Clackamas Government- An Elitist Agenda that is deaf to citizen concerns? – AFP Clackamas

Clackamas Government- An Elitist Agenda that is deaf to citizen concerns?

The Portland-Milwaukie Intergovernmental Grant Agreement  between TriMet and Clackamas County

The county staff and four commissioners are insisting “a deal is a deal” and the agreement cannot be broken.  

3 out of the four parties to the contract are Clackamas County. 
Clackamas County 
Clackamas County Development Agency 
North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District

The county and agency are represented by Dan Johnson. The same guy putting on the community Urban Renewal presentations.  

Commissioner Ann Lininger signed the agreement for all three parties.

Many question whether or not she and the board had the authority because there never was any money identified as available.

Contracts are broken every day of the week.

In this case the majority of the board is claiming they have no choice but to honor the agreement. 

However, there is no defined enforceable action or cost to withdrawing. 

The parties to the contract could have fun suing each other. 
Perhaps Dan, representing the agency could sue Dan representing the county?

Perhaps TriMet would sue the county for some sort of damages?  There’s a big problem there because TriMet does not have the rest of the funding secured.  
It would be fun to see TriMet do so but even if the county were ultimately required to pay TriMet some compensation it would be in the 10s of thousands  

3. Yesterday BCC Work Session.
Commissioners and staff are discussing putting a competing Urban Renewal measure on the ballot. Obviously one that would be aimed at disrupting the citizen effort to stop the Urban Renewal funding schemes including for Milwaukie Light Rail. They talked about an option where only the voters within the UR district voting on an UR measure.

This is of course ridiculous as county wide services would be taking a huge hit by the diverted millions in county funding for county services.

Staff/county counsel also asked to commissioners to allow them to have (hire) outside legal counsel to review our Initiative Petition.
So they are going to spend public funds to have high priced lawyers help them figure out how to obstruct the public will.

At 3:35 Commissioner Bernard asked what would happen if both competing measures passed. 
County counsel said, “we can word it so ours trumps theirs”.  Benrnard said, “so we win– group laughter — Bernard , ” we declare victory”.
Their disdain for the voters is now funny. 

4. McLoughlin Area Plan  (Urban Renewal for Milwaukie Light Rail)

In pushing UR, county staff Dan Johnson has been giving community presentations misrepresenting Tax Increment Financing. His claims that UR pays for itself are of course blatant lies. One of his other whoppers is that the “Clackamas Town Center Urban Renewal District created 30,000 jobs”.

The Columbia River Crossing lie about creating 25,000 lies has been shown by Willamette Week to be only 2500 jobs.
The 14,000 jobs that TriMet and the commissioners like to tell about Milwaukie Light Rail is another complete fabrication.

The BIG DIG in Boston spent $50 billion and it was determined to have created only 5000 jobs.

The MAP UR scheme will be much larger than the MLR $25 million. Probably a $100 million or more plan. All borrowed and paid back by skimming property taxes from a likely 700 acre, or greater, UR district.

It’s interesting that this Beaverton UR plan, that requires voter approval, is posted on the MAP website.
  See it here:

Although this Beaverton plan will go to a public vote the same misinformation is being distributed.

Their plan involves $150 million, 1000 acres, $777 million in assessed value and not the city or paper tells the voters that all of the normal yearly increases on ALL of the 1000 acres  will be diverted from essential services to pay the UR debt. This will trigger the need for new taxes and fees and/or service cuts to deal with the resulting funding gap.  

Yet city officials and the press are telling the voters,

“The unanimous approval puts the $150 million, 30-year plan – which will not increase residents’ taxes – in the hands of city voters, who will decide the measure’s fate in the Nov. 8 election.
The city’s urban renewal district encompasses nearly 1,000 acres and around $777 million in assessed property tax value in and around the city’s core. The area includes historic Old Town, the TriMet transit area, Central Beaverton’s office and retail area and the “employment district” east of Highway 217 between Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and Allen Boulevard.
An urban renewal district provides a funding mechanism that encourages redevelopment of a designated blighted area to increase property values.
Tax increment financing effectively freezes assessed values at a certain level and pays for redevelopment projects and bond debt through the amount the value increases from that level.”

They are misleading the voters by not telling them most of the increased property values and property taxes used to pay the UR debt have nothing to do with the proposed development.  
Those increases are normal yearly increases that happen without any UR plan. 
With the cost of services rising every year this dishonest diverting leaves a big funding hole. 

Clackamas County’s plan to borrow $25 million for Milwaukie Light Rail wil require diverting $45 million in property taxes from the general fund that would otherwise go to essential services and existing payrolls & jobs.

5. Commissioner Damon 

An earlier update noted Damon’s long history with MLR that disputes her claim of being a new commissioner and therefore lacking familiarity with the project.
She has been more involved than any other, for years, as a facilitator persuading (I mean involving) the public. 

along with this Damon -video on at   45:00              mms://
This link on her history with MLR did not work “was on the Project Staff as a consultant for Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project Citizen Advisory Committee.”
It had been removed by Metro. Here it is attached Damon MLR
MEETING: Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project Citizen Advisory Committee
DATE: Thursday, October 25, 2007



Crista Gardner, Phillip Kennedy-Wong, Jenn Tuerk, Mark Turpel, Bridget Wieghart, Karen Withrow
Sean Batty, Claudia Steinberg, Dave Unsworth
Project Consultants
Jamie Damon, Jeanne Lawson & Associates
Steve Iwata
City of Milwaukie
Kenny Asher

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