A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

City buys a building, but not this one

Written June 23rd, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The Eagles building, viewed from the Ellsworth Street Bridge on June 21.

The city of Albany’s urban renewal agency is buying a building within its district without saying publicly which one. But it’s not the Eagles club at Broadalbin Street and Water Avenue, which is no longer for sale.

The city has tried before to acquire the Eagles property, and last year it was listed for sale. But nothing came of it. And last week, Ed Perlenfein, an Eagles trustee who lives in Millersburg, told the advisory board of the Central Albany Revitalization Area that the club is doing well, that it has signed up 172 new members, and that its building is no longer for sale.

Perlenfein appeared before the CARA board under “business from the public” along with Michael Quinn, another member of the club. Quinn asked that CARA consider the club when it launches a program to redevelop the Willamette riverfront along Water Avenue. He suggested extending the “promenade” treatment on Broadalbin down the block in front of the Eagles the way it was done from First Avenue to Third.

Unrelated to that topic, the CARA board went into closed executive session later in its meeting last Wednesday to discuss a real estate transaction, as allowed by the Oregon public meetings law.

When the CARA meeting was over, it was time for the Albany Revitalization Agency — the city council — to meet. You can listen to the audio recording here.

Without further discussion, council members (without Bessie Johnson, who was absent) voted unanimously to “direct the staff to execute an option to purchase a building within the CARA district.” The motion purposely did not identify the property or name the price.

I asked Councilman Rich Kellum, the chairman of the ARA, why the council was not naming the building it had taken a public vote to buy.  “To protect the businesses in the building,” he replied. (hh)

19 responses to “City buys a building, but not this one”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Few things breed as much suspicion and distrust as city government keeping secrets.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Can you tell us if there is a public use intended for the building?

    Or, is this another inappropriate real estate scheme where public money is used but no public use is ever intended?

  3. thomas earl cordier says:

    I’d ask someone to file a complaint with the ethics commission to stop the secrecy in violation of public meetings requirements

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Amazing — Since you know it is not in violation by any stretch of the imagination – feel free to to fire away!

      As Hasso rightly stated: “… the CARA board went into closed executive session later in its meeting last Wednesday to discuss a real estate transaction, as allowed by the Oregon public meetings law.”

      • thomas earl cordier says:

        going into ex session for discussion and decision is fine. Hiding the results/decisions — particularly with taxpayer money is not

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        Pure amorality on display – just because it’s legal it’s right.

        CARA is its own worst enemy.

  4. Craigz says:

    The Public’s Money being spent without their knowledge on something the leaders say you have no right to know about. Typical.

  5. thomas earl cordier says:

    Could it be someone on the Council would benefit from a hidden purchase–not just this time??? Never happens-right?? right.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Geez! There you go again. Prove it!

      • thomas earl cordier says:

        Ray–it makes more sense than Trump collaborating with Russia to win an election and all the other Dem dumb thoughts

  6. centrist says:

    GS and TEC
    You are hollerin’ ‘fore anybody’s hurt.
    And presuming guilt without fact.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Applying the new “progressive” standard of due process…..

      While my comments do not conclude that CARA acted illegally, they also do not exonerate them.

  7. hj.anony1 says:

    relax folks….either the DH or HH will report it out. Truth will be told.

    R..E..L…A….X. You all should be more outraged by the CONCENTRATION CAMPS on our S. Border. That is what they are. Watch out. The next step is gassing.

    Oh CORDIER good to know your middle is EARL. relax……

  8. MsJ says:

    For a city that prides itself in transparency, this real estate deal is not winning anyone’s trust towards that.

    Using Oregon public meetings law as a shield to keep taxpayers in the dark is not a showing of trust or transparency and maybe some laws such as this one are not worth following. I’m sure the city doesn’t “have” to follow this “law”, but could be transparent instead as is so often claimed.

    When partial information is teased out to the public, speculation/criticism will certainly abound.

    “The motion purposely did not identify the property or name the price” is a pretty clear indication that transparency is not at work here in conjunction with certain people/businesses “needing protection”.

    As Hasso stated, a public vote was needed to potentially buy the building, but any transparency ends there.

  9. Robert Chandler says:

    Well put Hasso.


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