The Pendleton Development Commission (PDC) assistant executive director, Charles Denight, spokesperson for the city manager, put forth his proposal to eliminate blight in the Urban Renewal District with a complicated formula for financial assistance that’s sure to confuse both homeowners and renters alike, would most likely require hiring a bookkeeper just to track the program, and ultimately leave the city (meaning you and I) holding the bag on unpaid loans and legal entanglements.

I don’t think the mayor or the city councilors were too thrilled with the proposal put forth. They worried that landlords could raise rents once their loans were repaid to recover their costs. Imagine that! You won’t find many landlords that are in business just because they’re nice guys or because they need a hobby.They’re well aware that the tax man is always watching, and busy trying to cover all other expenses landlords incur. One councilor’s suggestion that we should consider hiring experts in the field of urban renewal/blight elimination sounds suspiciously like a call for another consultant, indicating a lack of faith in our current program management.

Simple is better, and I think Mayor Turner’s idea of just buying the property outright and going from there to either fix it up or tear it down and start over is the most logical solution. Going along with this option, since the city has already donated some cash and very valuable public land for the Farm II project, and as responsible stewards of our public lands, it’s time to consider giving something tangible back to the taxpayers. This could start by demolishing that old city-owned DMV building that has sat empty for years, and construct a multifamily housing project on the site. After all, why not start with blighted property the city already owns? In that way, families required to move because of a demolition would have a place available for relocation. It all sounds pretty simple, maybe too simple for City Hall.

Here it’s only July and Bob Patterson has announced that street repaving is wrapping up for the year. Do you suppose the continued waffling by the PDC in making a decision whether to contribute funding for streets could be a factor?

Rick Rohde


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