Sen. George asks Gov. to stop politics over M37

Dear Governor Kulongoski and Speaker Merkley,

Many were surprised by your divisive comments on Friday concerning Legislative efforts to reform Oregon’s broken land use system.

To date, the Oregon Senate has approached land use reform with an open mind and the intent of going forward with a collaborative, bi-partisan effort to reform nearly 30 years of problems.

Your comments on Friday were inflammatory and alienating. Ultimately, Friday’s comments undermined our shared interest in fixing Oregon’s land use system.

All sides feel strongly about the direction that land use reform should finally take. Those same interests are looking toward the Oregon State Legislature for a voice of leadership, a voice that represents the will of the voters.

The statements, released from your offices on Friday, January 29, 2007 proved to be filled with inappropriate and offensive political rhetoric. Your divisive words have only distracted from the effort to find a fair land use system. You attacked a measure approved by 61% of Oregon voters, and then used name calling to address those Oregonians who have been hurt by an unfair land use system. This was not helpful or constructive.

This is not a political issue, this is an Oregon issue — and I am asking that you refrain from such divisive rhetoric in the future. I am also asking both of you to reissue statements that more clearly state your intentions of working with all sides to find some reasonable solutions to reform a system that has been broken for over 20 years.

Let’s find a real solution to Oregon’s land use system.

I look forward to and welcome our future dialogue on the subject.


State Senator Larry George

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Posted by at 06:30 | Posted in Measure 37 | 8 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • homer12

    No bones about it, the voters’ Measure 37 is under big mac attack. The Guv’s words reflect a disrespect and hostility to something he is out to hurt.

  • man without a home

    Whay did Gov K say and where can I get a transcript?

  • Happypacy

    I’ve noticed over the years that there are two forms of political animals that work down in Salem. There are statesmen and then there are simply politicians. What you are describing with the Democrat Governor and majority “Rulers” is nothing less than arrogant, liberal, politicians. You are expecting statesmanlike conduct out of people who simply do not have the character to rise to the occasion. But, the good news is, you have the people on both sides of the political spectrum who support these land use causes. This is a fight that must not be lost. “The Good Earth” belongs to the people, not to the government or a monarchy of “Rulers”.

  • Captain_Anon

    One thing that could make it more fair is for governments to refuse to pay to alter the existing infrastructure. if the new development requires new roads or expansion of existing roads, untilities, or anything else, then the developer has to pay. that way the public isn’t subsidizing the new growth and the property owners get the uses that were allowed back in the day.

  • Steven Plunk


    Presently that’s how it works. Developers build streets and other infrastructure to service new developments. SDC’s are collected to finance infrastructure outside the development that will be impacted by the growth. The public doesn’t really subsidize growth, that’s been an excuse to fight growth but generally hasn’t been proven.

    The funny thing to me is years ago it worked without SDC’s. Local governments liked the growth in anticipation of increased tax revenues. Growth was good for everyone.

    Now growth is frowned upon. The governments lost control of spending so they can’t wait for future tax revenues, SDC’s now are used to take care ongoing expenses disguised as capacity increases. Anti-growthers make up any excuse to keep things the way they were when they moved here. Notice how it’s always the people who moved in who are looking to stop those that followed them? It’s called being selfish.

    Growth policies in Oregon are not about good growth or smart growth but simply no growth for the sake of the environment or personal preference. Like I said, selfish people wanting to shut the door behind them.

    Sleepy Ted will work to downplay any success of measure 37. He reasons that success of such a reasonable idea would lead to other libertarian free market reforms in government and he can’t have that. His constituency of government employees, union members, and those suckling at big mama cannot lose the power they currently hold. A weaker state government will weaken them.

  • Chris McMullen

    Here’s some light-shedding info for ya, Cappy.

    Sounds like the developer pays for the increased ‘growth.’ Of course, the home owner ultimately pays.

    And isn’t it nice how TODs are exempt from SDC charges? I guess all the developers in the Pearl and SoWhat paid nothing toward increased growth.

    • Captain_Anon

      as it was noted in the paper today, state law only allows system development charges for certain services – not all that are impacted by development. and not all jurisdictions even charge for all that they are allowed by law to do. a solution would be for the developers to pay for the new roads, pay for the expansion of existing roads that will need to accomodate the increase in traffic, pay for the extension of water mains, sewer mains, and utilities. they should also pay for the increased demand on schools, libraries, parks, and community colleges if they are near them. that’s what i’m talking about. the developer should pay for all that because the new residents that will be in these proposed m37 developments will impact all those services in areas that have not been planned for the increased demand in the infrastructure

  • Steven Plunk

    Chris M. Makes a good point, it’s ultimately the home owner who pays through higher prices on home purchases. So many anti-growth zealots blame developers and want them to pay more not realizing those costs are simply passed on.

    So the new home buyer pays a higher price financed through a mortgage. That is essentially financing a growth tax that they will pay over the next 30 years. It’s bad enough we saddle our kids with a national debt but now we make them pay “buy in” fees through SDC’s. We make them buy into a system that is already upside down with debt.

    Since the following generations will inherit this debt we should not be charging them to join society as home owning adults.

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