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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Skunks, blinded by light, return to their holes

It looks like the secret Saltzman-Santner-Grimwade plan to sell off part of Mount Tabor Park is dead as a doornail, thanks to the bright sunshine of publicity, the tenacity of concerned neighbors, and the common sense of Fireman Randy. But the distrust this episode has sown will live on.

"People in the bureau that I direct signed a memo of understanding to sell off part of the park to the college, with a target closing date and everything, but I didn't know about it." Sure, Dan.

Comments (10)

Thank you, all.

Thank you, neighbors.

Thank you, Randy.

I still see a couple of problems.

First, so far as I know, Santner and Grimwade are still at the Parks Bureau. That's a situation which needs to be addressed.

Second, the attorney representing Warner Pacific was the public official who hired Santner and Grimwade into the Parks Bureau (as I understand). That whole constellation strikes some very dissonent chords. It seems....ethically challenged.

Y'know, Jack, it's the 99% of lawyers like that who make it bad for the rest of you.



And if Danny doesn't know what's going on in his bureau, what is he doing on the Council?

Actually, the skunks may be retreating only momentarily (long enough for tomorrow night's one and only parks budget hearing of the year). There's still talk of a long-term lease to Warner Pacific for their roller rink or whatever it is. This stinker will be likely be around for a while, like the convention center hotel. In Portland, all scams are movable.

As for Saltzman not knowing about the signed agreement, was it not mentioned over the summer to Mayor Potter when WP gave him the royal tour?

It looks like the secret Saltzman-Santner-Grimwade plan to sell off part of Mount Tabor Park is dead as a doornail...

The "long term lease" --instead of a sale-- was discussed 2 months ago at the City-wide Parks Team meeting, that Commissioner Saltzman attended. That idea is still very much alive and, I suspect, not incongruent with Warner Pacific's needs. (Or maybe even the neighborhood's, if one wants to put an optimistic face on this...)

At any rate, "dead as a doornail" is a little strong, if not premature.

Long term lease to Fox Studios is how Sydney's historical Centennial Park lost

Quoting from documents:

The complete transfer of the "Family Entertainment Precinct" out of the hands of the Fox Studios Australia and its redevelopment even further toward general shopping centre activities seriously compromises any remaining integrity in the site"s planning framework.
The proposed change is not of state or regional significance; it has no relevance to achieving a world-class film studio; it is not associated with filming activities; and risks further exacerbating the existing poorly managed impacts, particularly increasing area traffic congestion.
I ask that the Government abide by the terms of its own SEPP 47, which presumably is the basis of the conditions of the lease of the land, and to reject any sub-leasing application that fails to comply.
There are also a number of related questions, about which I would appreciate your specific response:
• Last year, the Showground site was further subdivided, separating the filming precinct from the retail precinct, with the latter controlled by a separate entity, Fox Entertainment Precinct Pty Ltd. It appears that the plans to sell the retail precinct have been being developing for some time.

What discussions about the future of the site has Fox Entertainment Precinct Pty Ltd had with the State Government or the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust (CPMPT), as the site"s owners? What has the Government or CPMPT been advised about the intentions of the current lessees?
• In 1997, the Auditor-General reported Fox was the lessee of the Showground site for a period of 40 years commencing 23 April 1996, with an option to renew for a further period of 10 years. The Auditor-General also reported that the lessee was unable to sublease a substantial part of the premises without prior written consent of the "landlord".

Is the decision to approve a change to the leasing arrangements of the site made by the CPMPT or at a Ministerial level? What mechanisms are there to ensure prior public scrutiny and comment concerning this possible sublease or re-lease? How will you ensure that there is no repeat of the "McDonalds in Moore Park" decision, made by the Trust and signed off by a former Minister in secrecy?
• The Auditor-General also concluded that the flawed process used to lease the Showground site to Fox gave no assurances that the best outcomes for this important public site will be achieved.

What options exist for the return of this public land for public use, rather than unrelated private commercial operation and profit? "

I hope Portland doesn't learn the hard way.

First, so far as I know, Santner and Grimwade are still at the Parks Bureau. That's a situation which needs to be addressed.

The acronym to apply here is NIP.

(Not In Portland)

The city may have pulled this dumb deal one off w/o Mr. BoJack and the bloggers, so thanks!

Bojack, thanks for blogs and bloggers. I'm saying this in not knowing the full details on the Mt. Tabor deal, but knowing enough that this "Vegas" syndrome (what happens here stays here) in Portland is so prevalent. Maybe there might be some good points that can be shared between WarnerPacifc and Portland, but these "behind closed doors" and lack of media coverage until AFTER a deal is struck has got to stop.

If the media had covered several aspects of SoWhat before the deals were made, like in Amendment 8, maybe things would have been different. Knowledge can be powerful.

Y'all wanted Dan and Opie back - you got 'em. Along with all the wonderful ideas that they bring. Congratulations Portland, you are getting what you asked for - and in two more years you can vote for status quo (see SNAFU) all over again.

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