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Letter to the Editor: Uncaring city

— To the editor:

Citizens of The Dalles, have you noticed how much the city leaders care about you? Let’s review.

They have raised water and sewer rates every year for the past several years by implementing multi-year raises. They have put forward a plan to force you to pay in advance for development fees for your investment properties (according to the paper the only city in Oregon to do this). Now they want to raise the gas tax to fix our streets.

They are pushing forward a plan for a large urban renewal project downtown which will compete with existing businesses and may put them out of business.

Do you feel this is fair to the current restaurants and motels?

They also proposed a $250 assessment on business properties downtown. Is their effort to revitalize downtown working? If you don’t know the answer, count the number of vacant building locations on Second Street.

At the same time, it seems they are leaning toward giving Google another break on building permits and property taxes. They say Google has hired more than 55 local citizens. I feel these numbers need to be audited by an outside auditor because those putting these numbers forward are too close to making these decisions.

As their urban renewal projects move forward, are they putting more work on public services? For instance, does maintenance of the dock area give public services more work? Similarly, the parking area at the roundabout?

When the new public services facility was put together, the city boasted how much of the work was done by staff. I asked if this meant work these people should be doing was not getting done. Is this why streets are not timely maintained?

We need city government that is financially responsible and looks at both sides of the budget. The current administration focuses on their plan and gives no thought about the citizens they ask to pay for it. When a frontline administrator retired, they hired a replacement, but immediately wrote a large personal service contract with the retiree to continue his work. Now they are considering another position to fill.

P.S., I understand the governor signed legislation to limit the [partition] charge to $5,000 to those who want to partition their property for future sale. You can bet the city will levy the maximum and look for someplace else to get more.

Gary Nichols

The Dalles

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