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Why I am voting no on the pool in West Linn

In my family, we always look at the “arguments for” and “against” a ballot measure before we vote. We look at whatever other relevant material is available on the subject too.

In the case of the $24 million proposed pool center, Measure 3-432, we also reviewed the marketing analysis for the pool done by Ballard and King for the city. On page 88 of that document, which you can find online, it states that “30% to 40% of all users could be non-residents.” So we would be subsidizing people to use the pool who are not being charged these high tax increases because they don’t live in West Linn.

But surely they will be charged more to use it, you say? Well the same report states that it has been determined that they can’t be charged more than 25 percent more than West Linn residents or they won’t use the facility.

You can go to the Clackamas County elections site and see the arguments for and against this pool measure from the ballot. In the one written by Angela Dreher, Ph.D, there are 10 excellent reasons to vote no. Dr. Dreher states that the actual building and maintenance costs haven’t been presented in detail and that the final decisions and design won’t be completed until after voter approval.

She cites the example used by some of the pool proponents of a pool facility in Madras, Ore. A homeowner there with a $302,775 assessed home value (which is the average assessed value for a West Linn home) pays about $400 per year ($215 for the building bond and $185 for two maintenance levies each year). This is a much higher number than we are being given as “estimates” of our increased taxes by the pool proponents.

Dreher also states that in recent years Oregon City’s annual pool deficit has averaged $400,000 per year and that the Clackamas Aquatic Center has an average deficit of between $500,000 and $700,000 a year. Why would we think that West Linn’s pool would be any different? She also says that for people who want to use a pool the Clackamas Aquatic Center is only about 10 minutes away.

Charles Seims, a retired attorney, is another West Linn resident who wrote an argument against the pool. He has gone further and is handing out to the public a double-sided legal sized argument that he wrote and paid for himself. In his document, Mr. Seims states that this $24 million pool would double the city’s bond debt. He states, “That’s like taking out a mortgage in the amount of $1,000 for every man, woman and child in West Linn. Can our little community of 24,000 afford a debt load of $45 million dollars?”

The answer is no. And that is why I am voting no on the pool in West Linn.

Edward Schwarz is a West Linn resident.




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