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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Portland parks: "Don't forget, we're after your money, too"

We're voting no on the crazy Sam Rand head tax for the arts. We're also ix-nay on Portland School Construction Pork Tax 2.0. But for those who might be on the fence about those two money measures on the November ballot, or about the library taxing district (which we support), here's a reminder of what's to come next year: a parks bond issue proposed by Commissioner Nick "Jelly" Fish. No details yet, but the message from the parks bureau is clear: "Save some for us!"

The desperation at the bureau is tragic, given the many streetcars, bike toys, and other frills that the city always has money lying around for. And given the fact that the bureaucrats illegally spent the proceeds of the last bond measure they sold -- it was supposed to fund maintenance, but they used the money for capital projects -- they will be facing an uphill battle from skeptics this time around.

The city borrowed $1 million on a line of credit over the past quarter for parks maintenance.

Comments (8)

There used to be this thing called the "general fund" which funded core city services.

But that had to be given over to developers and city employees who retired to Palm Springs 15 years ago.

So now in order to have basic services (actual today services, not services rendered 15 years ago) we have additional levies stacking up overhead like planes on a foggy night over LaGuardia, just waiting to land one after another.

Message to Jelly Fish:

I need to save some for myself. Fixed income, retired, COLAs on SS and pension are zero.

Only the government is always asking for more.


Tapped out.


Answer to all these issues = independent Portland Parks and Recreation special district. That is all.

A great description you painted, like planes on a foggy night.....

Anyway, Fish has been a go along too here with Leonard and PWB plans and the rest, apparently not standing up for his core parks bureau budget, is the thinking that the people love their parks so a bond will take care of needed expenses?

People are being picked clean with this and that and may not have more to give. In addition to the city and their folly spending and debt, essential basics such as food have increased and we are told to expect further increases with the drought and then we have food commodities and profit for some to store the food. It is all about the money, not about what is good for human beings.

I've lived here 9 years and there have been so many bond measures I've lost count. We all knew this park bond was coming. What else are we facing? I'm sure our new mayor and city council will be looking for ways to raise property taxes more. Our local politicians don't think there's anything wrong with ever higher taxes. They never look out for the taxpayer in this city.

I wonder how many people will be property taxed out of this city? Clever Charlie is already sending out signals for a sales tax, he fits right in with the spending more and I don't perceive Jefferson as much better in that department. What a choice we have now. In my view it has come to this because for far too many years people have just let it go on, perhaps always thinking someone else will take care of the problem or somehow things will self correct. Well the someone else's I know need help, they can't do it without others stepping up their involvement.

Sometimes I still wonder where all that money could have gone? Someday we're going to learn that Portland had fifty secret Aldermen, or one Robert Citron. The construction gravy train must be simply titanic in size.

So glad I live in a small town with long-term political gridlock. It's not that our leaders are better people (although they probably are); it's that they can't get out of their own way, and they can't borrow very much. A vast improvement.

A mere technicality, I guess, but aren't bonds supposed to pay for capital projects, not maintenance? Isn't this what almost bankrupted NYC in the '70s before the state took over the city's budgeting. Are you arguing, Jack, that bonds should be spent for maintenance?

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