Clackamas County Commissioner Cronyism Corruption: Follow the Money

Tootie Smith and John Ludlow: CORRUPT PARTNERS IN CRONYISM!

Tootie Smith and John Ludlow: CORRUPT PARTNERS IN CRONYISM!

Update 1/15/2016: Here’s the latest from Metro about how Tea Party Tootie, Ludlow and Savas are wasting half a million dollars of public funds trying to buck Metro which now has passed its end of the urban reserve remand. This article notes that unless the three Tea Party Clackamas County Commissioners come to their senses, development will all go to Washington County. How dumb can you get? http://www.oregonmetro.gov/news/fix-growth-plan-okd-metro-council-awaits-approval-clackamas-county

Update 1/12/2016: As you read the info about the cronyism and unethical behavior of Tootie and Ludlow, keep in mind the email comment received today by this blog – it’s really a threat and represents the kind of Tea Party anti-freedom policies endorsed by Tootie and Ludlow.

“Author : anonymous (IP: 65.19.167.132 , 65.19.167.132)
E-mail : anon@anonymous.site

Comment:
Congratulations for getting the attention you wanted. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”

The ugly past history of Tootie Smith, John Ludlow and their Tea Party Transformation Project cronyism is here: https://oregonfirst.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/john-ludlow-for-county-commission-chair-beware-bully-deluxe-tootie-smith-lol/)

Nothing shines brighter in the cronyism of Tootie Smith, John Ludlow and Paul Savas  than the history of their unethical, greedy campaign to push the Maletis brothers’ agenda to get their Langdon Farms golf course and French Prairie (PRIME FARMLAND) out of Metro’s rural reserve designation. An excellent op-ed ran in the Oregonian:

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/11/campaign_contributions_land-us.html#incart_river_index

Here’s the story of the October Metro hearing where everything went against Clackamas County’s crazy and EXPENSIVE attempt to expand what is supposed to be a very limited remand on land designation for the 50 years reserves:

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/276641-152390-metro-clackamas-county-headed-for-clash

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2015/11/possible_development_south_of.html#incart_2box_clackamascounty

Here’s the behavior of Chris Maletis at the Oct. Metro hearing where a host of negative testimony stacked up against his corrupt campaign to develop prime farmland:

“It was a “beyond belief” moment. Chris Maletis stood up in the rear of the room and began addressing the council from there, saying that he wanted to meet with them individually to correct all the lies and misrepresentations of his intentions heard in testimony. The Council President and everyone else was stunned by the audacity and rudeness. Nonetheless, Maletis continued to speak as he walked slowly to the front. Asked to sit, give his name and offer testimony, he argued about it before finally taking a seat. As I recall, he repeated his request to meet with Metro Councilors individually, and the meeting ended. Maletis then walked to the front, extended his hand, and spoke briefly to each Councilor before they could get up and leave. It was a clear demonstration of everything that was testified about their self-seeking, self-aggrandizing posture. If Greg can get a copy of the video tape, be sure to watch it. The arrogance is beyond belief!”

Oct 8 Metro Hearing. Maletis goes “tilt”.

More links to the corruption and unethical cronyism of Tootie Smith, John Ludlow and Paul Savas (learn the facts about who these puppets represent before you vote in 2016 – Smith and Ludlow have to go and Savas would be a disaster as Chair):

http://www.friendsoffrenchprairie.org/issues-lfcp.html

It’s essential that voters read in depth the corruption that is the ONLY mission of Tootie Smith and John Ludlow. They do not represent us – they represent ONLY the cronies who fund their nasty campaigns. Tootie can be heard on policy tapes screaming about the need to hurry up with planning because it’s pretty clear she knows she’s on her last legs in government!

 

Listen to the tape of the most recent Commissioner policy session on the reserve remand. Hear the hysteria of Tootie as she advocates for her cronies. Hear the pathetic comments from Savas and Ludlow. Scratch your head about why Schrader, given the FACTS that huge costs accompany this sure to fail quest, would vote to push forward. And thank Jim Bernard for being the only one with his head screwed on correctly:

Read the staff report about the huge costs on this sure to fail cronyism mission:

http://www.clackamas.us/bcc/documents/presentation/20151021policy.pdf

We can't afford naked fighting pitbills like Ludlow wasting our pubic money, fighting for cronies on missions that are sure to fail!

We can’t afford naked fighting pitbills like Ludlow wasting our pubic money, fighting for cronies on missions that are sure to fail!

Be an INFORMED VOTER! Tell all Clackamas County friends and neighbors we can’t afford anymore cronyism – DUMP TOOTIE SMITH AND JOHN LUDLOW – and don’t consider voting for Paul Savas for Chair. Chastise Martha Schrader – if she wants to be re-elected she needs to stop endorsing expensive land use adventures that are sure to fail. Jim Bernard is our only good choice for Chair in 2016.

Speech to Metro regarding this issue:

November 19, 2015

As residents of south rural Clackamas County, my husband and I fully support Metro’s mission to focus only on the Stafford remand. We are appalled that Clackamas County Commissioners are pandering to political cronies and are putting the entire Metro Reserves process at risk. That’s wrong! There is no municipal support for any infrastructure to French Prairie and Clackamas County is struggling financially to maintain infrastructure already in place.

My husband has worked for the last 25 years in outside sales, supporting agricultural and other businesses in the Willamette Valley. His company is based in the core of Portland, the motors, belts, bearings and host of other machine products come from Metro urban sources. We have seen those urban businesses take greater financial hits during economic downturns than agricultural businesses in Oregon.

Agriculture is Oregon’s number two industry. It is of huge concern to us that Clackamas County Commissioners want to ignore agriculture as a major and very stable economic force. Plenty of employment flows from rich agricultural lands like French Prairie, not just via direct farm work, but also from shipping, processing, sales and industrial supplies to support production.

We have little to no idea what forms urban industries will take in 50 years. But we do know that in 50 years we will still require agricultural lands to feed ourselves and the world. We know that with the rapidly changing climate and worldwide consumer demands, agricultural land in Oregon is being snapped up at ever higher prices because agricultural producers are fleeing drought stricken states. It might be trite to say that once you pave over farmland it’s gone for good but it is true. We must protect our agricultural legacy, especially prime farmland like French Prairie, for Oregonians of the future.

We, as an ethical society, must reject Clackamas County’s corrupt use of public taxpayer generated funds for those seeking private profit. If the Maletis brothers seek private profit let them use their personal funds for a legal challenge. Please stay on course and only consider the Stafford remand. Clackamas County can’t afford a prolonged legal fight. Stopping this blatant cronyism now is the proper course of action.

Posted in Clackamas County, Clackamas County Board of Commissioners | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Molalla City Councilor George Pottle: RESIGN NOW!

Here's scoff law George Pottle's official photo as City Councilor of Decayville Molalla What a joke to see a flag behind him!

Here’s scoff law George Pottle’s official photo as City Councilor of Decayville Molalla What a joke to see a flag behind him!

We can be grateful to the transparency of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Election Division for it’s prompt ability to furnish the below public record; it is the initial complaint that led to the conviction of pompous, scoff law, right wing George Pottle. That’s what a Democratic controlled State government does well, honor public transparency (unlike the paranoid, secretive  mess that has been Molalla under Pottle’s rule!).

The Oregonian broke the story about Molalla City Councilor George Pottle’s conviction for lying on the voter’s pamphlet on Friday, Oct 16, but failed miserably at providing the actual below complaint. http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2015/10/molalla_city_councilor_convict.html#incart_most_shared-clackamascounty

Here’s in depth coverage by the Molalla Pioneer with an interview with the real hero of this story, the citizen who turned in big mouth bully Pottle. http://www.pamplinmedia.com/mop/157-news/277573-153707-molalla-city-councilor-convicted-of-lying-in-voters-pamphlet

When will scoff law fake “patriot” Pottle resign? Progressives are sick to death of pompous right wingers like Pottle who act like gawd’s gift to America – then we find out he’s a liar!

RESIGN NOW POTTLE! Do the right thing for once in your sleazy life! Stop posturing around behind the Pledge of Allegiance, resign and let honest, ethical people try to fix the mess that is Decayville Molalla!

Here’s the filed complaint. This citizen deserves praise for exposing election fraud!

Here's the actual complaint that opened the legal investigation into election fraud.

Here’s the actual complaint that opened the legal investigation into election fraud.

Posted in Molalla | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Molalla: Clean Water Act Lawsuit LOSERS!

http://portlandtribune.com/mop/157-news/272658-148362-settlement-reached-in-clean-water-lawsuit-against-city-of-molalla

Here’s the FACTS that “manager” Huff and the city council didn’t want to release about the HORRIFIC amount of money they spent on a Clean Water Act lawsuit – a lawsuit they should have begged to settle the minute the two month “Notice of Intent” to sue letter was issued in early 2014. Note in the linked story above that Huff refuses to tell the Pioneer the cost and that a pubic information request had to be filed for the truth to come out (and even with a public information request El Hefe Huff tries to pretend in the below posted response that the cost is not public information – Huff pretends he is providing something he doesn’t legally have to provide. He’d better take a close look at Oregon’s public records laws – he and the council spent PUBLIC MONEY so the PUBLIC needs to know how their money was spent!).

The taxpayers of Molalla should be OUTRAGED at the money the city wasted on lawyers! Molalla has a long history of dragging out grudge matches it can’t win – the march to insolvency pushing the ridiculous “urban reserve” quest was the same kind of fiasco. When greedy lawyers get their hooks into Molalla’s “leaders” the lawyers end up rich, Molalla ends up LOSING, the taxpayers foot the bills and the struggles with insolvency continue. Hold your breath, here’s what Huff and the city council DUMPED on a losing case, click on the document if you want to be really depressed:

Here's the FACTS about the money Molalla dumped on a losing case! Note Huff's resentment at having to release public information!

Here’s the FACTS about the money Molalla dumped on a losing case! Note Huff’s resentment at having to release public information!

You have to get a kick out of Huff’s resentment about the need to provide “voluminous” amounts of documents. Any competent city would have all the needed documents at their fingertips. Not so Molalla, it is like pulling teeth to get information out of city hall, in part it seems because the records are not properly kept and in part because there is nothing right wing Molalla hates more than public transparency. El Hefe Huff didn’t get his nickname for nothing!

FACT: Crag law never received settlement offers from the city after the case was filed. No matter what kind of spin or censorship Huff wants to try, he has to provide proof and he has none. The reason Molalla’s fees were so high was that, instead of admitting their waste water practices were in violation and were likely to violate in the future and immediately trying for a settlement, they allowed an expensive law firm to egg them on. They actually flew in lawyers from Pittsburg and Florida at the city’s (read taxpayer’s!) expense.

Here’s the email exchange where BCR’s lawyer offered to start settlement in early 2014, an email exchange Huff either “forgot” or that the very expensive Ring Bender lawyer “forgot” to tell the city about. It clearly states BCR was open to settlement talks:

Crag law clearly states that BCR was open to settlement talks in March 2014.  But the City of Molalla waited months to realize that settlement was the only option!

Crag law clearly states that BCR was open to settlement talks in March 2014. But the City of Molalla waited months to realize that settlement was the only option!

Why did the city spend months flying in lawyers (the lead lawyer for the city was based in Pa!) to drag out a case that could have had early settlement? For that matter, why did Molalla not use strictly Oregon based lawyers – talk about throwing money away on plane fares! That was crazy!

Why did the city spend so much (an amount so huge that an experienced environmental lawyer plans to use it as an example in future Clean Water Act lawsuits to show cities why it is in their best interest to quickly settle!) if they were not in violation? The settlement isn’t any “win” for the city, it binds them to terms and conditions that they must comply with for the next 3 ½ years.

The irony is that the exact day in May that a settlement had finally been proposed and Bear Creek Recovery was ready to approve it, Molalla made its tardy announcement about the raw sewage spill into Bear Creek. If anything proved the need for a lawsuit and that Molalla was likely to continue to violate without extra scrutiny, it was that spill.

What city “professionals” in their right minds would be on the verge of settling a hugely expensive (to them) Clean Water Act lawsuit and fail to report the WHOLE TRUTH about a raw sewage spill into a creek in the mandated 24 hours?

Molalla’s spin doctor Huff and the pathetic city council want to pretend they are victims. They have been working hard to try to censor and morph the truth! But the FACT is that their “professionals” at the waste water plant lied when they ONLY reported to DEQ in the first 24 hours that a spill had happened but was contained in the plant! I would guess that as the week wore on after the Sunday/Monday spill, the “professionals” might have finally realized that far too many people knew the truth so they finally gave up and confessed to DEQ and to the lawyers on Friday? Or maybe they were so eager to hide the full extent of the spill and thus waited days to admit the truth so DEQ could not adequately investigate how much sewage really got into Bear Creek? We will never know how much contamination occurred. It was also telling that it took a complaint to DEQ 10 days after the spill to finally force Molalla to tell the local rural well users near the creek that the spill had occurred and that they could have their wells tested at the city’s expense.

No matter what, the spill and the failure to report on time delayed the settlement since the new, serious VIOLATION meant that more terms had to be added to ensure Molalla would follow the Clean Water Act to the letter of the law in the future. The settlement, which provides excellent transparency for the next 3 ½ years, will allow the public to monitor all reports that Molalla generates regarding its wastewater practices. Any violations will force the city to pay a $500/day penalty into an escrow account designated for use to fix its infrastructure problems.

The second irony of this case is that FACT that the very week the settlement was reached – a settlement with many terms and conditions Molalla must abide by to avoid violation fines – was the very week that DEQ announced it had investigated the May sewage spill/ tardy report and was fining Molalla $4,350. Note that the press release from DEQ has a formula that establishes the Civil Penalty and “M” is most telling in the document because it discusses the multiple failures at the wastewater plant to have adequate staff and monitoring in place. Note that the violations outlined are Class I, considered the worse level of violation:

http://www.oregon.gov/deq/docs/091015mollalaP.pdf

And here’s DEQ letter to the City in June, spelling out the violations that were to be investigated. Note the city FAILED to tell the truth about the spill – it lied by omission by not disclosing the release of sewage into a body of water.

In June 2015, DEQ gave Molalla plenty of time to respond to the investigation - how telling that Molalla could not refute the FACTS as DEQ writes them!

In June 2015, DEQ gave Molalla plenty of time to respond to the investigation – how telling that Molalla could not refute the FACTS as DEQ writes them!

So what’s the moral of this sad story and this gigantic waste of public money? I’d say the moral is that Molalla “leader” and “professionals” better wake up and smell the need for transparency and honesty. But I would not hold my breath. Given the coming outline of Molalla’s abject failures to follow the letter of the ORS rules on public planning hearings, it is pretty obvious that Decayville Molalla still is in total denial about the need to play by the rules.

If I were unfortunate enough to have to pay taxes to support pathetic Molalla, I would be out beating the bushes to find new city councilors and a new mayor next election. I would be demanding to know who lied when and who knew what about the sewer spill. I’d demand to know why the city didn’t quickly beg for a settlement in the Clean Water Act lawsuit (those kinds of lawsuits don’t get filed unless it is pretty much a slam dunk case) and why, instead, the city continued to approve massively growing legal bills for a case they NEVER COULD HAVE WON!

Ethical, competent lawyers work hard from the outset to mitigate loss for clients but it seems Molalla’s “leaders” and “professionals” love to hire lawyers who are most interested in egging the city on so the legal fees grow. It’s pretty telling the city’s lawyers, both in the failed land use urban reserve fiasco and in this lawsuit, got paid through the nose in spite of LOSING!

Posted in Clackamas County, Molalla, molalla real estate, Quality of life | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Molalla’s Hillbilly Economic Summit: The Results are In!

 

 

cave woman inventing wheelIt’s no wonder that Molalla is groveling and begging for help – it is on the State of Oregon’s Distressed Cities list. Molalla’s terrible stats are: only 11.1%  of adults with BA degree or higher (very low!), 13.2% Unemployment Rate (very high and most are underemployed commuters), $22,032 per capita income (low!) 11.7% poverty rate (that really is bad, and is even worse when the kids in poverty are listed in the schools – needless to say the schools are terrible, too!).

The results are in! Cave Woman Tootie Smith and Pollyanna Molalla Mayor Rogge (along with a pathetic turnout of seven more Molalla Hillbillies) “brainstormed” about why Molalla is a decayed mess.

cave Caveman-with-a-Ston-Cell-Phone--110808

The cast of not thousands whined about a variety of issues. Here’s the first page of notes from Tea Party Toots assistant’s notebook:

Tootie molalla town hall

The first quote from Pollyanna Mayor Rogge is a no brainer: “Recovery is very slow”. DUH! It’s only “very slow” in places that didn’t provide great quality of life and decent infrastructure. When you, Rogge, failed for years to see that voting to spend into deficit on an urban growth adventure that was sure to lose was, to say the least, unwise, you sold your city down the river of no return. Look at the piles of foreclosures (more about that later), the broken infrastructure, the lack of quality of life. Most of all, understand that if Molalla does reach 10,000 you will be hit with new expensive compliance rules, like dealing with your storm water. When a Pollyanna Mayor can’t find ways to fix things in the here and now, it would be smart to stop worrying about hitting 10,000.

Next up we see the VP of the Molalla Chamber of Commerce – it’s hard to think there is enough commerce to warrant a chamber but maybe they do have some lap tops by now.

cave stone i pad

Mr. VP apparently was rejected for a county committee, so it seems Toot’s influence peddling as a county commissioner isn’t worth a hill of beans if she can’t help her homie get a leg up. The same old spin about wishing to move Molalla ahead is clear in VP’s comments, too bad none of it ever comes true.

Pollyanna Mayor Rogge adds exceedingly dumb comments about infill. El Heffe Manager Huff and Rogge just can’t seem to understand that “infill” doesn’t simply mean trashing up every lot with “something” and then getting permission to expand the urban growth boundary. I checked on that two years ago when El Heffe Huff claimed he could have gone out tomorrow and expanded the borders. When he was confronted with the FACT that a great deal of so-called developed land in the city limits is “low development to land value”(i.e. run down, blighted and/or broken down shacks and manufactured single wides on big lots), El Heffe said “We have to keep those places so the poor have somewhere to live”. No comment on that social non-justice comment except PUKE!

After the El Heffe comment I called DLCD and asked about Molalla’s chances to grow the borders. The direct comment was “Molalla will have to re-develop to a MUCH HIGHER URBAN DENSITY before the state would allow UGB expansion”. In other words, DLCD knows that the only way Molalla’s “low development to land value” sites will be re-developed (thus wiping out decay and blight) is to restrict growth so the lots with broken down shacks or decayed commercial buildings will become valuable enough to warrant tear down and re-development to MUCH HIGHER URBAN DENSITY. When cities are desirable places to live, that re-development happens. Not so in low quality of life Molalla but the MUCH HIGHER URBAN DENSITY applies to all cities in the state.

Again, maybe Pollyanna Mayor Rogge should remember all the money she blew taking the last land use adventure to the bitter end – and losing! We understand that she comes recently from a state in the deep south that sprawls away at will, but Oregon thankfully isn’t at all like the deep south. I remember once Rogge saying “Oregon sure has a lot of rules”. Yes, that’s true: because at least the majority of Oregonians abhor scummy development and urban sprawl.

Here’s a quote and some links Pollyanna Rogge and El Heffe Huff aren’t smart enough to heed (and the people of Molalla are clearly not able to grasp that sprawl will cost them big time as Molalla continues to fail to keep up with costly infrastructure needs):

“Oregon’s physical infrastructure is an investment in the future of its residents and communities. Unfortunately, many Oregon communities are making the wrong bets. They’re falling behind on maintenance, taking on debt, and raising taxes to pay for it all…Quality growth directs development into existing communities and creates walkable neighborhoods with mixed land uses and transportation options. At the same time, it saves communities millions. In these difficult fiscal times, quality growth is the best fiscal bet for Oregon’s future. “ http://www.friends.org/infrastructure

https://www.friends.org/sites/friends.org/files/docs/pdfs/1000Friends-Infrastructure-Report-2013-web.pdf (The Molalla “leaders” and all the trapped taxpayer/investors need to read this carefully!).

Here is what a REALISTIC city has to say about the cost of expansion (hint: it isn’t affordable and Hillsboro, the city in question is a LOT bigger and smarter than Molalla!): http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2015/03/consultant_south_hillsboro_dev.html

And here is Portland’s take on the cost of development related to the need to provide parks: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-24307-pay_to_playground.html

I got a kick out of the next topic. The “It’s not the miles it is the time” came from, I expect, a local realtor. She clearly sees the long commute on suicide run local two lane highways as a turn off for buyers. With the longest commute times in the county on choked dangerous roads that won’t be improved, only the desperate who can’t qualify anywhere else end up in Molalla. It’s the “drive till you qualify” syndrome and we’ll discuss that more later.

Tootie molalla town hall (2)

Page two of the notes reveals the never ending whining about traffic improvements insolvent Molalla can’t afford because it can’t even come up with matching funds if money from grants was available (for a faith based, welfare hating, right wing city, the “leaders” sure go out of their way to beg for “welfare” handouts for the city!). The Toliver Road intersection fix is in a dusty file in city hall. Molalla crapped out on a grant that would have provided a stop light and sidewalks running south to the hideous Safeway mall because Molalla could not afford the matching funds (there are wetlands that add complexity and cost to the project – Molalla still fails to understand that wetlands will often more than triple development costs). Molalla also failed to pay for the ODOT engineering fees for the tabled grant – the contract said if work was done and the city dropped out and didn’t do the project it was responsible for paying for any work done. So, as usual, the taxpayers of Oregon got stung because Molalla didn’t live up to its end of a contract.

The next point is about the only smart comment in the meeting: “Stop building because roads are full” Wow! How many times and how many ways do El Heffe Huff, Pollyanna Mayor Rogge and her Tea Party City Council have to hear that before it sinks in? It’s not just roads, it’s all the other infrastructure and parks and sidewalks that the city never catches up with and will never catch up with as long as it keeps stuffing in low quality houses and apartments (is that another toilet I hear flushing?).

Now we get to an even more serious,funny comment about “people can’t find work and bus service is bad”. Wow! Are these “leaders” just waking up to that? Less than 10% of Molalla’s adult population have college degrees – so even if there were jobs to get locally, they aren’t going to be top picks. Bus service bad? What part of the city’s history don’t those people get? The bus service is bad because the right wing fools of Molalla decided years ago not to be part of Tri-Met. It’s Molalla’s fault they are stuck with a crappy local transit district but as usual they were too mulish and cheap to see the benefits of being connected to Metro services.

Whine away, you dug your own hole Molalla! Maybe the HS students can get all the out of work parents to car pool them up and down the suicide run Highway 213!

And, of course, no meeting of “we hate regulations” Tea Party “leaders” would be compete without the final boo hoo comment about all the supposed trips necessary to get county building permits. People who have their act together can get permits on one trip, but when you are one of the local Tea Party government haters with a simplistic view of how modern building process must go for safety, it is a wonder if you can even get a permit (I pity any permit staff that have to deal with the ignorant locals who think they should be able to build dangerous junk that won’t meet code). Apparently, if you are faith based and right wing in Molalla, you expect gawd will keep the buildings from falling down on your head, regulators be damned!

Tootie molalla town hall (3)

And now, in its final glory, is the best ignorant nugget of the meeting. “Bills and Taxes – going to have to walk away from house because they can’t afford it”. That’s crystal clear in the history of Molalla’s brief real estate boom that crashed into one of the foreclosure leaders in the state. It’s that nasty “drive till you qualify” issue where people who really can’t afford homes come to Molalla because the ill developed tracts of new houses (now in many cases dated houses) are cheaper than anywhere else. Those with flimsy credit, those with long drives to low paying jobs flock to Molalla (it’s the biggest poverty pocket in the county).

Real estate values tanked massively in Molalla after the real estate bust and to this day Molalla is still a local leader in monthly foreclosure rates. Other, better quality of life cities have rebounded but not Molalla.

Realtytrac tells the sad February 2015 foreclosure story. Molalla posted one foreclosure notice for every 494 houses (that’s REALLY TERRIBLE). Not only are foreclosures piling up, real estate values are slipping in Molalla per the Feb. 2015 report (remember – cheap gas briefly may have made people think a long commute would not break their budget, but the higher gas goes, the cheaper the houses get in places like Molalla that are far from family wage jobs). http://www.realtytrac.com/statsandtrends/foreclosuretrends/or/clackamas-county/molalla

In contrast, better quality, well run, solvent local cities in the county posted these foreclosures notice in Feb: Canby, one for every 1,393; Sandy, one for every 1,400; and Oregon City, one for every 2,232. The more foreclosures, the lower the property values, since foreclosures drag down values of all the homes around.

Molalla is in a perpetual downhill slide. Pollyanna Mayor Rogge and her faith based, Tea Party, head in the sand City Council are pushing the slide by failing to understand why market forces are working against exburb, failed timber resource based Molalla. It’s the 21st century and the Molalla Hillbillies still don’t get it. I guess their motto is “false hope springs eternal”.

Oh, Cavewoman Tootie Smith, why aren’t you heaping welfare “help” on poor Decayville Molalla? It must be that you can’t influence peddle for your homie cronies! The 2016 election can’t come soon enough – that’s when we get to dump Cavewoman Tootie and when the people of Molalla will have a chance to pick a new mayor and some city councilors. Will they be smart enough to find people who understand that connecting to progressive Oregon and 21st century values is the only hope? I doubt it.

Here’s an excellent “Community Values Audit” checklist – apply it to Molalla and see how it fares. It has the kinds of questions that would make any Molalla realtor clam up. It must be quite an adventure in white washing to sell real estate in the City of Molalla! http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/03/your-money/43-questions-to-ask-before-picking-a-new-town.html?ref=business&_r=0

cave_old_school_skool_caveman_cartoon_poster-r41961bcf670746dab2950a1dd102e0c8_wad_8byvr_512

cave - how does wheel work

Posted in Clackamas County, Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, Molalla, molalla real estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cave Woman Tootie Smith leads Molalla’s Hillbilly Economic Summit

Look out Warren Buffet!

Beware Rupert Murdoch!

Worldwide economic leaders are holding their breath, quaking in their loafers, waiting for the results of the Feb. 4 economic think tank in Molalla.

With Tea Party Tootie Smith coming to Decayville, we know the planet is listening! Cave Woman economic advice is sure to be a winning ticket. Don’t invest in anything till Toots and her backwater cohorts spill the beans of of their economic…..DISASTERS! tootie cave poster

Now, take a deep breath, and think about how much “wisdom” might come from a Cave Woman / Hillbilly economic summit.

On one hand, the few backwoods hillbilly business owners still operating in blighted Molalla will have a lot of stories to tell about their failure to thrive. It’s the fault of the spotted owl and the fault of the Democrats and the fault of the damned environmentalists and the fault of the land use rules and the fault of a lack of a freeway leading straight to Decayville and the fault of gawd not answering all the prayers in all the local cult churches and the fault of anyone and anything but them. All you need is to read the preceding post “Shooting Blanks with Molalla’s Mayor Debbie Rogge” to understand that the FIRE sector rules Molalla; they’ll blame anyone but themselves for the shuttered town.

Surely Toot’s outreach will draw in city “officials” like the mayor and city manager. They’ll blame past leaders/managers. But both mayor Rogge and El Hefe Huff, with years under their belts in Molalla, are responsible for the ongoing mess that is Molalla. I’d expect mayor Rogge and her partner Mary Lynn to come clutching carpet samples – their spin will likely be that the darned land use laws are hampering their ability to sell carpet. If they could just get permission to expand the urban growth boundary (a mission Rogge ran to the bitter end, overspending on bogus planning and creating an insolvent city in the wake) they could flood more cheap houses and instant ghetto apartments with their flooring. After all, comin’ recently from ye ole New Orleans, it’s difficult for these gal pals of Tea Party Toots to understand that Oregon actually gives a damn about the environment.

Environment? Oh, no! Don’t dare bring that up in front of climate denier Toots. Back in the cave dwelling days, there were no worries about global warming or resource depletion – the sun came up, you sucked water out of whatever was nearby and you chopped down wood at will (if you had invented something to chop with – I’m not sure if the Tootie Clan of the Cave Dwellers got that far). Toots will spout that the economy is hampered by not chopping down every tree in sight. She’ll say she doesn’t believe in global warming in one breath and then in the next claim that TOO MANY TREES CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING! Let’s face it, logic took centuries to evolve and The Clan of the Toots evidently missed that step in evolution.

If anyone wants a real look at how much distrust there is for poor Toots, take a look at fec.gov and see her pathetic bid to go to Congress. Her opponent (who creamed her in the Nov. 2013 general election), raised well over a million dollars and finished with money left over. The “Send a Cave Woman to DC” campaign raised a paltry $62,000 – and even worse, Toots ended up with a MINUS $206 balance.

Maybe Toots can explain to the assembled crew why she has spent years unsuccessfully trying to unload her Molalla B&B. It would seem a local “supporter” like Toots would want to keep her investment in “her” hometown (could it be she’s blown that investment as well? Or could it be that B&B doesn’t make a profit? I’d vote YES on both scores!).

So, it’s easy to know, without setting foot in a room with a Cave Woman and her Tea Party hillbilly supporters, what the outcome will be. The local yokels will beg for state and federal grants that aren’t coming, they’ll decry the land use laws, they’ll lobby for their cronies, they’ll believe anything but the truth: backwater Molalla blew it during the boom trying to buck the land use system and Tea Party Toots blew it by showing her true skunk stripes in the past two years. All it takes is one sad trip through Molalla, over the potholes and through the ugly, treeless neighborhoods to see that the world has zero to fear from Molalla or from Tea Party Toots.

The lessons to learn are how NOT TO BE ANOTHER MOLALLA and TO NEVER AGAIN ELECT CAVE WOMAN TOOTS TO HANDLE PUBLIC POLICY OR PUBLIC FUNDS!

A cogent sign of the times in Molalla (It is telling that it took months for the city to get around to painting over it):

P1000961cBE

Posted in Clackamas County, Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, Molalla, molalla real estate, Quality of life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shooting blanks with Molalla’s Mayor Debbie Rogge

That's crass Mayor Rogge "celebrating" with a gun in the Molalla 4th of July Parade. Her "buddy" is the woman who rode illegal TEAM for economic action into the ground.

That’s crass Molalla Mayor Debbie Rogge “celebrating” with a gun in the Molalla 4th of July Parade. Her smirking “buddy” in the front seat in sunglasses is top down, strong arm “manager” Huff. The woman holding the plaque is the loser who rode illegal TEAM for economic action into the ground (and soon disappeared from town – don’t ever trust Rogge if she claims to support you!)

Open letter below to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, Molalla Mayor Debbie Rogge, Molalla City Manager Dan Huff and greedy Molalla “business” cronies Eric Kyllo (insurance agent), Joan Deardorff (landlord), Carol Maloy (real estate agent), Karl Ivanov (developer), Susan Barlow (real estate agent) and Julie Deardorff Gilkison (who takes stabs at a community group she never attended – then I realized she is just another grasping Deardorff!) regarding their attempts to silence free speech because it “damages” the City of Molalla (note the “business” names and boycott their businesses if you value the First Amendment!).

First, here’s the email from Tea Party Tootie Smith to Molalla Mayor Debbie Rogger that solicited slam letters to try to stop a community election and to try to eject candidates; clearly Tea Party Tootie drove the process.

Here's hillbilly Tea Party Tootie working with hilbilly backwater mayor Debbie Rogge to slam a community group because it is made up of progressives. Only right wing nut cases would participate in such a phony attempt to silence free speech.

Here’s hillbilly Tea Party Tootie working with hillbilly backwater mayor Debbie Rogge to slam a community group because it is made up of progressives. Only right wing nut cases would participate in such a phony attempt to silence free speech.

April 3, 2014

Dear BCC,

I have listened to recent work sessions where claims have been made about the city of Molalla, its developers and its economy. I refute the claims made by Commissioner Smith and her Molalla business cronies (most do not live in the city limits of Molalla) regarding the reasons Molalla is decayed, close to insolvent and facing a bleak future. The views expressed are my private opinions as a citizen of Clackamas County.

First, it is ridiculous to believe that the opinions of any individual can kill a town’s future. Unethical city “leaders”, inept managers, business owners who fail to re-invest profits back into the community and inattentive residents have only themselves to blame for Molalla’s failure to thrive.

Out of concern for land use and the environment, I have, as a rural resident near Molalla, closely monitored the City of Molalla since 2007 as it went insolvent pushing an illegal urban reserve proposal. Once insolvent, it was discovered, via a forensic audit, that 2.5 million dollars of system development money could not be accounted for. Molalla has had four different city managers in less than three years. Its public records are in such total disarray that the City recently could not produce the record for a 2005 annexation (by state law, annexations are permanent records).

Landlords refuse to upgrade or to tear down and rebuild decayed buildings so blighted commercial vacancies abound. Old downtown features dirty bars, a quasi-pawn shop and blocks of empty storefronts, all the markers of urban ghettos. Commissioner Smith’s own B&B has been for sale for years with no buyer in sight, along with a host of other for sale commercial real estate and empty land.

Terrible planning that catered to developers’ greed for quick profit instead of quality neighborhoods produced a glut of cheap houses during the real estate boom. Molalla was a state leader in foreclosure rates during the bust and now the prices are still highly depressed. Molalla struggles every month to stay in the black; it has ceased managing its senior center and soon will likely have to close its pool. Residents face the longest commutes to family wage jobs of any city in Clackamas County; Tax Assessor Bob Vroman recently commented that each time gas prices rise, real estate values fall in Molalla.

Molalla failed to provide adequate parks, bike routes and sidewalks as it stuffed in houses; now it can’t afford to correct those glaring quality of life failures. A recent study proved that entrepreneurs seek high quality of life cities that are well connected to other cities when they seek to locate businesses – tax incentives and handouts were at the bottom of the list. Molalla can’t meet the desired high quality of life or the business connectivity profile.
http://thesockeye.org/2014/02/12/how-do-entrepreneurs-choose-where-to-locate-its-probably-not-what-you-think/

Entrepreneurs also look at the education levels of an urban work force – US Census facts show that Washington County leads the Metro areas with 39.5 % of its residents 25 or older with college degrees; Multnomah has 39.2% and Clackamas County trails with 31.8%/. The State average for urban areas with bachelor’s degrees is 29.2%. Beaverton has 43.4%; PDX 43.1%; Silverton 29.1%; Canby 26.1%; Oregon City 22.3%; Woodburn 12.3%. Molalla comes in dead last on this list with a miserable 9.7% of its residents 25 and older with bachelor’s degrees. That sad rating reflects on the lack of urban citizen involvement opportunities in Molalla and its inability to fill essential boards like the city planning commission or the library board.

Molalla’s failure to upgrade its infrastructure is of urgent concern. It’s ludicrous that anyone can believe a city can grow its economy without well managed funds to fix roads, drinking water systems or sewers. Old Molalla is served by archaic concrete asbestos drinking water pipes. Molalla’s roads are a disgrace – a network of potholes, failed paving, standing water, open roadside ditches, with some neighborhoods lacking paved streets. Molalla’s wastewater systems are in rough shape, with glaring problems; solutions are not in sight.

Comments were made about an apartment developer. That developer in Molalla failed to obtain state highway access permits and failed to file the required ODOT traffic study before he broke ground on the apartments. No one contested his apartment project.

When the developer began to do work without permits and before any land use hearing for proposed garage/ storage units on land that bordered rural residents and their exceptionally poor condition County roads, the rural neighborhood reacted in anger.

Before any hearing or permits were in place, the developer molested a creek and a historic cemetery that has Pioneers graves dating to the 1850’s. The developer trimmed heritage oak trees on the public cemetery and dragged houses across it without permission. He was cited for improper removal and fill. He carved access to county roads on a Saturday without county road access permits. He moved houses back and forth across waters of the state without permits from the Army Corp of Engineers.

Again, all of the above occurred before any land use hearing. Molalla failed to legally notice the hearing – there was no notice to community groups like the CPO, the hamlet or in the local paper. There was no notice to county roads department. There was no notice to the State Historical Protection Office, which after the fact said any work done within 200 feet of the cemetery should have had an archaeologist on site to protect the sanctity of unmarked graves. When this lack of notice was protested to Molalla and to Clackamas County citizens were ignored.

Molalla, in ten years, squandered at least 1.5 million dollars of public money that came from State and County taxpayers. That public money fostered industrial parks that remain vacant, studied things that Molalla could not afford to implement and produced land use documents Molalla failed to adopt.

Molalla “promoters” cling to pipe dreams of truck bypasses when they can’t maintain a legal sewer system and can’t even fix potholes or pave neighborhood streets. That grandiose view of what Molalla wishes it could be defeats any hope of compliance with permits and fixing the glaring quality of life issues.

If Commissioner Smith is concerned about Molalla’s future, why has her B&B been for sale with no takers for years? Why is she trying to abandon her business in Molalla if Molalla is such a hot ticket for future success and growth? Why has Commissioner Smith, who lives rural in Mulino, not stepped in to guide Molalla to success long ago if she has answers to Molalla’s dire problems?

Molalla’s good old boy, highly ingrained cronyism, as displayed in the letters shared by Commissioner Smith, is at the heart of Molalla’s failure. I pity the poor trapped residents of Molalla, whose property values are still tanking. Those resident family “investors” are held hostage by petty bourgeois business interests and incompetent city management that see them only as marks with money in their pockets, instead of as deserving, often struggling families who need great quality of life with decent parks, sidewalks, bike routes and well maintained roads, sewers and water systems, overseen by competent and ethical city management.

The County and Molalla may enjoy looking the other way when code, legal noticing and environmental violations occur, but watchdogs and whistleblowers will not be silenced when they see ill managed public money and find environmental atrocities. Most of all, the First Amendment gives everyone the right to call public attention to violations and to state their personal opinions about politics, government and quality of life issues.

It’s essential that everyone know the state of Molalla’s decay, so unwitting people don’t get trapped paying through the nose in the future to fix the ever growing, glaring problems Commissioner Smith and her business cronies want to sweep under the carpet.

Molalla truly is a mess and futile attempts to silence dissent and criticism won’t do a thing to fix Molalla’s deeply ingrained social, governmental, financial and environmental problems.

Posted in Molalla, molalla real estate, Molalla River School District, Quality of life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dictator Tootie Smith? Are you KIDDING?

Brainless Tootie, Bully Ludlow and Paul "snake in the grass" Savas celebrating on election night. What a tragedy for Clackamas County!

Brainless Tootie, Bully Ludlow and Paul “snake in the grass” Savas celebrating on election night. What a tragedy for Clackamas County!


Related background information on Tootie Smith: https://oregonfirst.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/john-ludlow-for-county-commission-chair-beware-bully-deluxe-tootie-smith-lol/

OPB interview – don’t miss the comments about Tea Party Toots and her equally clueless GOP primary opponent: http://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/republican-primary-5th-congressional-district-candidates/

I recently read ‘In the Garden of the Beasts’, the horrific account of American Ambassador Dodd and his family in 1933 Berlin, Hitler’s first year in power. The naïve Dodds watched the growing tide of repression as Hitler’s Nazi supporters worked to eliminate critics of the new regime. Blatant oppression of Jews and homosexuals had begun. The cowed citizens of Germany fell in line out of fear. Hitler’s consolidation of power cumulated in the summer of 1934 with the Night of the Long Knives, when the Nazi regime carried out a series of murders to silence political dissent. We all know the genocide and atrocities that followed.

Apparently Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith is bent on her own version of the Night of the Long Knives with her disgusting work to silence political free speech, void an election and stop citizen involvement. Smith’s attack on individuals and on the Hamlet of Molalla Prairie, coupled with slam letters from City Manager Huff, Mayor Rogge and “us first” greedy Molalla business people, smacks of control the message dictatorships. Here’s how Tootie drummed up slam letters:

Fascist Tootie Smith's email soliciting slam letters - not exactly a democratic process!

Fascist Tootie Smith’s email soliciting slam letters – not exactly a democratic process!

Entrusted to manage tens of millions of dollars of public money and to oversee public programs and staff, Czar Smith made this ludicrous statement about blocking a well noticed election and silencing free speech (quoted in the Oregonian): “I have not felt so strongly on one single issue on my time on the commission.”

Tea Party Tootie: Representing the ARM PIT OF GOVERNMENT!

Tea Party Tootie: Representing the ARM PIT OF GOVERNMENT!

Autocratic Smith feels “strongly” but she certainly can’t get the facts straight! Eight hamlet board members conducted a vigorous discussion about the need for an appeal to correct and call attention to Molalla’s failed noticing process; angry rural landowners had petitioned the hamlet for help. Clackamas County Government Affairs liaison Amy Kyle was present and raised no objections. The hamlet board took no position pro or con about the garage/storage unit proposal (not apartments as Smith falsely claims). The developer withdrew his plans, the appeal hearing was cancelled, yet Molalla refuses to refund the appeal deposit. In contrast, the County refunds appeal deposits when a developer withdraws.

Since 2007, I’ve closely followed Molalla’s failure to thrive because of cronyism and influence peddling, failure to follow process, distaste for citizen involvement, lack of transparency, disrespect for the environment and incompetent use of public money. As Molalla’s “leaders” blatantly cater to business “needs”, quality of life is ignored. Involving people, including dissenters, in policy making is certainly not as tidy as top down government, but it is essential to our Democracy.

Political free speech is our strongest and most protected First Amendment right: use it or lose it. Allowing cronyism to prevail and oppressors like Tootie Smith, Dan Huff, Debbie Rogge and Molalla business people to silence criticism is a dangerous path toward becoming a closed society like Russia or North Korea.

I might not like what you have to say it or how you say it but I will always defend your right to say it. Do you support the First Amendment or do you support Tootie Smith’s march toward censorship, exclusion and Fascism?

Here's floozy Tootie in her "finery": She moonlights as the host of "Vegas Style Weddings" at her perpetually for sale B&B in decayed Molalla.

Here’s floozy Tootie in her “finery”: She moonlights as the host of “Vegas Style Weddings” at her perpetually for sale B&B in decayed Molalla.

Don’t miss this great take on Czarina Tootie’s War on Political Free Speech from the Clackamas County Dems! Go Democrats, save us from Tootie’s ignorance: http://www.clackamasdems.org/?p=2294

Posted in Molalla, molalla real estate, Quality of life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment