Tuesday, July 3, 2012

NY Times Article Highly Critical of Policies in Many Cities Including the Current Direction of LO?

To All COLA LO Members,

This week the NY times published an article which is highly critical of a  direction currently taken by Lake Oswego.  This includes increasing its debt , backing urban renewal efforts with Full Faith & Credit bonds from the city, and the public-private partnerships exemplified by the Urban Renewal effort.

 The article shows that many cities are now paying a very high price for bonds and debt that were issued or guaranteed by cities without a vote of the public.

In the article citizens are just beginning to understand the crushing costs of debt issued by their cities without their approval for non-essential projects.  This comes just after the City of Stockton became the latest city to file for bankruptcy last week.   Many believe that local governments will continue to file for bankruptcy due to the urban renewal and public-private partnership direction implemented by existing and former elected officials.  

 Surprised Taxpayers  provides valuable insight into the long term consequences of some of the directions of our current city council and their efforts toward both Urban Renewal Districts and public works projects. 

Examples of such projects include the Streetcar, Foothills District, and the LO Tigard Water Partnership.   The article provides a list of such non-essential projects including parking garages, stadiums, etc. 

During the same week the City of Stockton filed for bankruptcy citing its inability to renegotiate with its creditors.   The following video describes their situation Stockton Bankruptcy  and lists the renewal of its Downtown area as a major source of its problems!

In addition to urban renewal debt the video states that pension and health care costs as an additional source of the problems.  Time is now stating that Stockton is just the beginning of A Rash of Municipal Bankruptcies? 
 It appears that Stockton had issued approximately $700 million in debt for a city of 300,000 in population.   

Currently Lake Oswego has $137 million in debt for a city of 37,000 and plans to issue at least another $130 million more to finance the LO Tigard Water Partnership, with millions in additional debt for other projects.   Historically LO has a debt of under $50 million.   The debt level has been an increasing concern amongst residents for the past two or more years.   
  Please notify all members, contacts, and friends...

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