Clackamas County Taxpayers vs. County “Government”

From remarks forwarded to me by a concerned Clackamas County Citizen:

Have you wondered how Clackamas County was taken over by “Big Government Advocates”,  Lynn Peterson, Ann LIninger, Jim Bernard, Jamie Damon & Charlotte Lehan?  

Look look at the members who make up the Clackamas “Business Alliance“.

A disinterested 3rd party cannot help but conclude this alliance is nothing more than a self serving scheme designed to block public scrutiny or influence over enormous taxpayer funded spending decisions. This “Alliance” of mostly government and private benefactors has lined heir pockets with enormous taxpayer funded wealth.  They produced a voter’s pamphlet statement supporting a contrived ballot measure solely intended to defeat the citizen’s measure.  A contrivance so unethical and misleading that a judge threw out the ballot title they wrote.  These are our “representatives”?

They have nothing to offer Clackamas County.. What they are is an extension of the Portland planning regime that preys on uninformed, unwitting, uninvolved citizens.. in a system that they’ve learned to manipulate to line the pockets of their benefactors and to grow wealth siphoning, sprawling government beast.

Clackamas County has no integrity being a contributing member to this racket.  I mean, take a look at the “members, sponsors, and director”.  Is there the possibility/ probability of “insider” corruption?  Don’t be stupid.

http://www.ccba.biz/1201.html   Premium sponsors

http://www.ccba.biz/22187.html   Board of Directors

It’s essentially all government and benefactors who have grown fat at the trough.. and making millions off the Portland/TriMet/Metro agenda. All dues paying members (using funds which originate from the taxpayer).  Once again, taxpayer money being used against taxpayers to  grow an ever growing assault on the private sector, while enriching a very narrow class of “insiders”. 

Sampling:

3J Consulting, Inc 
Bank of Lake Oswego
Bernards Garage, Inc      Commissioner Bernard
City of Happy Valley
City of Milwaukie
City of Wilsonville
Clackamas Community College
Clackamas County
David Evans and Associates, Inc         Along with every other boondoggle these Arch/Engineers have been paid $80 million to date for CRC planning 
Davis Wright Tremaine                      
General Growth Properties, LLC – Clackamas Town Center   recipeints of millions in Urban Renewal tax dollars
Group MacKenzie            SoWa property owner, big vender for Portland Development
HM3 Ethanol, Inc
Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce
Metropolitan Land Group
North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce
Oregon City School District
Oregon Iron Works, Inc        Streetcar manufacturer
Portland General Electric
STIVEN Planning and Development Services, LLC
Tri-County Investments, LLC
Worksource Oregon Employment Department

Look at the list of contributors who wish to silence the voice of Clackamas Taxpayers .. Do you see a pattern?  These organizations and people want to control the county commissioners.. and bypass the taxpayer.  It’s muchc easier to buy off a commissioner. 

These are the interests that want we citizens to shut up.. and want to deny us our opportunity to actually vote on the issue.

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Clackamas commissioners’ “urban renewal” measure doubly ambiguous

Clackamas commissioners’ “urban renewal” measure doubly ambiguous

We’ve been staring for a couple of days now at the language of the decoy ballot measure that the Clackamas County commissioners have placed on the November ballot to compete with the citizens’ initiative petition that would require countywide votes for future “urban renewal” expansions. The longer we look at the politicians’ measure, the more ambiguous parts of it seem.
In particular, we’re referring to the conflict provision — the part of the commissioners’ measure that talks about what happens if it conflicts with other county laws. It reads as follows:

A number of intriguing questions arise out of this poorly chosen language.
First things first: Does this language even apply to the conflict between the two measures on the November ballot? Specifically, is the measure originally initiated by the citizens’ petition a “referral”? At least to our untrained eye, it doesn’t seem so. There’s a clear distinction made in state law between an initiative and a referendum. A referendum is the situation in which a law or ordinance that the county commissioners enacted is forced onto the ballot by petition signatures. As we understand it, that’s not what the citizens did here — they invented their own measure, which is an initiative rather than a referendum. And so the conflict language in the commissioners’ measure — alluding to “any referral” — may not even apply to the glaring conflict between these two measures. (The crux of the dispute is whether future “urban renewal” schemes should be subject to a countywide vote, or just a vote of the district that would benefit.)
Assuming that the conflict language does apply — and that seems a major assumption — there’s an additional problem with the operative language: “the provisions having received the lesser number of votes in any referral of the measure to an election shall be void.” Does that mean (a) the lesser number of “yes” votes, or (b) the lesser number of total votes, both in favor and against?
Take this example: Both measures pass. The citizens’ initiative passes 10,000 to 5,000, and the commissioners’ measure passes, 8,000 to 7,500. Assuming the conflict language applies, then which ballot measure prevails, and which one is void? The citizens’ initiative has more “yes” votes (10,000 to 8,000), but the commissioners’ measure, which also passed, has more overall votes (15,500 to 15,000). Which “provisions… received the lesser number of votes”? Common sense would say the politicians’ version, but that idea could have been expressed much more clearly than in the commissioners’ drafting.
If somehow the language means that the most total votes wins, then so long as both measures get a majority of votes cast, folks who favor the citizens’ measure might be better off not voting at all on the commissioners’ measure — not even voting “no.” On the other hand, if the measure with the most “yes” votes wins (a more loigcal, but by no means necessary, reading), then it would make sense for the citizens’ group to vote yes on the initiative measure and no on the commissioners’.
Are these two ambiguities deliberate and malicious, or are they accidental? It’s hard to tell. In the original version of the decoy measure, there was reference to actions taken by more or less than 51% of the voters in the “urban renewal” area. That was bad drafting, too. As anyone who’s thought about it knows, a majority is 50% plus 1 vote — not 51%. 5,001 to 4,999 is a majority — you needn’t get to 5,100. Somebody down there is a truly poor drafter, or diabolically clever.
Either way, it’s hard to tell what the heck that conflict provision says. So who knows what the rules are going to be here? Maybe Kate Brown or John Kroger can send out a press release on the subject. But the vote’s less than two months away. Election procedures in Oregon are the pits sometimes, aren’t they?

Posted at 8:42 AM

Clackamas County Commissioners- Tell Citizens to “Shove It”

 Public Hearing Notice

Tuesday September 6th. at 6:00 PM.

_______________________________

 

 About 10,000 registered voters have signed the

Citizens’ petition to require voter approval for

the formation of urban renewal districts and

our measure will be on the November ballot.

 

The County Commissioners are drafting

a counter measure in an attempt to fool

the Citizens of the Clackamas County

not to vote for the Citizens’ measure.

 

This hearing may be your only opportunity to

tell the Commissioners what you think about

them putting a counter measure on the ballot

that could overturn your right to vote on the

formation of all urban renewal districts

within Clackamas County.

 

Help us spread the word about this hearing.

We need as many people as possible

to come and speak against the

Commissioners on this issue!

 ________________________________

 

 County Commissioners’ Hearing

 Tuesday September 6th at 6 PM

 Commissioners’ Hearing Room – 4th floor

 2051 Kaen Rd. Oregon City

_________________________________

 

You may view the county’s counter measure at

http://www.clackamas.us/docs/bcc/packet090811.pdf

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://media1.co.clackamas.or.us/ClackVideo/CableLibrary/BCC7-14-11.wmv
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

PROJECT STAFF

Metro

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

Sellwood Bridge-fee foes turn in 7,792 signatures

Sellwood Bridge-fee foes turn in 7,792 signatures

UPDATED: Project may hinge on Clackamas County’s May ballot

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Petitioners turned in 7,792 signatures on Wednesday, Feb. 16, the deadline to place a controversial $5 vehicle registration fee increase on Clackamas County’s May 17 ballot.

To refer an ordinance to voters, the petitioners had 90 full days to submit 6,252 verified signatures. On Dec. 9 the Board of County Commissioners passed the ordinance to help fund the reconstruction of the Sellwood Bridge.

Chief petitioner and former Oregon City Commissioner Dan Holladay expressed relief that the campaign would “take advantage of the anger of voters” as soon as possible. If the petitioners had waited until the March 9 deadline, the issue would wait appear until the county’s Sept. 20 ballot.

By state statute, the Clackamas County Elections Division has 15 days to verify the signatures after they’ve been turned in. The required number of signatures amounts to 4 percent of county voters in the most recent governor’s race.

“We’ve been very careful going through these signature sheets deleting any outside of Clackmas County, so we’re confident that our petition will be accepted,” Holladay said.

Using the state-prescribed random sampling technique, Clackamas County Clerk Sherry Hall expected to determine whether there are enough valid signatures by the middle of next week.

After signing an agreement with the city of Portland this month, Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen said that bridge construction would be completed by the end of 2016, even if Clackamas County voters reject the fee. Cogen added that the partnership would “find a way” to complete the project.

Cogen later clarified that this statement was not to suggest that the contribution from Clackamas County was not essential to the Sellwood project.

“I was hoping to convey that we were very determined to move the bridge project forward, but the simple truth is that even with Clackamas County’s contribution we have a funding gap of at least $20 million,” he said. “Without Clackamas County’s contribution the Sellwood Bridge project is more than $40 million short, with no clear path to reaching the goal.”

Recent design changes may also reduce the estimated cost of the replacement project by $41 million – from $331 million down to $290 million.

Clackamas County Commissioners didn’t want to listen to the will of the taxpayers in Clackamas County. Multnomah County and the City of Portland area responsible for the Sellwood Bridge. Mismanagement of their affairs- and desparation to build light rail in Milwaukie- make our Commissioners blind to the will of the people. It’s time to send another message and gear up to replace those who insist we shut up and just take it.