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LETTER: The ‘money-sucking pigs’ of Pendleton

Published on December 4, 2017 5:45PM

When I first heard this term, and having not attended the recent city council workshop, I naturally figured that the mayor was referring to the Rivoli Theater restoration and the relocation of the Eighth Street Bridge projects. I was actually surprised to learn he was referring to swimming pools, though I wasn’t sure if he was referring to the Aquatic Center Pool or the pool at BMCC, a pool whose condition I’m sure the mayor, as past BMCC president, was already intimately familiar with.

When people are asked, “What brought you to Pendleton, and why are you still here,” generally the answers have to do with a job, the rich historical past, the small town atmosphere and, most of all, it’s a great place to raise children. So I guess the question is: Why is it that projects like restoring and effectively managing the Vert Auditorium or covering the swimming pool are, as City Hall says, “not talked about,” or called “money-sucking pigs”?

From the sounds of the comments made at the workshop and the previous attempt to unload the Recreation Center, support from City Hall for recreation may be waning. “It sounds expensive” and “we can’t even fix our potholes” were two phrases uttered in the pool cover discussion. It’s funny how both phrases were conspicuously absent when funding was requested and approved for speed bumps on Main Street, moving a bridge simply for decoration, and renovating a private theater. I guess there are no swimmers at City Hall, and that limiting swimming will add to the city’s arsenal of weapons to limit our shrinking water supply.

Did you hear the latest claim from the Downtown Business Association (PDA)? “Street trees protect sidewalks from damage,” so they’ve planted more to replace the ones they previously cut down. I hear they’ve pinpointed the actual cause of all the cracking and heaving to the additional seismic activity that’s been plaguing the city from all the “moving and shaking” taking place in the downtown area.

In a related move, and in an effort to reduce empty downtown retail space, the PDA is planning to partner up with an additional non-profit and relocate to the space vacated by the closing of Mayson’s Old Fashioned General Store.

Rick Rohde



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