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.