This essay needs to be subtitled: And the IDIOTIC Molalla City Council that can’t THINK FOR ITSELF STINKS AS WELL! Sorry, I ran out of space in the title – but it’s true!
When I heard that the citizens of Molalla were supposedly getting a chance to provide input on City Charter changes I wrote a detailed letter (posted below) calling for the Charter to allow a citizen’s vote on future annexations.
The “fallacy of growth” – the idea that growth pays – has been well proven. Molalla’s inability to provide decent roads, sidewalks, and parks is proof positive that Molalla’s “stuff it in” growth pattern is bankrupt. How’s the QUALITY OF LIFE in Molalla looking to YOU these days?
So how did “manager” Atkins manage to get the Council to weasel out of allowing a citizen annexation vote plank on the Charter: Atkins LIED IN PUBLIC ABOUT THE COST OF SUCH A VOTE!
Akins/Council pretended that they didn’t want to “burden” taxpayers with A DEMOCRATIC VOTE.
Atkins LIED and claimed it would cost $10,000 – $15,000 or even up to $45,000 to put an annexation on a ballot.
It took all of 10 minutes to prove what a LIE the cost issue is. I contacted the Clackamas County Elections office, and spoke to Steve Kindred. I also contacted the OCVA (Oregon Communities for a Voice in Annexations) to learn the FACTS:
The FACTS are that every other year in the November general election it is FREE TO PUT ANY MEASURES ON THE BALLOT. So any annexation measure on a general election would be FREE.
In the off season elections – “special elections” – the cost is divided by cities with positions and measures on the County ballot, according to the number of issues/candidates on the ballot in any election. That is pro-rated according to the number of registered voters in a city.
Molalla has 3,447 registered voters.
Per Steve Kindred, depending upon how many other cities participate the cost per voter in Molalla for an annexation vote measure would be from $1-$2 a registered voter – that is, from $3,447 – $6,894.
And, the best news, per OCVA’s Richard Reid, is that EVOLVED CITIES MAKE SURE THEY NEVER PUT THE COST OF AN ANNEXATION ELECTION ON THE CITIZENS BECAUSE:
Evolved cites MAKE DEVELOPERS PAY FOR THE COST TO PUT ANNEXATIONS ON THE BALLOT! Evolved cities write a “DEVELOPERS PAY” clause into the charter when they put the annexation vote plank into city laws.
Isn’t THAT an AMAZING IDEA? Make the developers and the land speculators – who stand to make HUGE PROFITS on the backs of the taxpayers – pay the pittance it costs to give the citizen’s the right to a democratic vote on the COST OF GROWTH!
When DEVELOPERS PAY then the VOTE IS ALWAYS FREE for the people who will be burdened with the COSTS OF GROWTH.
There is no worry currently about annexations, given that the other giant incompetent local liar, Bully Boy Potter, is running the UGB campaign. With or without a vote, Molalla is dead in the water on growing its UGB. And, the people – can you believe it, the PEOPLE! – can easily mount a petition campaign to get voters’ annexation rights on a future ballot.
Thanks to the piteous Council, this refusal to allow VOTERS’ RIGHTS ON ANNEXATIONS on the word of a liar will be one more reason to THROW THE BUMS OUT THIS ELECTION! How could the Molalla voters keep “leaders” in office who can’t fact check for themselves? Who needs a herd of sheep representing a city?
It’s time for Molalla’s LOATHSOME “manager” Atkins to STOP THE LIES. Atkins is a rotten liar, he always gets caught with his foot in his mouth.
News flash Atkins: Despite your disdain for the people who LIVE HERE, we can read, write, and pick up the phone to find out FACTS.
Hey pathetic City Council, what are you so terrified of? Why don’t you trust the people you represent to decide their future? NOW YOU HAVE THE FACTS, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THEM? It’s FREE TO HAVE A DEMOCRATIC VOTE – let’s hear some new lies why you won’t respect your constituents!
For the laugh of the day, I’m posting Atkins’ inane, arrogant and insulting to the people of Molalla note to his classmates that was found on the internet. Check out how “surprising” he finds it that some of us are actually literate and care about the “arts”. “YEE HAW”!
Atkins, why don’t you just hurry up and “drift” out of Molalla? Aren’t you terrified that some drunk driving away from of one of the “five saloons” might hit you like that cow? Then we’d have another truck to replace!
From our own LIAR ATKINS: (quote):
Posted on July 31, 2010 by molallablog After graduating from SK, I went to college at UW and then transferred to UNC, Chapel Hill, graduating with a philosophy degree that did nothing to keep me from being selected by Uncle Sam for a stint in the Army and all-expense paid tour of Vietnam. Upon my return I tried out a career in journalism for around ten years, working for newspapers in Washington and Oregon, then changed gears and went to work in DC as a press secretary to a congressman from Oregon. Seven years later, following the birth of my son, John, in 1884,my wife, Jeanne and I returned to Oregon. I landed and held a job as chief of staff to thmayor of Beaverton until he got de-elected, then moved on to work in West Linn, Oregon as community services coordinator for that city. After 14 years of that, I drifted over to Molalla, Oregon, 30 miles southeast of Portland and home of the Buckeroo Rodeo, where I have been working as city manager for the past three years and having a pretty fun time. Yee haw. Recently I purchased a bull and a pickup truck on behalf of the city taxpayers. Molalla police officers pursuing a meth suspect on foot across a pasture at the Coleman Ranch east of town inadvertently left the gate open. A bull wandered out on to Feyrer Park Road and got T-boned by a kid driving a pickup truck. Bull and truck both deceased, kid okay (and no lawsuit). Another recent highlight here in Molalla (www.cityofmolalla.com) was the unveiling of a 10’x 24’ mural on the side of City Hall, depicting historic Wilhoit Springs, a defunct resort south of town that once attracted droves of visitors from faraway places to be cured of all ailments by the sulfurous, carbonated waters. The mural was commissioned by Molalla’s newly established Arts Commission, whose members are surprisingly enthusiastic about bringing the arts to a town with five saloons surrounding the main intersection Once again, sorry to miss the fun. John Atkins. http://sk1960.homestead.com/files/ClassmatesBio/John_Atkins.htm
“YEE HAW”! Could Molalla have found anyone WORSE to “manage” if it tried?
Here’s a letter to the Pioneer calling for annexation voter’s rights and explaining that Molalla is the ONLY LOCAL CITY WITHOUT THIS RIGHT.
July 2010 – Letter to the editor:
If the headline “City Council wants citizen input” about the City Charter was sincere, now is the perfect time for Molalla to join a host of Oregon cities which give citizens the right to vote on annexations. Currently, Molalla is surrounded by cities – Canby, Silverton, Estacada, Mt Angel, Oregon City, Sandy, West Linn, Salem, Happy Valley, and Lake Oswego – that bring annexations to voters. Voter annexation rights help to promote and protect citizen involvement in land use issues.
Visit the website of OCVA (Oregon Communities for a Voice in Annexations) at www.ocav.org to learn about the important issues surrounding the cost of growth and the need for voter annexation rights to protect the quality of communities. The OCVA website states:
“Voter Annexation” is a short-hand term for the process of requiring voter approval of new annexations to a city… put into place via city charter amendments… Nearly all (voter annexation charter amendments) were passed by initiative and by large margins. Where Oregonians have been given a choice of whether or not they want (the right to) approve annexations, they have overwhelmingly said “YES!”
Why are city voters passing these measures?
Because they want a greater say in how their communities grow and in who pays for that growth. Too often, they feel shut out of the decision-making process by their local jurisdictions.”
At the OCVA website, read about SDC reform. Communities have begun to demand that SDC reforms precede growth and that “impact fees” be established to supplement SDCs. Current SDCs cover only tiny portions of the huge costs of building and maintaining roads, sewers, parks and water infrastructure. “Impact fees” should be established to require developers to fund needed facility expansions caused by growth for police, fire, libraries and schools, which currently fall solely on the backs of taxpayers.
The “growth costs” message is very clear: growth ONLY benefits developers. With bottom of the barrel SDCs, no “impact fees”, sinking property values, a net loss of a least 6% of local jobs, and a history of voters rejecting bond measures, it is overdue for Molalla’s Charter to allow voters to weigh in on future growth before Molalla’s quality of life sinks too far to save. Do you want to be stuck paying taxes for years to come to fund developers’ windfalls?