The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-2 to spend urban renewal funds on priority projects identified in the Clackamas Regional Center after a lengthy debate that included rejecting a motion to send the question to voters about returning $48 million in urban renewal proceeds to the taxing districts such as the Sheriff’s office, fire districts, libraries and schools.
Statement by Chair John Ludlow:
“Have we not learned any lessons about how the public feels – that they want to weigh in on these decisions?” said Commission Chair John Ludlow, noting that the amount involved was nearly twice the amount the county tried to commit to the Sellwood Bridge project and contributed to the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project.
“We are talking about huge money that will have a dramatic impact on essential services,” he said.
Statement by Commissioner Tootie Smith:
“I don’t believe taxpayers ever intended for their property taxes to be siphoned away from essential services such as levies and to be put into pet projects that a small group of people have deemed important,” said Commissioner Tootie Smith.
To access audio recordings of Commission work sessions: http://www.clackamas.us/bcc/presentation.html