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Time to bend it, like Portland

    A decade ago, the city of Portland sealed a public-private partnership to renovate a rat (and feral-cat-infested) trap, then known as Civic Stadium.

    In the process, the city did three things wrong. It swaddled its negotiations in too much secrecy.

    It bragged about the profits it expected from PGE Park, before they hatched. And, ultimately, it placed too much confidence in its private partner.

    What the city did right, however, is that it drove a hard bargain for taxpayers. It did not divert money from city services. The private partner paid for $5 million of the $38.5 million renovation. The city paid — and is still paying — for the balance with taxes on tickets, car rentals, parking and hotel-motel taxes.

    — Excerpt from The Oregonian Editorial, March 9, 2009


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