Friday, October 12, 2012

Bad timing for parks bond measure

Park district wasted $8 million on new admin building
The abundance of parks in Bend make this place special. The recreation offerings add to the allure.

Who wouldn't want more parks or trails or recreational opportunities?

We'll see in November, but right now, with the economy still fragile in Bend, with a foreclosure rate that dwarfs the rest of the state and with other, more important bills on the horizon, a nearly $30-million parks bond will have to wait.

The Bend-La Pine School District is going to ask voters next year for nearly $100 million for new schools and improvement to others.

The city of Bend is upgrading its water system to the tune of at least $63 million.

Notice your water and sewer bill lately? I know one senior citizen who lives alone in a home on a city lot. Her water/sewer bill in August was more than $120. And, she had no guests during that month.

I know someone else who lives on a smaller city lot with one other person and they, too, have water/sewer bills over $125 a month during the summer.

In the last 10 years, Bend's water/sewer bill has increased each year at a clip that triples the rate of inflation.

In essence, the average homeowner's water/sewer bill has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. It's clear, with all the money the city is spending on upgrading the water system, that the average water/sewer bill will top $200 a month within the next 10 years.

This is the cost homeowners have to bear to subsidize developers and now our burgeoning beer industry  which threatens to overwhelm the sewer system.

The household income pie is only so large. It hasn't expanded much in the past 30 years, but the bills keep escalating. Throw in gas prices that drain the monthly budget, and there isn't much left over for luxuries like more parks and recreational offerings.

In addition, the park district, without asking voters, squandered $8 million on an administration building that added little value to the patrons of the park and rec district.

And, the park district has done a poor job in meeting the needs of seniors. After taking over the new Senior Center, it jacked up fees so high that it priced most seniors out of participating. Also, the park district won't even listen to the grievances of the senior citizens.

Sorry, park district. Water and school's are more important. And those bills are eating away at what the average homeowner can pay to the district.

Vote no on Measure 9-86.


  1. Glad to have found your Blog.

    As someone wanting to move to Bend in a few years I really like Measure 9-86 and would gladly chip in a few bucks a month to make it happen.

    That said I understand the various costs that have many in Bend on very tight budgets.

    If the comments on represent the majority views on M 9-86 it will not pass.

    Honestly many of the comments on that site have wondering how different Bend politics really are from here in VA?

    Certainly is a divided nation.

    I will be watching from VA the many things that are playing out in Bend.

    Enjoy your beautiful city and keep working for progress.

  2. as a family of 4 on a city lot, even while washing cloth diapers, my water bill has never been more than $60/mo.