Dear Eric Kyllo and greedy Molalla land speculators #2

Dear Eric Kyllo (who lives in  CANBY, because, as he once wrote to me, the City of Molalla isn’t grand enough for his High-End Ass!),

Thanks for the laughs brought to us by you, the  petty bourgeois Molalla merchants, your FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector buddies, and the MX pigs: nothing brings greed and corruption like yours down to earth better than ABJECT FAILURE!  How did it feel to be on the pleading end of a hearing for a change?

“Oh please please BCC, let us good old boy Molalla land speculators get rich by drawing lines on maps. We don’t have a scrap of proof to support a thing we say, but our pathetic, corrupt, unethical FEUDAL CITY says so. Please look the other way and break the land use laws….blah blah… we treat the citizens like serfs and steal their future for our entitlement…blah blah blah….”

Thanks for the plug for Molalla Blog in the Molalla Pioneer, High-End Eric. I have tried for a couple of years to get that into a letter! It is always great to get new Blog readers so they can learn the FACTS about unethical Molalla, the decayed feudal village that treats taxpayers like serfs.

With the help of High-End Eric, the Blog is about to crack 12,000 hits in just 10 months. Every little bit helps to get “brand Molalla” out to the world – especially to warn people not to get trapped in the city limits. It is fun to google “Molalla” or “urban decay” or “blight” and see the Blog jump out of the lists. Isn’t the internet swell for connecting us all?

It wasn’t much fun for you when your self-serving UNETHICAL urban reserve hit the County, was it? I guess lashing out is all that is left? It was all so predictable and it perfectly followed the flame out earlier this year of Idiot Ridge MX at County hearings. Hey High-End Eric, are you cribbing with those MX fools? Why didn’t the City learn from that MX fiasco to understand that when the Staff says DENY, the BCC / the hearings officer / the planning commission follows with their rubber stamp DENY?

Did you REALLY THINK Molalla’s silly faith-based puppet mayor would win the day with the BCC? REALLY?

Are you going to step up now and use your personal land speculator money to mount a challenge to the DENY? WOW! That sure would be expensive – we saw what your entitlement did to the city with the half a million dollar planning deficit. Even Mr. Idiot Ridge finally wised up and didn’t go to LUBA, in spite of his bold threats to take it to the mat when the County DENY hit the MX fan.

We know you and your  petty bourgeois buddies are livid after Molalla’s definitive and very expensive urban reserve loss. We know you are going broke faster than the roads are crumbling in Sunrise Acres and faster than the run-off flows in the ugly, giant ditches that line “Main Street”. And faster than the citizens can decry the bankrupt mess your personal entitlement campaign left the taxpayers to shoulder. And faster than failed manager Atkins can beat a retreat so the onus of the tanking city doesn’t soil his shoes.

What is stunning is that Molalla’s petty bourgeois class is still trying to pretend the real estate bubble did not burst long ago. What’s up with that – don’t you FIRE sector and low ball Molalla merchants read the paper?

Don’t you ever attempt to look at the big picture economy and understand that Molalla is a fading speck of a failed timber resource town that was dumb enough to tie its future to building cheap houses in an increasingly low quality quasi-urban environment? And it’s YOUR FAULT!

Savvy investors would say “quasi-urban” about Molalla because any self-respecting city would have long ago charged market rate SDCs. A self-respecting city would supply its citizens with parks, sidewalks, decent roads, storm drains, a sewer system that didn’t pollute a local river, and would provide a real certified urban planner capable of complex, 21st community development.

It is too late now to fix the quality of life lapses: grants have dried up, your “plans” have driven Molalla into deficit spending in multiple departments and Molalla can’t go back and collect proper SDCs. Molalla is TOAST.

The misuse of public funds for the “high-end entitlement” speculators means that citizens (like me!) will be relentless about tracking any more public money rip-offs – read that to mean that local activists are now on a first name basis with County officials, with State grant oversight officials, with ODOT and with DLCD – we aren’t going to sit back and watch any more of OUR PUBLIC MONEY going for rat hole Molalla projects!.

Don’t you realize that some bergs in America become Ghost Towns when the resource they depended upon for existence disappeared? Do you understand that some towns aren’t sustainable?

Google “Bodie, California” and read about the boom and bust of that silver town. Understand that sometimes the very geography that made a place viable in the end kills it. The end of silver and gold meant the end of booming resource based towns in far-flung places all over the West. The end of timber resource based economies has meant that towns like Molalla have little hope for the future.

Sadly, some places aren’t going to grow and are likely to just fade away. Flint, Michigan, once a booming auto industry mecca, is bulldozing empty decayed homes and letting the land become urban gardens. Flint isn’t growing.

Other cities in American are consolidating because they can’t afford to independently provide urban services. That is the case in Molalla, with the police, municipal court and planning departments all bleeding the city dry and no way to bump the revenue stream. What is the solution in time of $4+/a gallon gas?

The Oregonian doesn’t even consider Molalla part of it coverage area and a  reporter asked local citizens to call in with news because Molalla is too much of an outland to be considered part of the paper’s Clackamas County bureau. That’s what we call off the beaten path!

Get real, greedy FIRE sector fools: building houses WASN’T AN ECONOMY.  People who read know it, the County knows it and the State knows it. The state of the FIRE sector’s shrinking client list should be a graphic example of why building endless houses wasn’t Molalla’s salvation. We all know you TRIED to get rich on the backs of the taxpayers – it’s pretty funny to see your dismay with the urban reserve door slammed shut hard in your face!

Next time you are hapless enough to drive through the blight and urban decay called the City of Molalla, take a mental survey of “buildable lands“. That legal term includes low development to land value sites and it will be REQUIRED if you ever have the skill, money and courage to do a complete 20 year plan with a UGB expansion.

Apparently, fake “planner” Potter claimed that a UGB expansion would occur in 2010. Gee! What happened to THAT? That boast was apparently just one more LIE on the growing LIE NOTCH BELT worn by failed “manager” Atkins and fake “planner” Potter?

As the blighted, decayed sites in Molalla burn out your eyeballs, note each and every site in terms of WILL THE ON SITE DEVELOPMENT BE A VIABLE STRUCTURE IN THE NEXT 20 -50 YEARS? Will the shitty, cheap, archaic strip malls that fill the city be here in 50 years? How about the ugly bars and the flimsy old downtown buildings?

Apparently mill towns didn’t worry much about aesthetics or quality buildings? There is not much “historic” to save unless “cheap” architecture can be sold as a hallmark of how timber towns grew and faded? How about those endless old neighborhoods without storm drain and sidewalks? How many of those structures will be here in 50 years  – or even in 20 years? That is going to be a lot of work and a lot of burned out eyeballs to create the necessary document, because about half of Molalla would end up being part of a Buildable Lands Inventory in an honest survey.

The fake, failed pathetic excuse for a planner SHOULD have gotten that message loud and clear WAY BACK in Feb 2007 when DLCD officially noted that an honest survey and efficiency measures MUST be part of any urbanization plans. True to the quick, cheap and dirty ways of feudal timber towns, the good old boys apparently thought they could ignore that letter?

I enjoyed chatting with County Chairwoman Charlotte Lehan last evening about Molalla’s failure. We both noted that Sandy, Oregon (about the same population as Molalla) has done an excellent job working WITH Clackamas County. Sandy’s former mayor is on the short list (chosen by 3 out of 4 Commissioners) to fill the empty Commissioner slot. Sandy has charged and accounted for SDCs and is on a continuous path to upgrade its city so its residents have a QUALITY URBAN ENVIRONMENT.

Sandy works on  “here and now” problems out of respect for its “here and now” residents.

Chairwoman Lehan said she hopes that Molalla can find a great new city manager to lead Molalla to better success in the future. That will be a tall task for some brave person – cleaning up Molalla’s trash and fixing the financial/social carnage left after the end of the reign of the good old boy speculators won’t be an easy task.

Let’s hope the new manager can at least tell us what “sustainable community” means!

Anyway, coming below is the official rebuttal to the totally INSANE idea that Molalla can grow itself out of the pit it has dug for itself. Read this carefully, petty bourgeois merchant/FIRE sector, because it is 180 degrees out from your FAILED VISION and refutes every point High End Ass Eric tried to make in his letters. By the way, I have had some really funny calls about Eric’s “work”! My favorite was a little old lady who donated generously to the Hamlet in honor of its work to protect our rural community. Her exact comment was:

“That guy Eric sure shit all over himself in the paper, didn’t he!”

Right on, sweet lady -  greed and entitlement at the expense of the public aren’t pretty!:

Building Sustainable Communities

Eben Fodor’s 12 Myths about Urban Growth

by Donella H. Meadows

We need to bring in business to bring down taxes. This development will give us jobs. Environmental protection will hurt the economy. Growth is good for us.

If we’ve heard those arguments once, we’ve heard them a thousand times, stated with utmost certainty and without slightest evidence. That’s because there is no evidence. Or rather, there is plenty of evidence, most of which disproves deeply held pro-growth beliefs.

Here is a short summary of some of the evidence. For more, see Eben Fodor’s new book BETTER, NOT BIGGER which lists and debunks the following Twelve Big Myths of Growth.

 

Myth 1:   Growth provides needed tax revenues. Check out the tax rates of cities larger than yours. There are a few exceptions but the general rule is: the larger the city, the higher the taxes. That’s because development requires water, sewage treatment, road maintenance, police and fire protection, garbage pickup-a host of public services. Almost never do the new taxes cover the new costs. Fodor says: “The bottom line on urban growth is that it rarely pays its own way.”

 

Myth 2:   We have to grow to provide jobs. But there’s no guarantee that new jobs will go to local folks. In fact they rarely do. If you compare the 25 fastest growing cities in the U.S. to the 25 slowest growing, you find no significant difference in unemployment rates. Says Fodor: “Creating more local jobs ends up attracting more people, who require more jobs.” And services.

 

Myth 3:   We must stimulate and subsidize business growth to have good jobs. A “good business climate” is one with little regulation, low business taxes, and various public subsidies to business. A study of areas with good and bad business climates (as ranked by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the business press) showed that states with the best business ratings actually have lower growth in per capita incomes than those with the worst. Fodor: “This surprising outcome may be due to the emphasis placed by good-business-climate states on investing resources in businesses rather than directly in people.”

 

Myth 4:   If we try to limit growth, housing prices will shoot up. Sounds logical, but it isn’t so. A 1992 study of 14 California cities, half with strong growth controls, half with none, showed no difference in average housing prices. Some of the cities with strong growth controls had the most affordable housing, because they had active low-cost housing programs. Fodor says the important factor in housing affordability is not so much house cost as income level, so development that provides mainly low-paying retail jobs makes housing unaffordable.

 

Myth 5:   Environmental protection hurts the economy. According to a Bank of America study, the economies of states with high environmental standards grew consistently faster than those with weak regulations. The Institute of Southern Studies ranked all states according to 20 indicators of economic prosperity (gold) and environmental health (green) and found that they rise and fall together. Vermont ranked 3rd on the gold scale and first on the green; Louisiana ranked 50th on both.

 

Myth 6:   Growth is inevitable. There are constitutional limits to the ability of any community to put walls around itself. But dozens of municipalities have capped their population size or rate of growth by legal regulations based on real environmental limits and the real costs of growth to the community.

 

Myth 7:   If you don’t like growth, you’re a NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) or an ANTI (against everything) or a gangplank-puller (right after you get aboard). These accusations are meant more to shut people up than to examine their real motives. Says Fodor: “A NIMBY is more likely to be someone who cares enough about the future of his or her community to get out and protect it.”

 

Myth 8:   Most people don’t support environmental protection. Polls and surveys have disproved this belief for decades; Fodor cites examples from Oregon, Los Angeles, Colorado, and the U.S. as a whole. The fraction of respondents who say environmental quality is more important than further economic growth almost always tops 70 percent.

 

Myth 9:   We have to grow or die. This statement is tossed around lightly and often, but if you hold it still and look at it, you wonder what it means.  Fodor points out, quoting several economic studies, that many kinds of growth cost more than the benefits they bring. So the more growth, the poorer we get. That kind of growth will kill us.

 

Myth 10:   Vacant land is just going to waste. Studies from all over show that open land pays far more — often twice as much — in property taxes than it costs in services. Cows don’t put their kids in school; trees don’t put potholes in the roads. Open land absorbs floods, recharges aquifers, cleans the air, harbors wildlife, and measurably increases the value of property nearby. We should value and pay for it to be there.

 

Myth 11:   Beauty is no basis for policy. One of the saddest things about municipal meetings is their tendency to trivialize people who complain that a proposed development will be ugly. Dollars are not necessarily more real or important than beauty. In fact beauty can translate directly into dollars. For starters, undeveloped surroundings can add $100,000 to the price of a home.

 

Myth 12:   Environmentalists are just another special interest. A developer who will directly profit from a project is a special interest. A citizen with no financial stake is fighting for the public interest, the long term, the good of the whole community.

Maybe one reason these myths are proclaimed so often and loudly is that they are so obviously doubtful. The only reason to keep repeating something over and over is to keep others from thinking about it. You don’t have to keep telling people that the sun rises in the east.

Donella H. Meadows is Director of the Sustainability Institute and professor
of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.

From Population Press, March/April 1999, pp. 12-13.

Here’s an interesting statistic http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/popclock

And here’s a link to Eben Fodor’s web site

http://www.fodorandassociates.com/Docs/writing_by_ef.htm

Better, Not Bigger: How to Take Control of Urban Growth and Improve Your Community has been updated in 2001! The new edition includes an index and updated land development figures. Copies are available through local bookstores or via Amazon.com. Bulk discounts are available via the publisher, www.newsociety.com

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