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Readers' Letters: Metro didn't 'fail' to fund new parks

Jim Redden’s otherwise excellent piece on Measure 26-152 (Levy would help restore natural area, Sustainable Life, March 14), which will protect water quality and improve fish and wildlife habitat in the region’s natural areas, got one fact wrong by writing: “Metro Council failed to consider how to pay for maintaining and improving the properties it acquired.”

Metro and the region’s elected officials all knew that bond measures cannot legally be used for maintenance purposes. They also knew that a new funding source would eventually be needed to maintain and restore natural areas, including those owned by North Clackamas Parks, Portland Parks, Hillsboro, Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District and other local park providers.

Residents of Clackamas County approved the acquisition bonds by more than 60 percent of the vote. Commission Chairman John Ludlow’s comment regarding Metro’s “sucking more money from taxpayers” is out of step with his constituents.

What’s more, Measure 26-152 is not solely about Metro properties. Park providers having intergovernmental agreements with Metro (Cooper Mountain, Forest Park, Mount Talbert and Gresham Buttes) will be eligible for Measure 26-152 funds. Furthermore, community-based nonprofits and local park providers will also have access to $750,000 in grants to improve natural areas in their communities throughout the metro region.

Mike Houck

Director, Urban Greenspaces Institute

Northwest Portland

Bullying? More like grandstanding

John Ludlow’s op-ed (Please don’t bully Clackamas County, Feb. 21) offers little but bullying of its own.

In his piece, the testimony he cites is mine, in which I implored the commission to reject Ludlow’s clumsy resolution to oppose the Interstate 5 bridge replacement project. I testified that it’s not Clackamas County’s fight and would only serve to make enemies with our transportation funding partners — on whom we rely for future projects.

His deliberate misinterpretation of my testimony as “threatening” is simple grandstanding to make headlines.

I’m disappointed that Ludlow’s promise to encourage citizen input and involvement has reversed course. Using the media to mischaracterize public testimony of opposing viewpoints discourages participation. I expect more thoughtful and considerate leadership from my county commissioners.

My testimony can be summed up simply: Our county is in constant competition for transportation dollars. Ignoring the political realities of picking a fight with our funding partners isn’t in our best interest.

Patrick Sheehan

Clackamas

Art tax doesn’t just hit ‘wealthy’ people

Since the city of Portland is going to mail a notice to all adult Portland residents regarding the art tax, that means unemployed homeless people will also receive the paper notice if they have a mailing address.

I suppose the city will mail the notices to street addresses and to U.S. Postal Service mailboxes.How is the city going to determine who is in poverty so they don’t pay the art tax? What is the maximum income level they will use for the cutoff?

Former Mayor Sam Adams said he was going after the “wealthy” people who have 401(k)s. I’m sure there are some people who have just started investing in 401(k)s or IRA’s who aren’t “wealthy” by his definition.

Surely there are people who are forced to live off their IRA and 401(k) money as a result of unemployment during the economic recession until it’s gone.

Kathryn Notson

Southeast Portland