2/18/2014 12:49:00 PM Letters to the Editor 02/19/2014
To the Editor:
I am writing in regards to our pekingese/dachshund mix, Stewie.
On Sunday, February 16, we let him out to go to the bathroom in the Panoramic View Estates subdivision around 9 a.m. Stewie decided to run off. We began to get worried as he had not came home. Hours went by. Around 1 p.m., we found Stewie on our porch, with an arrow sticking straight through his back left leg. The arrow was obviously shot at him as he was running away. The arrow went all the way through his leg.
Luckily, Stewie did not have any major damage to the leg. He is now at the vet being monitored because they are worried about kidney failure due to the extensive trauma to the muscle.
If anyone has any information, regarding who may have done this, please contact the Deschutes County Sheriff's at 541-693-6911 in regards to case number 14-45692. We are willing to offer an award to anyone who helps us find out who did this.
To the Editor:
In last week's letter to the Editor regarding the City's decision to remove pedestrian and parking improvements mistakenly installed on private property, Mr. Morgan asks to be corrected if there is something he has missed.
With all due respect to valuable service on City task committees and the Parks and Rec board, and despite the risk of ongoing debate with someone with much more time and intellect than me, I believe Mr. Morgan's interpretation of his own facts is misleading at best.
Mr. Morgan argues that the City erred by not offering significantly more than appraised fair market value due to potential litigation risk PLUS improvement costs (huh? - pay twice?) already paid by the City. Furthermore, we are told the court awarded to owners $33,315 - "more than if they had accepted the city's offer..." While many business folks get pretty darned excited about gross revenue, what really matters is NET revenue - that is, $ remaining after expenses are paid. Therefore deducting $30,000 in attorney fees and other expenses means the net gain to owners was all of $550 in prevailing party fees - which, contrary to Mr. Morgan's point, makes the City's net appraised value offer of $28,400 look rather generous.
Mr. Morgan is also incorrect in stating that, "sometime soon the City needs to buy the property and re-install the improvements." I simply don't see such a compelling need as it is the owners who are on the hook for future pedestrian and parking improvements as required by the City Development Code.
Prior to the lawsuit, I have little doubt that the City would have been publicly raked over the coals by pundits accusing them of favoritism had they offered anything more than fair market value.
I also really have to wonder at those who are prone to criticize tough decisions with the benefit of hindsight. Anyone can be a rear-view-mirror forensic authority after low-odd risks rise to the surface. But it takes much more courage and fortitude to proactively develop and execute challenging decisions or proposals that carry some degree of risk. Sometimes bad outcomes occur, but that does not necessarily mean the people involved were shortsighted, incompetent, unreasonable or Heaven forbid - "immature."
Posted: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Article comment by:
I did not write my letter from the prospective of how much the Marlow's made as a result of declining the settlement offer from the City rather, my letter addresses how much in total it's going to cost the City to defend a claim it could not win and replace the improvements it destroyed such that the intersection is again safe for vehicles and pedestrians.
You suggest my calculation of a reasonable settlement offer would have caused the City to pay twice for the $12,500 improvements yet, in a later paragraph you accurately state “...it is the owners who are on the hook for future pedestrian and parking improvements as required by the City Development Code.” So, the City was never on the hook for the $12,500 improvements so my calculation could not have resulted in the city paying twice as you sarcastically conclude.
The pedestrian and parking improvement code requires the property owner to pay for these improvements when the property is developed and these improvements go on adjacent property owned by the City, not privately owned property. In this case, the City put the improvements on land owned by the Marlow's.
The day before trial the City should have realized that the Marlow's case was very strong the fact both sides had an earlier misunderstanding of where the property line was located is not relevant to the law of trespass. If you trespass on my land and build improvements on it I own the land and improvements.
The City has now destroyed those improvements so, at a minimum, to get the intersection back to where it was will require the City to buy the Marlow property and reconstruct the improvements it recently destroyed. You do the math. You can slice it any way you want but when you add this to the cost of defending and losing the lawsuit it adds up to a whole lot more than what the City was willing to offer. And, waiting forever for this intersection to again be safe is not a viable alternative.
On February 14, 2014 I sent the following questions regarding the Locust Main intersection by email to council leadership and have had no response:
Can you please explain what caused the City to make the decision to remove the $12,500 improvements that had been installed a few years earlier to improve this intersection?
Were these improvements necessary and/or were they required by the Sisters TSP?
If yes what, if anything, needs to happen before the improvements can be re-installed and when can we expect them to be re-installed?