unable (without Michelle mandating food selection), to make rational choices. Or, maybe, they're unwilling to conform to the food fad du jour. Either way, it's someone else's fault - preferably an evil corporation.

Good job, Bill.

As long as you keep the tinfoil hat conspiracy stuff back just a bit from the edge, you'll fit right in. Read another half-dozen books on earthquakes and, hey, what about asteroids? It'll beat catering, eh?

Maybe he thinks we're paying by the comma? I count ten in this sentence.

"The police, City employees, largely paid for by property taxes, who arrest offenders, and the District Attorneys, County employees who are also largely paid for by property taxes, who prosecute them, and send them either to County jails, also largely paid for by property taxes, or State prison, which in most States are paid for by a combination of sales and income taxes, except in States that only have one of those two taxes."

I felt dizzy after reading it.

I'm a writer now. I left banquets a long time ago. I do miss the people though.

Our percentage of income for food has actually gone down over the decades. The big increases are for trips to the doctor once we eat the food.

Oh, and Michelle is right about eating plants, but the low-fat diet stuff that drove the industry for decades turned out to be bad advice.

Holy bats, that boy is long-winded. Quick, somebody get him a copy of Elements of Style."

By the end of four years he can publish an encyclopedic compilation of his writings. It will total about a dozen volumes and could be organized either chronologically or alphabetically, A-C, D-F, etc.

Does he think he is the smartest person in the room? Or the only person in the room?

Jack's long winded, comma abundant Novick quote proves my thinking that I'd rather have a dumb-common sense Commissioner than a smarty who would stay on point.

Novick ran for the wrong office. He should have tried for the Oregon Legislature. Now he wants to repeal 47/50 and change our whole states taxing policy while being a Portland junior commissioner.

Dear Commish Novick:

You seem like a smart guy, so please do some math before you start trying to find ways to increase the tax burden on us.

The value of the dollar has been diminishing for years (due mainly to Fed policy of printing money out of thin air). The real rate of inflation is making things cost more. Wages have not increased to compensate for this double whammy.

So yes public expenditures cost more every year and the tax pool is not growing because of stuck and falling wages. It is not our fault! We pay too much in taxes today. Quit trying to squeeze more out of us everyday folks - we have been getting screwed for years and years.

Damn it Steve, is that too hard to figure out?

And by the way, the same people that run the illegal drug trade also run the prisons. If want to solve the cost of prisons, stop sending people there in the first place.

RE: eliminating the property tax limits

Explain to the fixed income people why they need to pay more property tax when their income is not increasing?

Sure, sell the property to exactly who?

And if sold, where do I next go to live; one of the Crapartments?

Please introduce Mr Novick to the classic pie chart that shows how ones income might be spread. If there are four segments consuming the entire pie: taxes, food, utilities, and medical care, please explain how one reallocates the expenses?

It seems like Fireman Randy aka The Hose Guy has passed on his know it all ignoramus bull in the china shop way of doing things to the Taxic new boy wonder Novic.

комисса́р Novick is just upset the voters upset his and his cronies plans to force fixed income people out of theor homes nad into (cr)apartments

An outright repeal of 47/50 would end urban renewal in Oregon. Measure 5 effectively killed UR, but it was resurrected with the m50 deal making to "fix" m47.

If novick's proposal actually shut down UR and the return to RMV was slowly phased in he might be able to start a discussion.

Reform health care to save the city money! There's an original idea!

unable (without Michelle mandating food selection), to make rational choices

Regrettably, the rational choices are the ones that come with heavy federal subsidies and are made out of corn.

Novick ran for the wrong office.

This was my thought as soon as I heard he was running for city council. His background does suggest state legislature or if health is his concern, Multnomah County.
Where has Novick been living for the most part? What does he really know about our city?
Wasn't his job at the state level?
What is it with these people who run for an office because of an opening whether it is the best place for their interests?
He ran for the Senate, now for city council?
At least Hales ran for the city, but I still think he did so to get his name out, as his long range goal may have been to run for Governor.
Hales indicated he is for a sales tax. He may be sending lobbyists down to the state for this.
What are the real interests/push here of these people?

Genetically modified corn. Oh, and the hybridization of wheat has created a vastly different plant than even 50 years ago. Not only do the genes accumulate when 2 strains are crossed, but there are new proteins created that are not present in either of the original strains. Enjoy.

Having COP officials or staff spending any time or money whatsoever worrying about or trying to influence what people eat is more than a waste of public monies; it should be considered an abuse of power. That is not their job. It's flat crazy, it's such an over-reach. It's a microcosm of what has gone so wrong with your city government.

The health care costs he can worry about are what the city is paying for its employees' insurance and what share they pay.

Novick is parroting the League of Oregon Cities & O editorial who just want to raise property taxes to continue the phony Urban Renewal, planners' charrette world they've been supporting for decades.

Oregon Tax Trouble: A pricey property tax fix-story below

"This would change under the League of Oregon Cities' proposal, which would reset a property's assessed value to its real market value when the owner sells it."

After decades of pushing irresponsible spending practices the LOC is pushing for a massive property tax hike. And just like they pushed the Urban Renewal racket with dishonest rhetoric they are
playing this new con job as repairing inequities.

"At that point, assessed value would, once again, escalate at 3 percent per year while real market value fluctuated along with the housing market."

Huh? A 3% increase every year even if there is no increase in the real market value?

"Proposing a mechanism to iron out property tax inequities would be worth doing as a stand-alone effort."

See it's just to "iron out property tax inequities"?

What a flagrant load of propaganda.

"League of Oregon Cities' other legislative priority next year: exempting temporary funding measures from property tax caps, to which we've devoted abundant editorial space already."

That's just another huge tax hike to grab more money to fill the
hole the LOC and O played a big part in digging.

Perhaps Novick and editorial board are simply ignorant about the League of Oregon Cities, Urban Renewal and the abuse of Tax Increment Financing?

TIF that stacked up massive debt from UR abuse and lousy projects requiring ripping off essential services to repay it over decades.

If Novick & the LOC wants to copy California they should lobby to end all UR- Tax Increment Financing.

NOvick is coming across as yet another progressive that does not care who his policies hurt, as long as he gets more money for his pet projects.

HEY NOVICK - you were elected to keep the police on the, pothole free, streets, the fire department ready for emergencies with low cost water and sewer.

YOU WERE NOT elected to restructure the state or to follow the latest popular delusions like smart growth or global warming.

If you do need more money to waste on pet projects, why don’t you start by cutting off the developer gravy train - they are already getting around $100 million of our property taxes and have a whole city department dedicated to giving out developer goodies. Oh, and you could quit wasting money on streetcars and toy trains - FLASH: buses work and are low cost.


Nobody's recommending they get involved with what we eat.
Exactly the opposite.

Novick addressed the idea of making the population healthier. I thought that was creepy enough. It sounds like some kind of North Korean group think.

The food topic is a great example of where government intervention at the behest of big business has caused thousands of deaths. It's why there are epidemics of obesity, cancer, and diabetes just for starters. Anytime a politician starts acting as a lifestyle coach, we have to go off, immediately.

NO-vick seems like a food nick name.
And blogging about all the stuff he went off on is a waste of everyone's time effort and energy, One brief scanning read is more than enough for me.
Hey, Steve, sit down, shut up, and get to work, figuring out how to pave the streets, fix the pot holes, improve graduation rates, lower the water and sewer rates and do something, ANYthing to make Portland a better place for small businesses to do business. How about streamlining the permitting, and lowering the fees, just for starters?

Novick addressed the idea of making the population healthier.I thought that was creepy enough. It sounds like some kind of North Korean group think.

Last spring already he indicated he was for fluoride and then that he did not know it was a waste by product.

How smart are these people wanting to make decisions for the rest of us?

Portland's own Falkner has a sentence with a whopping 74 words in it.

Novick's sentiments about property taxes may be explainable. When he was running for the Democratic nomination for Senate against Merkely, he stated in a radio interview that he did not own a home and had never owned a home. He also said that his parents had gotten thumped trying, in his words, to "buy low and sell high".

He evidently sees home ownership as an investment scheme for most, rather than a fundamental part of one's personal financial planning. I was amused that he wanted to be a senator, but had such a low opinion of home ownership. Evidently his opinion has not changed.

If these people running for council were strictly interested in the job to take care of city basics, but since they seem to be on "other" avenues of interest, it behooves us to find out who these people really are, what they plan to do and who they represent.
Perhaps for some it is just another political job to run for or a stepping stone.
At any event, we need people who truly care about the city and the people first,
rather than focused on some political career.

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