Here's the text of a letter I e-mailed to the Troutdale City Council and city staff today. At last night's Troutdale city council meeting, Troutdale Community Development Director told the city council that the Sunrise Park parking project would now cost $60,000 more than the original project estimate of $150,000. (You can listen to the meeting here.)
Last night, Rich Faith told the city council that the Sunrise Park parking lot project would now cost $60,000 more than the original estimate of $150,000. When Mr. Faith was asked where the extra money would come from, his response was that the city had $900,000 in parks funds that could be used to make up the difference. Then he said, with stunning nonchalance, that he basically GUESSED at the original estimate.
The city couldn't demolish the old sewer treatment plant because it ran out of money constructing the new sewer treatment plant.
The new parks maintenance building budgeted at $700,000 went another $500,000 over budget.
The Troutdale Centennial Arch was supposed to cost $80,000, but ended up costing over $350,000.
There is a track record of city staff lack of accountability in creating accurate project estimates and keeping projects within budget. Yet the city council last night was silent as a mouse after Mr. Faith admitted he pulled the parking lot project estimate out of thin air.
My question to city staff and the city council is this: What are you going to do to hold city staff accountable for this obvious lack of stewardship of taxpayer money?