June 4, 2014

Annexations are forced and unpopular

To the editor:

City leaders have told about Molalla’s continuing financial troubles. Molalla should remember hard lessons from past failures to collect from developers and from lax enforcement of conditions of development. Molalla also has a huge filing nightmare in City Hall that makes it next to impossible to find legal permanent records (for a requested record of 2005 annexation the city demanded a deposit $360 for an eight hour-plus search with no guarantee of success!).

At the June 4 forced annexation hearing, those unwilling to be dragged into Molalla’s operational and financial disarray should point out dysfunction and cronyism, including the recent failure to collect money from Stone Place developer Karl Ivanov. Stone Place conditions of approval state: “Applicant to contribute proportional share to signalization of Main/Molalla, as discussed at hearing. This contribution to occur prior to final occupancy permit. Signalization to be placed on City’s 5-yr CIP Plan.”

No “proportional share” has been collected and transferred to city accounts and the CIP has not been updated. Ivanov wrote a vague letter after occupancy, saying someday he would contribute “up to $15,000”. What ethical city, bank or taxing entity would allow a “promise” substituted for real money? What if Ivanov’s business goes bankrupt or dissolves before he keeps his unsecured “promise?” Don’t city leaders remember the missing System Development Charge fiasco?

Molalla fails to secure conditions of development via bonding. Ivanov is required to make a park donation of land or money – the apartments are occupied, yet the city still negotiates. Other local cities secure conditions with bonds against performance and make binding decisions about financial and land donations before developers break ground.

Redi-Mix is another prime example of Molalla’s failure to enforce conditions. In 2010, the city wrote at demand letter, noting a huge list of conditions not fulfilled, including “half street improvements on Forest Road [including] paving, striping, drainage, sidewalks… six foot tall site obscuring fence or wall [on Forest Road and Hwy 211] …four foot vegetation buffer between fence or wall and the development around the entire parcel.” Now, over six years since Redi-Mix located, there is no compliance. If Molalla wants to improve Hwy 211, shouldn’t it start by enforcing woefully ignored mandates?

Manager Dan Huff and Mayor DebbieRogge are plunging ahead with highly unpopular forced annexations instead of rectifying glaring process, enforcement and financial blunders. Molalla’s real estate hasn’t rebounded and Molalla isn’t successfully managing assets already in the city limits. Incompetent Molalla is trying to enrich itself on the backs of unwilling property owners.

Susan Hansen


Get government out of healthcare

To the editor:

For all those who favor a single-payersystem, Obamacare or The Affordable Care Act, please allow me to ask you a question:

If you thought the government was capable of directing your health care, why don’t you ask a Veteran how he or she feels about the care they receive?

Bonuses awarded to administrators for bogus wait-time improvements, loss of names from the wait-list, decades-long shuffling among offices waiting for decisions never rendered and loss of life due to the lack of support for those who have defended this nation are the norm rather than the exception. That is for those who deserve our support more than any other group; how do you think you will fare when some bureaucrat is directing your health-care?

In my opinion it is time to lose this abomination called Obamacare and get the government out of our health care. What’s your opinion?

Mike Early


Contract Publishing

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