ELGL: In Case You Missed It
Senator Merkley is holding a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday January 17th at the Tigard Public Library at 10 am, the address is 13500 SW Hall Blvd., Tigard, OR 97223. Here is a link in case you are not familiar with the location: Map and Directions.
Clackamas County Hosts Open Forum
The current trend of smart growth, or developing housing and other amenities near transit-friendly areas, has been the mantra for local planning agencies and developers in the last several years. One of the pioneers in the Washington area of this concept is the Bethesda firm EYA, which since 1992 has been developing townhouses and other higher density housing in neighborhoods within a short walk of Metro stations.
Clackamas County Commissioners invite the public to an open forum with the Clackamas County Commissioners Wednesday, Jan 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the Clackamas County Development Services Auditorium, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, 97045 on the Red Soils campus.
The gathering is part of a series of informal conversations called Commissioner Community Roundtable, a discussion forum where the public is invited to meet the County Commissioners and discuss issues of concerns or ask questions about the county’s operations or programs. For more information please contact Tim Heider at (503) 742-5911.
The National Spotlight
A year ago, 60 Minutes aired a controversial 11 minute feature on the “Day of Reckoning” coming for state — and especially local — governments. It featured two grim Cassandras: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney. Host Steve Kroft reported that during the recession, states had collectively “nearly a half a trillion more” than they collected in revenue and faced a “trillion dollar hole in their pension funds.”
Shortly after lunchtime on the day of the 2004 New Hampshire primary, Joe Lieberman’s bus pulled up to an elementary school on the east side of Manchester. Waiting there for him were three men who clearly had been sleeping on the street before they, briefly, became part of the Connecticut senator’s campaign. On a cue from a campaign staffer, as Lieberman descended from his coach with the assembled media watching, the three men began waving signs and energetically shouting, “Go Joe! Go Joe! … Joe-mentum! Joe-mentum!” Lieberman greeted a few voters, told reporters a somewhat sad anecdote about his lucky tie and got back on the bus to more cheers from his three biggest fans. When the votes were tallied that evening, Joe-mentum placed fifth.
For decades, city fathers and academics have studied economic development, searching diligently for ways to make urban economies prosper. Surely this quest is understandable—as understandable as the search for success that so many people undertake in the personal-finance section of the local bookstore. But just as personal finance has yet to unlock the secret of how to get rich, no surefire government-led strategy exists that can turn around a troubled economy like Buffalo’s or Gary’s. Cities, like people, are too diverse to allow anything but fairly commonsense prescriptions. A lot of grand theories have been advanced—targeted tax incentives! bike paths!—but they have proven of little practical use.
For business travelers who’ll be back on the road this new year, there’s some good news: Cities don’t appear eager to increase taxes for renting a room or eating a meal. “We’re not aware of any move to raise taxes on the travel industry,” says Lars Etzkorn, program director for the National League of Cities. “By and large, local governments are still belt-tightening. Any increase in taxes affects the marketability of that community, and so it’s never done without careful consideration.”
The traditional eight-hour workday may soon be the exception rather than the rule. New evidence shows that we’re reaching a tipping point in terms of workplace flexibility, with businesses seeing the wisdom of allowing employees — young ones especially — to work odd hours, telecommute and otherwise tweak the usual 9-to-5 grind.
Where would you live in the U.S. if money were no object? Many people might automatically pick New York or San Francisco, maybe New Orleans or Boston. But they might be missing out. All these cities are great, but other cities are even better. Welcome to Businessweek.com’s first America’s Best Cities ranking. With assistance from Bloomberg Rankings, Businessweek.com evaluated 100 of the country’s largest cities based on 16 criteria, which include: the number of restaurants, bars, and museums per capita; the number of colleges, libraries, and professional sports teams; the income, poverty, unemployment, crime, and foreclosure rates; percent of population with bachelor’s degrees, public school performance, park acres per 1,000 residents, and air quality. Greater weighting was placed on recreational amenities such as parks, bars, restaurants, and museums, and on educational attainment, school performance, poverty, and air quality. The data came from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sperling’s BestPlaces, GreatSchools, Onboard Informatics, RealtyTrac, and the Trust for Public Land. Read on to find out which cities top the ranking. Is your city on the list?
Around the Northwest
Metro has created a potentially useful and interesting tool with it’s Opt In Panel. This group of just over 8000 volunteers is periodically contacted by Metro to answer questions about issues related to the work Metro does in the region. Often the questions are related to livability as well as land use and transportation.
Twenty-five years ago, then Sweet Home Mayor Ruth Ganta challenged Steve Druckenmiller for the Linn County Clerk’s job. She lost. Today, Ruth Ganta-Deal, 72, will retire after five years in elections and recording and has the highest of praise for her boss and former opponent.
Don Cooper’s resignation as Yakima city manager generated a lot of questions. Some of you wonder how the burden to find a replacement will fall on taxpayers.
The year is new, but an old story will dominate Oregon and Lane County in many ways in 2012: the still shaky economy. That’s the conclusion of observers asked by The Register-Guard to pick the issues that will command the attention of state and local residents this year.
The state legislature is likely to review the city of Keizer’s role in Keizer Fire District’s proposed annexation of the Clear Lake neighborhood. As far as the city of Keizer and Keizer Fire District are concerned, the city has the right to determine who will provide service within its boundaries.
North Bend’s city administrator bids adieu to the position she’s held for nearly a decade, and hello to a retirement full of family and traveling.
Commissioner Bob Main has thanked Coos County employees for accepting modest pay increases as they brace for a massive cash crunch this year.