Last night the Troutdale City Council held a business summit. Several downtown merchants, business owners, and property owners attended.
The subject of urban renewal was brought up by Max Maydew, a Troutdale developer. He brought a petition supporting urban renewal that was signed by several business and property owners in downtown Troutdale.
Here's my bottom line: I want to see a city wide vote on this issue. The City Council has no business approving an urban renewal district and the resulting tax increment financing without approval from the voters.
Troutdale voters have twice turned down urban renewal. It would be unfair for the City Council to override the will of the people as expressed through previous votes.
I recognize the potential , even the need for growth and development in Troutdale's central business district. I fully support downtown's merchants and land owners. However, the City Council must also take into account the voter's wishes as well as the potential risk that comes with borrowing money and paying it back with tax increment financing.
Let's get this issue out in the neighborhoods. Let's have some meetings in people's homes where we can share a cup of coffee and talk the issue through-both positive and negative points, in a lively discussion.