Mar 21, 2015

COMING UP TONIGHT ON EAST COUNTY NOW

TUNE IN AT 6 pm this Saturday, March 21,Comcast ch. 11, Frontier ch. 22!

We'll talk with Troutdale mayor Doug Daoust and Troutdale city councilor John Wilson about Troutdale's proposed police department merger with the Multnomah County Sheriff.

Have questions about the merger? We'll get your answers!

-Why now?


-How much money will the city save?


-Where will the saved money be used?


-What will happen to the police community center?


We'll also talk about the budget pressures Troutdale is facing in the next few years.


Previous shows have covered community involvement at the Rosewood Initiative, racism in Troutdale, public subsidies for artists, and the future of marijuana clinics in east county.


Check out the show's Facebook page: Facebook.com/eastcountynow.
Viewers can also contact the show at: info@eastcountynow.org.




East County Now is a monthly talk show focusing on issues, people, and opinions in east Multnomah County, including east Portland, Troutdale, Gresham, Fairview, Wood Village, and the Columbia River Gorge.

Mar 16, 2015

AN INSIDE LOOK AT A TAPING OF EAST COUNTY NOW

COMING UP NEXT ON EAST COUNTY NOW!

We'll talk with Troutdale mayor Doug Daoust and Troutdale city councilor John Wilson about Troutdale's proposed police department merger with the Multnomah County Sheriff.



TUNE IN AT 6 pm this Saturday, March 21,Comcast ch. 11, Frontier ch. 22! Have questions about the merger? We'll get your answers!
-Why now?

-How much money will the city save?

-Where will the saved money be used?

-What will happen to the police community center?

We'll also talk about the budget pressures Troutdale is facing in the next few years.

East County Now is a monthly talk show focusing on issues, people, and opinions in east Multnomah County, including east Portland, Troutdale, Gresham, Fairview, Wood Village, and the Columbia River Gorge.

Previous shows have covered community involvement at the Rosewood Initiative, racism in Troutdale, public subsidies for artists, and the future of marijuana clinics in east county.
Check out the show's Facebook page: Facebook.com/eastcountynow.
Viewers can also contact the show at:info@eastcountynow.org.

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.