Jan 28, 2015

Guess Who Wants To Give Away Troutdale Parks!

Last month, Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoust  introduced a Proclamation that would 
". . .recognize the "Springwater Area" and its regional environmental designation in support of volunteer efforts to protect our way of life through the stewardship of natural resources and in so doing,  support citizen health and wellbeing, healthy outdoor activities and the growth of our local economy."

Mayor Daoust invited Cathy Sherick from a group promoting the  "Springwater Parks and Community District" to explain what the proclamation was all about. Sherick told the city council her group was only there to get the city to agree to to the concept of the proclamation.

The meeting became heated when several city councilors objected to the proclamation, saying this was the first they had seen or heard of it. A majority of the city councilors spoke against even considering the proclamation until they had more facts about the proposed Springwater concept. Mayor Daoust seemed surprised and angry at the mass objections from the rest of the city council.

In spite of both Sherick and Daoust admitting  once or twice they were really talking about  forming a new parks tax district, they both talked out of both sides of their mouths and insisted they weren't talking about a  new parks tax district. Hence, the snow job.

I don't object to anyone proposing a new parks district. It never hurts to listen to new ideas and proposals. But Mayor Daoust and Ms. Sherick, give me a break! Who do you think you're kidding by continually insisting you're only there to talk about flowery concepts in a flimsy proclamation!  

Both Daoust and Sherick know what they want. They want a new parks taxing district. They want the new parks district to take control of Troutdale's parks and increase taxes for Troutdale residents.  
Troutdale City Councilor John Wilson pointed out the obvious- if Troutdale needs to impose a fee to help maintain our parks, the city can do it themselves. They don't need a parks tax district to do it for them.
What does it mean to be a city in east county?
We can't afford our police department so we merge it with Multnomah County?
We can't afford to maintain our parks. What's next? Giving up our parks to a parks and recreation district?

What does it mean to be a city in east county?  Do we want rely on our elected officials, or should Troutdale voters themselves make these decisions regarding our police department and our parks? I've always trusted voters more than elected officials.

Jan 26, 2015

$160,00 For Public Art In Troutdale?

At a recent city council meeting, a group of artists asked the Troutdale city council to donate $160,000 for some sort of monument to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Columbia River Highway.

WOW. That’s my first reaction.

Maybe I want some of that government largess for myself! Let’s say I didn’t want $160,000 from the city for a statue. Let’s say I wanted the city to pay  for my food, clothing, housing. Governments do pay for people’s food, clothing, housing.

IT’’S CALLED PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, OR WELFARE.

If the city pays $160,000 to some artists for a monument to the Columbia River Highway, that would be by definition public assistance for art. In other words, it would be WELFARE FOR ARTISTS.

WHO would this art benefit? The artists? Yes. 15,000 Troutdale citizens? NO.

Let me ask you, my fellow Troutdalians, a question: If the city spends $160,000 for a public art "statue" today, how willing will you be to pass a bond levy in the future for a new city hall?

Let’s face it, to build a new city hall, the city will need to ask Troutdale taxpayers for the money in the form of a bond measure. That’s a tall order.

As much as absolutely possible, I want them to stay out of my wallet. I’m glad to pay a reasonable amount of taxes for police, fire and EMS. I’m happy to pay a reasonable amount of taxes for water service, sewer service, and roads.
By my way of thinking, any public official who spends public money for such baubles such as  $160,000 columbia river highway memorials should be shown the door at the next election.

The city should take the responsible step of setting aside $30-40,000 from their general fund every year and save up a down payment toward a new city hall. This would go a long way toward showing good faith to Troutdale voters that they're making a new city hall a higher priority than another unnecessary bauble.

Jan 16, 2015

Check Out East County Now!

Check out our show about East Multnomah County! It's called East County Now. See our Facebook page for upcoming show times and topics: Facebook.com/eastcountynow.

Tomorrow night on East County Now:

-Marijuana shop in downtown Troutdale? An ode to 420.
-Rob's "Naughty and Nice List" for 2014
-East Portlanders- Think you live in a free country? Au contraire!
Tree hugger regulations gone wild!

These topics and more on the next East County Now.
Saturday, Jan. 15, 6pm, Comcast channel 11, Verizon channel 22
Monday, Jan. 26, 5:30pm, Comcast channel 21, Verizon channel 32
Monday, Feb. 2, 5:30pm, Comcast channel 21, Verizon channel 32

Oct 21, 2014

Comcast couldn't sell their way out of a paper bag- My "Comcast Sucks" Story.

Comcast online chat. Wanted to change around some services. Lengthy drawn out chat.

I continued to state specifically what I wanted.   Five times. A net upgrade! An easy sale for Comcast!

Blah blah online agent types one more question etc etc.

 Comcast chat agent gives me a sales pitch for the product I already asked them to add. (You made the sale, Comcast, CLOSE THE DEAL!).

 Sales pitch sales pitch sales pitch for things I don't want

 Finally I typed (for the sixth time) please add X and remove Y,  It was a going to be a net upgrade for Comcast, for crying out loud.

The online chat person typed they can add X but cannot remove Y, I must call to remove Y (Like I want t spend three hours on the phone with Comcast asking hundreds of times to remove a product.)

 You lost the sale, Comcast.

A sure thing.

You didn't even have to ask me for the sale!

 What losers.

Oct 16, 2014

Parks Pants On Fire-- via Snowjob

It's only October, too early for snow in our part of Oregon. Guess again!  Visitors to last night's Troutdale city council  meeting experienced not a snow storm, but a  snow job of monstrous proportions. 

Last night, Troutdale Mayor Doug Daoust  introduced a Proclamation that would  ". . .recognize the "Springwater Area" and its regional environmental designation in support of volunteer efforts to protect our way of life through the stewardship of natural resources and in so doing,  support citizen health and wellbeing, healthy outdoor activities and the growth of our local economy."

Mayor Daoust invited Cathy Sherick from a group promoting the  "Springwater Parks and Community District" to explain what the proclamation was all about. Sherick told the city council her group was only there to get the city to agree to to the concept of the proclamation. 

The meeting became heated when several city councilors objected to the proclamation, saying this was the first they had seen or heard of it. A majority of the city councilors spoke against even considering the proclamation until they had more facts about the proposed Springwater concept. Mayor Daoust seemed surprised and angry at the mass objections from the rest of the city council.

Mayor Daoust repeatedly echoed Sherick's claim that the proclamation was only to support the concept of a Springwater parks area.  You can watch the fireworks-- or snow job, to be more accurate, here: (the action begins at approx. 23:40 minutes into the video)   http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T02554&video=213009.

In spite of both Sherick and Daoust admitting  once or twice they were really talking about  forming a new parks tax district, they both talked out of both sides of their mouths and insisted they weren't talking about a  new parks tax district. Hence, the snow job.

I don't object to anyone proposing a new parks district. It never hurts to listen to new ideas and proposals. But Mayor Daoust and Ms. Sherick, give me a break! Who do you think you're kidding by continually insisting you're only there to talk about flowery concepts in a flimsy proclamation!  

Both Daoust and Sherick know what they want. They want a new parks taxing district. They want the new parks district to take control of Troutdale's parks and increase taxes for Troutdale residents.  

For proof, here is the smoking gun text from the Springwater Parks and Community Districts own web site http://www.springwaterpcd.org/plan/

Getting to YES         

    2013 - 2016


Building and Sustaining the Effort
  • Assess community needs
  • Propose a district concept map 
  • Engage key community leaders and elected officials
  • Invite and involve community schools, sports groups, parents, health providers
  • Educate and inform the community
  • Develop funding plan
  • Secure additional resources
District Concept Development  
  • City approvals of Springwater Concept Proclamations
  • Gather feasibility data:  “Everyone puts coffee in the cup"
  • Formalize defined Springwater District area boundaries
  • Define key community challenges
  • Refine solutions
  • Design outcome measures
District Concept Refinement and Design
  • List new capital improvements and new development efforts
  • List upgrades to current parks and school operations and property
  • Design policy body: how to elect or appoint leadership
  • Staffing plan
  • District Model
  • Budget
  • File with Secretary of State
The Public Campaign
  • Implement a highly effective and large grass roots campaign / organizing effort
  • Voter information
  • Media, education and outreach
  • New media: Facebook, Twitter
District Referendum goes to Voters                                                          November 2016


Compare the above actual goals listed on their web site with the flowery language of the proposed "proclamation":

I don't object to anyone proposing new ideas. However, you lose credibility if you attempt to hide behind feel-good proclamations and deny to an entire city council and Troutdale's residents your actual plans and motivations. The city council called out the baloney. They weren't fooled by this silly proclamation, not for one second. 

If you want a parks district, don't beat around the snow job bush! Proclaim what you want, up front and lay it out for everyone. And by the way, quit claiming  you're doing it "for the children".

 I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sick and tired of the disingenuous baloney from our  local elected officials.