PARK FRAUD – you’ll NEVER get PARKS without SDCs

When I have insomnia I look at Molalla “documents” for a laugh and a tear – it puts me to sleep quickly.

Last night I picked up the “2007 Parks Plan” that just got sent to County as part of Molalla’s Ground Hog Day legally indefensible comp plan. You know, the one the fools who “run” Molalla so a couple of rich good old boys can make a buck sent in without real citizen input or an eye to what will be actually defensible in the “real world”.

Anyway, the most “amusing” part of the “park plans” (prepared at GREAT EXPENSE to all Oregon taxpayers) is the NOTED LACK OF SDCs to float the nutty grandiose “plans”. Please understand that because of the horrible “management”, the long time neglect of SDC reform, and King Clarke’s inept “stuff in houses” policy, Molalla can’t fill a pot hole without PUBLIC DOLE from some kind of grant or another. I treasure plannin’ bozo Potter’s statement at a City Council meeting: when questioned about the abject waste coming out of Ground Hog Day,  the “planner” from Hell said: “It’s JUST A GRANT!”

And people actually wonder why people outside the city limits are pissed beyond belief at Molalla? I guess they just don’t understand that Molalla is part of a great big, interconnected financial network and is supported (more like propped up) by the State, County, and local district taxpayers both in and out of the City limits. In our sad Great Recession we can’t afford to have on our backs even one nasty, wasteful, weak, head in the sand financial loser of a city like Molalla. Bad public management sinks every taxpayer – every lie, every refusal to listen to the sage advice of  oversight agencies drags down everyone in America. These days no one can afford millstones like Molalla.

But in terms of Parks, the failure to listen to expensive professional advice is graphic. The plans, prepared in 2006 with miniscule public input (I see the same tired names from the hidebound plannin’ commission, a few local pathetic “politicians”, and one public survey noted) sport over and over the professionals’ admonishment about LACK OF SDCs.

So, way back in 2006-2007 this 45 page glossy pile of never will come true park “proposals” is written – and to date the city has done NOTHING to follow the plans that we all paid dearly to “create”.

The biggest “laugh or you’ll cry” part is the cost projection for this nutty cloud nine 20 year “proposal”. After discussing how Molalla’s worthless, less than a $1,000 park SDCs would cover less than 10% of the plans and after providing many paragraphs of (condescending) instruction about what  SDCs are and how important they are to a city’s future, the “plans” are presented as adding up to 20 year grand total  – big drum roll please – of over THIRTY MILLION DOLLARS.

And what does Molalla do? It IGNORES its own consultants, keeps charging low to no SDCs and now wonders why it will NEVER get out of the infrastructure hole it has dug. These park plans are beyond the pale – and an insult to every citizen in or out of the city limit. As usual, instead of working on a scale that could actually accomplish something, Molalla has saddled itself with crazy overblown “dreams” that can NEVER COME TRUE WITHOUT PILES OF MONEY IT WILL NEVER GET.

I’m not great at math, but it looks to me that a 20 year plan that costs, in 2007 dollars, THIRTY MILLION would mean that a city should have been on track to raise and spend about ONE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND A YEAR  on parks in this plan. I’d say that Molalla is now at least three years in the hole on this projection, so it is FOUR MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS IN DEFICIT on the grandiose “plans” we all paid to “create”.

I actually took the time long ago to read the plans, to comment on the plans, and to protest how out of scale the “plans” are. I  interviewed the consultants on the phone in 2007 because I didn’t understand how professionals could allow a clueless place like Molalla to propose “equestrian trails” within the city limits. The consultants were disgusted because Molalla ran out of money writing the plans and sent in what the consultants informed me was JUST A DRAFT!

That how bad it is folks – Molalla shot its wad on grandiose ideas that can’t come true and Molalla couldn’t even afford to finish them correctly! Molalla couldn’t even afford to follow though and get the “plans” right per the consultants – that’s how the city is run at every turn: abject waste, out of scale, unsustainable planning, and “leaders” who NEVER listen to the experts

Why didn’t Molalla listen to the experts it hired at OUR EXPENSE? Why didn’t Molalla bother to produce REALISTIC AND AFFORDABLE plans in scale with what Molalla is, plans that should reflect the fact that Molalla is a cheap city and that voters say”NO” to most all bond measures? The plans should have reflected that Molalla is a resistive to SDCs backwater berg that puts a “stuff it in, we need  more houses for a bigger tax base” mentality over the taxpayer’s needs for quality of life features!

Did you know that the never to be self-supporting Aquatic Center is listed in the “plans” as “needing” a future $1,820,000 UPGRADE for “water slide, wave machine, and outdoor play area”? ONE MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND MORE FOR THE POOL ALONE? And how about all the land acquisitions and open space needs listed that Molalla hasn’t bothered to keep up with as King Clarke/plannin’ bozo STUFFED IN HOUSES?

Last I looked, the current parks account had next to nothing in it, and the “plans” cry over and over about the lack of parks for the “stuffed it in” west part of town. Where, oh where, will Molalla get the money for even a scrap of new parks land – let alone an elaborate and EXPENSIVE network of trails that would involve the loss of privacy for people living along the public trails?

The CRAZY “plans” actually discuss the security worries about the potential trail system and say that while the (never to happen) trails could be “somewhat” shrouded for privacy they can’t be too shrouded because the neighbors will have to keep “eyes” on the trails to stop crime!

Gee, I’d really want those public trails next to me after reading that – how about you, are you begging for hordes of bikers, horse riders, walkers, runners and criminals hiking by your backyard – especially after the city would have to use EMINENT DOMAIN to acquire rights of ways to get enough land for the trails?

Oh please! STOP THE MADDNESS! If Molalla really cared about “recreation” it would long ago have begun to charge SDCs to build simple sidewalks so people could safely walk to Safeway. Molalla should have long ago targeted and acquired land for parks on the west side.

But all the relatively simple things – THE REALISTIC THINGS, THE ETHICAL THINGS – always fall through the big crack that is called Molalla “government” – government that cares not at all about the realistic small quality of life additions that year by year would protect taxpayers investment in the city.  Molalla “government”, as long as led by “yes” men with duct taped mouths who only cater to the good old boys’ needs, will keep destroying  the city’s future and  further the ongoing ghettoization of Molalla.

READ THE PLANS. And then let’s have some “wise” city dweller/leader defend them in an op-ed or a letter to the editor. The public is waiting breathlessly to understand how OUR MONEY could have been spent on such nonsense! Elections are coming – will there be citizens here capable of telling the truth for a change. The Governor of Oregon is telling it like it is: life in Oregon, due to the Great Recession, is going to tank for at least the next 10 years? What’s Molalla doing to accept the new reality that the DOLE DAYS ARE OVER?

Sorry Molalla residents – those “plans” will never come true. Like me, I hope you treasure the lovely resource public lands we all share. Head for the mountain, head for the rivers, head out-of-town, because OUT OF TOWN is the ONLY PLACE you’ll find recreational opportunities in scale with Molalla’s population. Your “leaders” certainly don’t care about your future!

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