|Inside Troutdale's condemned city hall.|
With the City Hall, one proposal was killed five years ago due solely to long-standing personal agendas and animosity. The City would already be in a modern building that it owns without increasing taxes. Instead, taxpayers foot the bill for endless studies and estimates from engineers and specialty contractors to preserve a failing building.
After spending tens of thousands of dollars on the engineering estimates and inspections, Councilor Ripma still refuses to agree that spending millions to squeeze another twenty years of life out of an old building that is not up to current code standards is a waste of taxpayer dollars.
He is pushing his personal agenda instead and is ignoring what is most cost effective for the taxpayers. So the City languishes in this process, with no decision in sight, all the while paying a lease payment for space without any ownership of the building. We are nearly eight years after the old City Hall was abandoned as unsafe, yet the old guard fights and quibbles and accomplishes nothing.
In any small town, is it so easy to simply elect and re-elect the same people willing to serve. After all, it is a challenging job with a lot of responsibility. This has been the Troutdale model and it is failing. When a seat is left without an incumbent running for re-election, we typically see several candidates. This shows the widespread interest in serving.
At the end of the day, is it really to Troutdale’s benefit to have people serving more than twenty years on City Council when others with new, fresh, ideas should also have the chance to serve? Times and ideas and technology change and Troutdale should have an easier time accepting than. Terms limits will accomplish that.