Jun 29, 2005

It's the operating costs, stupid

Last night at a Troutdale City Council work session, I made a motion to freeze Troutdale's parks SDC's until completion of a new Parks Master Plan.

I am concerned that increasing fire protection, PERS, health insurance, and parks maintenance costs will jeopardize the city's ability to maintain existing parks, let alone add new parks or greenspaces. I am also concerned about the effect of high SDC's on affordable home prices in Troutdale.

The parks and recreation portion of the Troutdale budget was cut each of the last two years, only to be restored at the last minute each year. I supported restoring this part of the budget each time. But this can't continue-The city's general fund is being squeezed by huge fire cost increases, huge PERS and health insurance increases, and can only get 3% a year more in property tax revenue. The expense line is going to pass the revenue line, guaranteed, in a couple years without some sort of operating levy.

Mayor Thalhofer voted against freezing the Parks SDC. Thalhofer said that Gresham had to close its parks because they handled their budget poorly.

Mayor! Hello! That's exactly the position that Troutdale will be in if the city adds more parks that we can't afford to maintain! By voting against freezing the SDC's you're saying lets go full steam ahead and let the city eat park cake....

By the way, for all of you who remember, The Troutdale City Council voted to buy a park behind Councilor Daoust's home a couple years ago. No wonder Doug likes park SDC's.

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