OPINION: Tigard doesn't need a Taj Mahal
I would beg you all to read The Times' Jan. 21, 2021, article: "New City Hall pitch taking shape in Tigard."
I see several alarming statements in the column, not the least of which is that the new Public Works building would be 50,000 square feet and that the new City Hall would be 100,000 square feet. Holy cow! My home is 2,000 square feet.
Will the new Public Works really be 25 times larger than my home? And the new City Hall 50 times larger? What in the world are you going to fill it with? Certainly many more dozens of questionable full-time positions.
The cost of this Taj Mahal is going to be tremendous. It's so tremendous, they won't say what the budget is for it.
The article states the existing facilities are old and dilapidated on the inside. Fine, then fix them. The comparison of cost to fix the exiting facilities has to pale in comparison to the cost of construction of the new behemoths.
In the article, the city of Tigard community development director stated that the existing City Hall was originally designed for a few dozen police officers, and there is five times that amount now. A few dozen is 36 at least. Are you saying there are 180 police officers in Tigard? I don't think so! More like 78. Lets not use exaggeration and hyperbole to make the case. Just the facts, please.
The development director goes on to claim that there will be no taxes raised to fund this huge expansion. Come on! Be straight with us! That is a tired old claim we have seen debunked time after time.
The Tigard Triangle business tax exemption was touted as tax-free, and the next year, the city asked for a 47% increase in city tax. We settled the following year for less than that, but we paid for that Triangle regardless.
What is the disconnect here? Portland needs buildings this size, not Tigard. This gargantuan facility and the new full-time positions filling it will create a dramatic tax burden on us citizens for decades.
The development director states the new taxes will just conveniently replace the taxes on current bonds that are retiring. I don't know about you, but I have been waiting years for those bond taxes to retire.
Let's encourage the city to be accurate with the facts and don't add to our tax. We don't need this new, heavier chain around our necks.
Brian Conroy is a Tigard resident.
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