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
- 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.