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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

CARA buys former Wells Fargo branch

Written February 1st, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The Wells Fargo branch in downtown Albany last spring before it closed later, in the summer.

Last October, the Albany City Council authorized the city staff to negotiate to buy the former Wells Fargo Bank branch at First Avenue and Broadalbin Street. On Friday, the city closed on the purchase for $1.5 million.

Officially, it’s the Albany Revitalization Agency, the urban renewal agency running the Central Albany Revitalization Area, that is purchasing the site. But the agency and the council are the very same seven people, and the ARA is an agency of the city government.

City Manager Peter Troedsson announced the closing in his weekly Friday report to the council. “Staff are now working on a development offering for projects that support mixed use and commercial/retail development on the property to become available in the coming months.”

On county tax records, the property has been shown to have a market value of about $1.1 million. It was built in 1916 by the First National Bank and originally had five floors. The top floors were taken down some time before the 1970s.

In 2011, a “refinement plan” adopted to augment the original CARA urban renewal plan identified the bank property as the “Albany Plaza,” meant to be a gathering place of some kind. But the CARA advisory board, consisting of the council and seven other members, has had no recent discussions, at least in public, about how the now-vacant property might be used, or whether it should be in public ownership or sold to some entity under a development agreement.

The next CARA board meeting is on Feb. 20. Maybe the topic of what to do with the newly acquired property will come up. (hh)

The Wells Fargo parking lot, shown last spring, makes the property especially important to downtown.

A page from the 2011 plan that shows the bank property as Albany Plaza.

 

 

 



67 responses to “CARA buys former Wells Fargo branch”

  1. Bryan says:

    Hope the plan works out. Also hope there was a good reason to pay that much for it, other than the owner knowing they (we?) wanted it and taking advantage of that. Can’t imagine it’s really that desirable of commercial real estate right now. What is the vision for the east anchor?

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    CARA uses Tax Increment Financing under the theory that a “public investment” will increase private property values and the amount of tax revenue the properties generate.

    But in this transaction, the use of TIF takes a privately owned property that generates tax revenue off the roll and now the property generates zero tax revenue.

    And the City Manager promises a “development offering” that will deliver manna from heaven in about 30 years to the coffers of local governments? Is that the logic here?

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Yes – TIF has worked very well over the long term for the City. But you already know that – you just don’t like the concept. The long range plan all along has been to sell the building portion – not become a perpetual landlord for it…

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        Are you asserting that without a public subsidy, private development won’t occur on this property?

        If yes, I call BS on CARA.

        If no, then the private marketplace should determine the best use of this property.

        Does CARA know better than the free market? Please explain your reasoning.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          Ancient history… This has been discussed ad nauseum over the years. Follow yourself down your rabbit hole you create…

        • Tom W says:

          I wouldn’t mind some rational on this question as well. Is CARA buying and selling in an effort to make the city’s tax revenue higher long run, then values returned to tax rolls. How is value “returned to the tax rolls” ? IS CARA utilizing bonds as a way to skirt this being investment allocated?? I thought gov entities were not to play investors with tax payer revenue? Anyone care to explain further?

          This except from the City of Albany CARA website doesn’t translate the process in enough detail:
          The goal in establishing the Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) was to increase the economic vitality of the area, encourage the use of vacant and underused land and buildings, and rehabilitate structures while increasing property values both in CARA and the city of Albany. The investment of these tax increment funds is expected to increase property values, with total value growth in the renewal area over the duration of the plan expected to be $230 million. When the plan is completed, the values will be returned to the tax rolls, and the various taxing bodies that share values in Albany will receive that increase in tax collections.

          • Ms J says:

            Good luck with answers to your questions.
            You are likely to not get any clarification from either past or present councilors.

          • Ray Kopczynski says:

            “This except from the City of Albany CARA website doesn’t translate the process in enough detail:…”

            If you follow the results over the years since inception of the URD, it is *crystal clear.* Regardless, there always have been and there always will be consummate naysayers to the process…

          • Bob Woods says:

            If you don’t understand, fine. Let me take a shot to help.

            “Is CARA buying and selling in an effort to make the city’s tax revenue higher long run, then values returned to tax rolls.”

            The short answer is yes. CARA can buy and sell properties to help support the goals of the overall plan. But CARA doesn’t do that very often, spending much of their time and resources to assist property owners improve old properties to make them structurally sound structures, improve their appearance, and increase overall economic viability. That process also tends to make other structures increase in value through normal market processes. It becomes a more attractive place to invest in.

            Somebody else can help more, I have an appointment.

          • S. Whittle says:

            This kind of pretzel logic is akin to Trump’s assertion that increased revenues resulting from a new NAFTA will pay for his wall. The parallels are stunning.

      • L. LaRosseau says:

        The City’s Long Range Planning team has one person on it. Tell me how that makes sense.

  3. Stephanie Gutierrez says:

    I see a lot of value in the parking lot that comes with the building. I’m hoping the city will be able to keep that public parking instead of that becoming a private parking lot and not being available to the public as it was with Wells Fargo.

  4. Avid Reader 1 says:

    Oh My God! CARA bought it because they could. CARA formed without a vote of the people and they continue to funnel property tax money (paid by the people) into their pet projects. It would be embarrassing for CARA (that is, the city council and mayor…they make up CARA management) to leave that building sitting there. And, no one else wanted to buy it…as it is smack in the middle of a downtown that is there only for a few elites to eat in the pricey restaurants and then buy pricey antiques, etc. in the few stores.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “…CARA formed without a vote of the people…”

      Hogwash! Because we have a representative government, we elect folks to make decisions on our behalf. That you and a few others don’t like those decisions, you have the ballot box to change the policy makers. And since there have been multiple changes in mayor, councilors, etc. over the years since the inception of the URD; basically it has been continuing albeit at a glacial pace sometimes IMO.

      • Avid Reader 1 says:

        The formation of CARA (urban renewal district) was not brought to the vote of the people in a general election. Period! Hogwash to you, too. (Hasso…don’t tell me that you edit out insults. If you do, you are very selective about it, and you know it.)

  5. tom cordier says:

    The hard data from the tax assessors office it that City properties outside the CARA boundary increased in value 4 times as much as properties within CARA boundary. The mantra that CARA has been successful is fake news put out by folks who are lie about it knowingly

    • Before accusing people of lying based on “hard data,” please cite the hard data.

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        I don’t know if this will satisfy you, but here are some sumbers from a letter published in the ADH on June 4, 2014. At the time we were debating how much CARA should contribute towards the new fire & police buildings. I can provide the Excel spreadsheet with the numbers and sources, if you want. The data came directly from county assessor reports.

        https://democratherald.com/news/opinion/mailbag/mailbag-use-cara-funds/article_1607799e-ebfe-11e3-a7e7-0019bb2963f4.html

        On June 4th the CARA folks will trot out numbers in an attempt to justify their existence. One past number they proclaimed is that the taxable value of the CARA Area has grown by at least 46% since 2001. At first glance this looks impressive, but single numbers with no context are essentially meaningless.

        Let’s dig a little deeper.

        When calculating a real growth rate the first thing we have to do is factor out things that are disconnected from economic activity. For example, Measure 50 increases a property’s assessed value by 3 percent each year regardless of the economy. So we need to remove the M50 effect when calculating a real growth rate.

        And we need to baseline the growth rate to a timeframe where identifiable CARA spending happened.

        Given the above methodology and reports available through the Assessor’s office, it is possible to take a snapshot and calculate the cumulative growth rate of the CARA Area between July 2002 and July 2013.

        In that period the taxable value of all the property in the CARA Area increased from $265,495,808 to $379,268,904 – about 43% cumulative growth. But that number decreases to about 4% when you factor out the M50 effect. And the 4% shrinks even further when you consider that only a portion of the growth can be attributable to CARA handouts.

        But we’re still left with a single, meaningless number. To add context, let’s compare 4% with what happened in the “rest of Albany.” Using the same methodology, the taxable value of the rest of Albany grew 22% over the same period of time.

        It is time to declare that CARA has been a failure in manipulating the local economy.

        Given this reality, CARA funds would be better spent on higher priority essentials like public safety buildings.

        • J. Jacobson says:

          Shadle writes: “…value of all the property in the CARA Area increased from $265,495,808 to $379,268,904 – about 43% cumulative growth. But that number decreases to about 4%…”

          If this is true, then our Civic Leaders, under the guise of CARA (may not be sued) are grossly underperforming. if Shadle’s numbers are true, the CARA activity can be the result of just a few possibilities.
          1. Some sort of illicit activity
          2. Massive incompetence
          3. A mix of #1 and #2

          As taxpaying Albanians, everyone should demand a full and complete accounting of CARA actions since its inception. Any tomfoolery or incompetence must have the burning light of truth shown upon it.

          • Ray Kopczynski says:

            “As taxpaying Albanians, everyone should demand a full and complete accounting of CARA actions since its inception.”

            Those have been available year-after-year via the CARA-ARA meeting minutes, the CARA-ARA budgets, etc. That you and a handful of others continually whine about it year-after-year speaks volumes. Especially in light of the folks actually getting their fingernails dirty have changed multiple times since the URD inception.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          “CARA funds would be better spent on higher priority essentials like public safety buildings.”

          You mean like the new Fire Dept. & Police Dept. buildings approved by Albany Voters?

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      And what would the results have been had the URD improvements not happened?? The then very blighted core would now be more so…and the values in the negative.

    • J. Hanschlatter says:

      Hey, these days, if you’re hitting .250 in the Big Show, you’ll be making a lot of dough. Outside CARA boundaries return 4x as much. Isn’t Kellum and Johnson doing anything to stop this fraud? WARD 3 deserves representation that cares about something other than how quaint downtown looks.

  6. tom cordier says:

    Thank you Gordon for posting the data about CARA not meeting results as hyped. And for the record HH, this info has been published many ways from Gordon–perhaps you had forgotten. So I stand by my lying charge. CARA has been more recently used just as a funding source for anything the council wants to spend debt money on. Does anyone recall the Albany voters said an 80% yes to require Council to get voter approval before taking on more gov’t debt. That is in the City Charter. CARA provides a way around that stipulation—over the will of 80% of the voters. The Council scores an F for representing the will of voters

    • The voters? Didn’t they just return two councilors and the mayor to office? And it wasn’t even close.

      • Avid Reader 1 says:

        You are very “Trumpian” again, Hasso, in changing the subject. Most people agreeing to run for council are of the same mind regarding CARA as the ones already on council. Not all, but most. And, some councilors always run unopposed. Besides, you know darned well that Cordier is specifically talking about the 80% who voted to put government debt to the vote of the people.

      • J. Hanschlatter says:

        There must be some sort of miasma clotting the normally clear-headed Albanian resident. Or some manner of mass mesmerization. Regardless, Hering’s analysis is spot on. The good people of Albany are either pleased by CARA activities, indifferent to said activities or intellectually incapable of understanding what CARA does. Regardless, the electorate continues to return the CARA Paraclete to power year-in and year-Out. The wisdom of the masses prevails despite the Cordier angst.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “CARA provides a way around that stipulation—over the will of 80% of the voters.”

      CARA is following all applicable laws (as written) regarding its mission. It is not finding “a way around” them… Prove otherwise.

      • thomas cordier says:

        The proof Ray is that Council never even asked voters to approve URD authorizing $59M of debt with no ending date. Then voters decided overwhelming to change the City Charter requiring voter approval of more debt. Council said up-yours we’ll use the legal way around the will of the people. The reason same ole people get elected is most voters say “can’t fight city hall” and that should not be used as agreement on what UR has done with taxpayer money

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          “The proof Ray is that Council never even asked voters to approve URD authorizing $59M of debt with no ending date.”

          Egads – You really can be quite obtuse! I’ll say it again: the council is *elected* to make decisions. Quite thankfully, individuals do not get line-item veto power…

          “Council said up-yours we’ll use the legal way around the will of the people.”

          Funny… I’ve always been under the impression that if you do something the “legal way,” it’s a good thing. That’s why we have laws and the processes by which to change them.

          • Ms J says:

            Interesting to note that Ray said in a response to one of my posts —

            “… I also agree there are possibly valid reasons for folks to self-censor, but that also stifles civil conversation IMO.”

            but then refers to Tom Cordier (someone not self-censoring) as “obtuse” in an earlier post when Tom C expressed an opinion.

            Revealing your identity apparently does not result in or promote civil conversation as referring to someone as obtuse has meaning that is anything but civil, unless your referring to angular measurement.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          I should also note that Tom & I had a debate over the merits of CARA on KGAL back on June 19th, 2012 in the “Talks of the Valley” program. This was back when Tom was filing multiple lawsuits to stop CARA from functioning.

  7. Ms J says:

    Unless there are term limits imposed for both the mayor and Councilor positions, I’m afraid that fresh, new thinking will never come to light for issues like CARA or other topics.

    I’d be interested to know what exactly have been the changes/turnaround for the mayor & Councilor positions since the inception of CARA in 2001 (can someone post a list of names/dates?).

    It is disingenuous to claim that if you don’t like what’s going on, then simply run for office and change things. I think a better mantra is listen to your constituents that elected you and represent them, not an old ideal.

    Change comes exceedingly slow when say, one Councilor position has changed hands in an election cycle (as in just recently) and your new idea(s) are stymied by a buttress of existing Councilors and mayor who are too rigid to change or consider new avenues of thought.

    I think what generally happens is the newly elected person faces intense pressure to go with the established flow, hence no change occurs.

    I can’t even remember who was mayor prior to Konopa as well as many other councilors who have been there as long or longer than Konopa.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “Unless there are term limits imposed for both the mayor and Councilor positions, I’m afraid that fresh, new thinking will never come to light for issues like CARA or other topics.”

      Interesting… Every 4 years, you have the opportunity to change the councilor in your Ward. You’re telling me that there’s no one in your Ward willing to step into the arena and help formula policy for the city knowing full well they will be wearing a target on their back? The mayor has to run every 2 years.

      In my particular case, the day after I was elected, I stated on camera, that I was doing a self-imposed term limit and would not run for re-election in 4 years. Notwithstanding having many-many requests over the ensuing 4 years to run again, I’ve said all along that there are too many good people in Albany who should have the opportunity to have the direct input as a councilor.

      “I think a better mantra is listen to your constituents that elected you and represent them, not an old ideal.”

      Just because you believe something is “an old ideal” doesn’t male it so. No councilor can EVER please all their constituents – and they should NOT try to do so. However, if you are not in regular contact with your specific councilor on any issue that concerns you, you’re simply shouting into the void. (And you have even less credence if you’re doing so hiding behind anonymity!)

      • Ms J says:

        Ray –

        I know you often criticize those commenting here that do not reveal their true identity, but it is really that person’s business/choice and no one else’s. It may trigger negative (albeit illegal) repercussions in one’s workplace by doing so – I’ve seen it demonstrated before. Therefore, “hiding” is not a realistic tag for someone who chooses anonymity over satisfying your curiosity. It is Hasso’s website and he established the rules. I try to respect and consider others’ comments/ideas whether I know their identity or not.

        The reason I brought up term limits as a mechanism of change is that I recently looked at Albany’s City Council webpage and noticed that Konopa is listed as serving her 6th consecutive term, Olsen his 6th, and Johnson her 5th. This equates to 12, 24, and 20 consecutive years, respectively, by the time their terms are up for re-election.

        I seriously doubt much change can be effected with people being in the same positions for these lengths of time. It becomes something of a juggernaut when the same people get re-elected over and over and over and makes it extremely difficult for the non-incumbent to enter the arena and institute new ideas. What was instituted many years or decades ago doesn’t necessarily mean that it should continue (other alternatives DO exist and present themselves with the passage of time), but I think councilor/mayoral decision-making for the last 12-20 years or more is to keep things unchanged regardless of constituent voices.

        The 80% voter approval Tom C. mentions for requiring voter input before more debt can be accrued, spoke loudly what constituents wanted (can’t think of many examples where a ballot has passed by that margin). It seems pretty clear what voters desired, but I think the council and mayor privately vetoed this, found a legal loophole, and instead circumvented a voter decision.

        I respect your choice of self-imposed term limits, but I think this needs to be an across-the-board rule for all elected officials, especially those in Congress, many of whom have essentially tenured themselves through financial inertia.

        I agree with you that there are people in Albany who would make a good mayor or councilor, but the odds are stacked against them from the start making it a difficult choice for someone wanting to step up and meet responsibility and time commitments. A much better chance for non-incumbents would certainly exist if term limits were imposed and I believe new crops of people would enter the mix.

        I like to think of term limits as “upwelling”, an oceanographic term that brings about positive change and growth by reducing stagnation.

        • Gordon L. Shadle says:

          Rogue River, Oregon has term limits for their Mayor and councilors. See Sections 8 and 9 of their charter.

          https://www.codepublishing.com/OR/RogueRiver/html/RogueRiverCH.html

          The same can be done in Albany through the initiative and referendum process (see ORS 250 and Albany’s charter). I suspect Albany voters would support such a measure.

        • Gordon L. Shadle says:

          Also, check out the charters in Hillsboro, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Oregon City, Milwaukie, and Tualatin.

          Local Measure 34-247 in Tualatin passed in Nov 2016 with 67% approval. While doing your research, check out the shenanigans of the Tualatin Mayor and city council. I’d expect the same from Albany’s politicians. In the end the Tualatin pols failed and looked very foolish. Some folks have no shame.

          • Ray Kopczynski says:

            “…check out the shenanigans of the Tualatin Mayor and city council. I’d expect the same from Albany’s politicians.”

            Typical bald-face lie from you. Prove otherwise.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          It’s not my “curiosity” for folks using their real name! It’s the fact that people will state their opinion (as is their right), but are not willing to put their name behind it. While I disagree with 99.9% of anything TomC has ever espoused, I give him chops for willing to stand behind them with his name. In that regard only, he has more credibility… I also agree there are possibly valid reasons for folks to self-censor, but that also stifles civil conversation IMO.

          One of the reasons I personally chose not to run again was that I felt it was not to use the “power of incumbency” to lock in my seat. (I also never accepted a single endorsement of monetary contribution for my election…) Yes, it may be hard[er] to unseat an incumbent, but until/if/when someone is willing to put in the effort to convince their constituents they offer a better solution to perceived problems, the incumbents will always rule. What is most galling to me is that there are times when there is NO competition for an elected position. That’s pure apathy IMO… Yes, there are time constraints when you volunteer for the job, but I do note that half of the sitting council do have full-time jobs. (I also did for the first several years of my term.)

          “I think the council and mayor privately vetoed this, found a legal loophole, and instead circumvented a voter decision.”

          Of course council looked for a legal way inasmuch as council was against the measure from the get-go. If it was “pretty clear,” as you say, then there wouldn’t be a “legal loophole.” I liken it to my finding the information about abstaining during a vote. The rules were written for all to use.

          • Bryan says:

            No to term limits. I don’t want good representatives out just because of how long they have been there. I also don’t want bad representatives that are to lazy to win their way in.

    • Avid Reader 1 says:

      Ms J, you are absolutely right! And, Konopa has been there since the inception of CARA or shortly thereafter. And, as I said, but I got steamrollered by Kopczynski, those running for council already “worship” CARA. Or, I will agree with you that they, are bullied into worshipping it by the other councilors.

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        “I got steamrollered by Kopczynski”

        Really? Exact details please… Since you have not identified yourself, how can one ever know what you are talking about…

      • Ms J says:

        Thanks Avid Reader 1.

        I’d forgotten that Konopa was a city councilor for many, many years before she became mayor.

        According to website information I just looked at, she was a city councilor from 1997-2008 (3 consecutive terms) & mayor from 2009-present (6 consecutive terms & counting). That’s close to a quarter-century.

  8. thomas cordier says:

    Of course you can’t please every constituent. Elected officials should certainly please the majority of them on specific money issues otherwise you can’t claim to represent them.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      I had (have) a very different perception of job as councilor. That being, I got but a single vote on any issue. It was incumbent on me to gather information on any issue before voting. If I could convince my peers of it (or was in agreement with their position), we would have a majority vote on any given issue. We would move on. (Most of the time.) If I couldn’t convince, I came out on the short end[s] of council votes – as have every councilor many a time. My position was always based on what I honestly felt was in the best interest of the entire community – not just a “popular” point of view, regardless of any vote. (There has been but a single vote I second-guessed myself. The dog “Blue.”)

      And I have never voted for a single person that I expected to agree with 100%. You’re in La La Land if you expect that to happen with any of your candidate choosings…

      • thomas cordier says:

        ” My position was always based on what I honestly felt was in the best interest of the entire community”. And that attitude is why legislators are called bad names. The voters values are supposed to be reflected by their representative; specifically when a popular vote is taken. Your feelings Ray are not important at all and certainly don’t count more than popular votes. You are the reason our Oregon Constitution established the Initiative Petition which states the power belongs to the people not the elected officials.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          Hogwash! No one gets elected because they are expected to be little robots without a mind of their own. If you don’t agree with your representative, elect a new one. I stand by my principles and what I said. Regardless, you could never vote for/against me anyway…

  9. Ms J says:

    I would support an Albany initiative that imposes term limits for the mayor and councilors and I hope it comes to pass (so to speak).

    Seems like it would be an easy, uncomplicated initiative that wouldn’t have unforeseen implications which anyone could understand regardless of whether you agree with it or not. It appears many other Oregon cities have done so already.

    Albany needs upwelling and injection of new trains of thought, not people who have had a stranglehold on mayor and/or councilor positions that refuse to represent the majority of their constituents wishes. If an initiative passes at an 80% clip, the message is VERY clear.

    The message is certainly NOT “we would rather have the mayor & councilors veto our decision by finding ways around our voting power”.

    Very disheartening to be informed by a former councilor that if an initiative passes by the vote of the people, overwhelmingly or not, then the initiative’s fate is further determined by whether the council/mayor approve of it or not. That is not democracy at work and may be one reason why voter turnout is usually dismal.

    It gives one the feeling of ‘what good is my vote when it can be overturned or re-interpreted by the mayor/council’. I can tell you I did not vote for my ward representative to use my voting power against me.

    I suppose if a term limits initiative is proposed and passed, council and the mayor will detest it only to use another legal loophole to thwart and squash the intent of what voters desired.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “…then the initiative’s fate is further determined by whether the council/mayor approve of it or not.”

      If it is legal, I have no qualms with that.
      The rules/law are there for everyone to use. I understand completely and that is the reason I backed a re-vote on the rereational marijuana measure that forced the council to allow it.

      It also totally reinforces my strong belief that if you are unwilling or unable to run for office, you actively support candidates that more align with your views. That may mean commitment of time & dollars…

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      ” I can tell you I did not vote for my ward representative to use my voting power against me.”

      As I’ve stated before, it is unrealistic to believe that your councilor (whomsoever it may be) will ever vote 100% in accordance with your wishes… While you may convince him/her to do so on any given issue, said councilor still has to round up 3 more votes…

      • Ms J says:

        I never would expect my ward rep to agree with me 100% on all issues, nor would I want them to if they are an effective councilor, life doesn’t give you 100% of anything & it isn’t realistic or possible.

        The dozens of decisions that are made by my rep in the course of, say a year, through the council/mayoral body that are not voted upon by the general public (thankfully so) are hopefully more or less in line with my ideals. There is no expectation of always in agreement.

        If I have strong disagreement with my ward rep’s decision on something, yes, I will let them know.

        However, the issue at hand I’m referencing is the initiative vote that passed at the 80% clip. It was a specific vote, with a specific outcome and THAT is what I would want my rep to agree with at all times by adhering to the voting process and honoring the voter’s decision.

        Constituents may not always like what council/mayor decisions are in a non-voting context – that’s fine, but the opposite should be true when there are important choices put forth to the entire community on a ballot/initiative.

        The reason an issue makes it to the voting stage is obvious – the community gets to decide.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          “…there are important choices put forth to the entire community on a ballot/initiative…the community gets to decide.”

          Hypothetically, are you suggesting that in a specific vote (regardless of the issue), if the total voter turnout only 5,000 votes (of a possible 25,000) which 80% said yes/no, that should be a binding mandate on all councilors – as it came from the “entire” community? If so, I fundamentally disagree – for the reasons I’ve already stated…

        • Avid Reader 1 says:

          Ms. J: You are my hero! You can out-write and out-think Kopczynski any day of the week, and you are for the rights of the citizenry.

  10. Bob Woods says:

    Gordon’s absurd analysis of value appreciation completely fails to account for great growth in housing units and apartments that has occurred since 2000, the vast majority of which is outside CARA. That will clearly raise the cumulative net value of properties within the city limits. Not to mention new schools and lots of other commercial/industrial development that was outside of CARA.

    The city has not been static like itis inside a bell jar. It changes. CARA has focused on rehabilitation of existing development.

    19.6% of all homes in Albany have been built since 2000.
    https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/albany/real-estate

  11. Fred says:

    Did they discuss and approve this property purchase including the price in a public meeting?

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      It was during a couple of executive sessions (as allowed) for property acquisitions…but the following public portion then simply said ARA was authorizing negotiations for purchase of a site (not named).

      • Fred says:

        I don’t think you can take action or make decisions in an executive session.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          The only decision made was what was announced in the public session after the end of the Executive Decision. Obviously, the discussions leading up to that decision were the subject leading to the decision being made in the Public session.

  12. Fred says:

    How is that not a public meeting law violation?

    • Ray Kopczynskli says:

      Because it’s an Executive Session in accordance with the law… Happens with cities, counties, councils, municipal bodies, when in process of property acquisitions among other items that also qualify.

  13. centrist says:

    It’s apparent from many comments that some folks need a civics lesson.
    While TC seems to want a plebisite on money matters, that’s not how the city government works.
    Meanwhile, RayK keeps trying to explain how a representative government works.
    Then comes the term limit discussion. I like the term “upwelling” with regard to talent and ideas, but don’t see it happening. The pool of individuals with the talent and skill to function in local government is pretty small. Term limits will just bring forced turnover.

    If you don’t like the status quo, figure a positive solution, get backing from a group, then pitch it to your representative

  14. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “Term limits will just bring forced turnover.”

    It is scary to think that, aka Corvallis, you potentially could have 100% turnover each election cycle. The learning-curve on how you think government functions vs. how it actually does are two completely different things. The staff would be getting ulcers each time having to retrain 100% of the councilors-policy-makers from scratch. It would be a massive waste of staff time. At least in Albany’s you will always have 1/3 of council staying each cycle. That “institutional memory” is a very good thing to hang on to. And, if you don’t like the results, 2nd election cycle, get new players…

 

 
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