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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Those behind-closed-doors Mount Tabor Park sale talks

The secret dealings between the City of Portland and Warner Pacific College over the sale of part of Mount Tabor Park continue to come to light. Here's the college's fall newsletter (a large-ish pdf file), which (on page 4) states that the city and the college signed a memo of understanding about the proposed transaction in August. Right around the same time, good ol' Tom Potter was touring the campus and being schmoozed by the college prez (see page 5).

As best I can tell, the first neighborhood association meeting at which the planned sale was even hinted at was on September 20, at which time it apparently was revealed that the college had made an offer for the property in May. That would be a long, hot summer's worth of chit-chat before the neighborhood association was clued in.

If you don't think this is a done deal, I've got an aerial tram I want to sell you [rim shot].

The college apparently has a subscription to the local newspapers. It's trying to pull the same stunt that OHSU did to get itself a billion dollars' worth of city money for its new Shangri-la in the SoWhat district: "If we don't get our way, we'll move to the suburbs."

Earth to the City Council: Call. Their. Bluff.

Comments (4)

Tomorrow's parks discussion is still on the regular council agenda (i.e., not "time certain"). There are two items, and they are among the last listed on the regular agenda, so the late-morning--noonish time estimated in yesterday's post on Prof. Jack's blog is probably accurate.

The first is a reading and vote on a resolution (meaning that a certain position or policy can be adopted after a single reading, so action can proceed tomorrow), agenda item 1474 :
"Direct Portland Parks and Recreation to work with the Office of Management and Finance to provide analysis and funding strategies for the service zones facilities development as directed by the City Council and to return to Council with recommendations."

The second item is 1475, the presentation to council of the feasability study on the development of park service zones.

It strikes me as somewhat odd (arrogant?) to present the feasability study after the council's vote on 1474 -- wouldn't that information presumably be useful in making a decision on the earlier item?

Oh Danny boy, the parks, the parks are selling . . .

Anyone remember what used to be at this corner? http://tinyurl.com/y5qp9e
Yep -- the lower Mt Tabor Reservoir. The two big blocks of houses just to the North were an undeveloped part of Mt Tabor Park. A scrap of the park still remains. As a starving Warner student, I picked blackberries there numerous times.

The land for all those houses was sold to Warner Pacific College so they could put tennis courts there. At least that's what us little people heard. The tennis courts never appeared, but the split levels sure blossomed.

The houses were completed in 1982 and 1983. It takes time to put together a project of that size. Who sold out the park last time? Was it Neil or was it Connie McCready?

From our Bunker near the Lloyd Center

Looking through the WP newsletter, I was struck by the first photo: how much President and Mrs. Barber have a kind of PacificNorthwest Jim and Tammy Fay look.

I see this real estate deal is between the City and the Church of God...of Anderson, Indiana. So much for separtion of church and state. I see from googling the name that there are lots of these outfits with the same name. Must get confusing. I'd be thinking about a name change along the lines of The Little Church of Anderson Indiana.

And, I agree, I also see lots of similarities between OHSU and WP in the way of "branding", new logos, and grandiosity. Must be a lot of business consultants with full pockets slithering around PDX and reading from the same...bible.

Dr. Koler was getting $600,000 a year and a mansion running an untaxed conglomerate. Whats President Barber get for running an untaxed not-for-profit?

First to woodburnbob:
Your comments about the WP president are ridiculous and clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. That is clear by the fact that you compare the salary of a small Christian college's president to someone who makes $600k. Basically your post just shows your prejudice versus a religious institution and your absence of religious tolerance.

Now to everyone talking of secret land deals and no mention of MOU's in regards to the park property. In the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood association summer newsletter (http://www.mttaborpdx.org/documents/Newsletters/MTNA_Summer06.pdf) there is an invite for the entire community to an event held at Warner Pacific College to be held on August 25th, 2006. At the event, in which 1500 from the community attended the college announced the signing of the MOU just a day or so after the signing.

I have also heard through the grapevine that WP pitched stories to the Oregonian about the Mt. Tabor Park deal but were turned away by the paper saying it was not a big enough story. Funny that the allegations of secrecy are a big enough story to get print but the stories that would have prevented the allegations are not. But, what do you expect, it is the Oregonian.

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