By Lars Larson
How many times can elected officials rip off taxpayers for millions and get away with it?
Ask the Multnomah County Commissioners who, today, plan to sign off on selling a 60-million dollar asset for 10 cents on the dollar. I’m talking about Wapato Jail, built to meet the needs of a growing community and never, ever opened, because liberals on the County Commission can’t bear the thought of actually locking up criminals.
If you include interest and the cost of not opening it for the last ten years, this thing will cost taxpayers more than 100-million dollars. The county plans to sell it for just over 10 million. For a decade, I’ve argued that you could use it to triage the homeless, a place where someone living on the streets could clean up, sleep in a warm place, hook up with social services, reach out to employers and begin to repair a busted lives.
No word yet what they’re doing with the 600-thousand in public art that the project has hanging on the walls. By the way, I know a lot of you just got your property tax bills in the mail and suffered from sticker shock: with that in mind, you’ll be paying off the bonds on THIS boondoggle till 2030.