Friday, October 31, 2008

As goes the city, so goes business....

If Bend is going to have a protracted downturn, which I'm convinced we will, then how do I approach coming here every day? To I put lipstick on the pig? Do I pretend the pig isn't there? Or do I slaughter and eat the pig?

So far, as 'negative' as some people have said I've been, if anything I've let the optimistic, hope for the best, part of me control my message, and my planning.

While the more logical, downbeat part of me was sort of nagging, then shouting at me.


I thought the article in the Bend Bulletin this morning about the Bend Reserves Fund, was a perfect representation of the "Hope for the Best" psychology that dominates at the beginning of every bubble burst. The unwillingness to believe, the inability to change. While your reserves get whittled away.

Actually the emergency that the reserves were created for, hasn't really even begun. We were well within the time range when changes in behavior could have changed the outcome. There have been some bloggers who have been saying for a couple of years that the BAT wasn't working, that Juniper Ridge needed to be scaled back or mothballed.

The 'Who could have seen it coming!' really doesn't wash.

Pay as you go. They should have made the decision to move to the Bulletin site BEFORE they bought the land. They should have gone to the voters for funding of the BAT, BEFORE they bought the buses. They should have realized that they were dealing with crisis management BEFORE they funded the dreams of "Bend 2030."

I can almost guarantee you that most businesses in Bend approached this downturn in almost the exact same way as the city, though, frankly, probably most of them never really had the reserves in the first place. On the other hand, most of them can make changes much quicker, and hopefully don't have white elephants like Juniper Ridge and BAT dragging them down.


RDC said...

It is easy to identify woulda, shoulda, coulda after the fact.

Now while I do not agree with a number of things that Bend has done (how they implemented BAT is a major one), there does need to be a certain amount of stretching for a town to improve and grow.

The biggest problem for Bend and with most governments these days is that they built their economic base with the bubble dollars included instead of keeping the base funding more conservative.

Actually in Bends case they went a step over that by reducing bubble revenue acting as if they could make it up later.

As far a Juniper Ridge I think the concept is good, but implementation hase been very poor. Actually that is the same issue with Bat, concept of a transit system is a good one, but focus and implementation is very poor.

Duncan McGeary said...


Yeah, but paying as you go is always a good policy, not just in retrospect.

The advice I gave to a couple of guys who were doing really well during the boom -- make sure you don't build any infrastructure underneath that you can't cut if it slows down.

Opening an office, buying tools on credit, or a new pick up truck, or contracting for services....

Bend, in a sense, did all those things....

RDC said...

That is what I meant by poor implementation. Bend is not alone in that reguard.

The bubble moeny should have been used for one time items, without incrweased long term expense. Instead they used it to get half way into some rather poor implementations, using the money to for things that will have large ongoing costs without those funds being available.

Anonymous said...

The bright side is the County is well prepared, and well sit through the downturn just fine.

It is only the city of Bend, that drank its own kool-aide, and budgeted millions for PR&MARKETING with no hope of ROI that is down & out.

Juniper-Ridge, BAT, ... all done with borrowed money, tens of millions, its ok, the reserve fund will carry the debt.

A few months ago I was at county talking to finance asking how they were going to survive, they said "No problem, we have been preparing for this downturn for a few years".

Such is the difference, the people who run Bend City-Hall are in denial, drink their own kool-aide, and beholden to developers. There is NO turning back, no austerity, no making builders pay SDC's, like any rational city would.

No in BEND, if the builders go down, then everyone must go down.

Anonymous said...

Match Grade Rifle Ammunition
Our match grade rifle ammuntion is made one at a time on either single stage ... match grade bullets such as Sierra, Hornady or Nosler in our match ammo.

* LBAM Manufacturing

Riding me bike past Suterra yesterday, made me think of that hood, in between Suterra is MicroSemi ( used to be APT ), I have written much about APT over the last 2+ years, never a mention about NOSLER. Nosler is just north of Suterra.

Nosler makes bullets, bullets are dim little things surrounded in brass, with gun-powder. Bullets are typically copper coated lead. Nosler makes the best bullets in the world. Professional military snipers use the Best, and they demand 'match grade rifle bullets'.

My point is that BEND has always been a military weapons manufacturer. Suterra isn't the first.

Suterra's parent Bend Research owned by Harry Lonsdale was a real environmentalist.

Suterra today makes bio-bullets, some contain synthetic Pheromones, but they can be designed to contain anything biologic agent you wish. Suterra in their MSDS (federal safety disclosure) clearly state they're products are poison, and to be handled as such.

Suttera just makes the bio-bullets, they're NOT bad, anymore that NOSLER is bad.

It was BUSH-CHENEY that ordered the suterra-bullets to be shot from planes on the people of california. It was the people of BEND-OREGON that voted in a majority for BUSH-CHENEY in 2000 and 2004.

The evil in California for allowing the spraying, the evil is in BEND-OREGON for voting for BUSH-CHENEY.

Then their is Suterra's owner a complex man, but who has a wife (Lynda Resnick) who is a marketing genius. Green, natural, non-toxic; How could such a disconnect happen between PR&MARKETING and MSDS disclosure??

Resnick convinced Schwarznegger to spray the cali's, and got scharznegger to sign off on a $500M non-bid purchase of Suterra 'Checkmate', was Suterra of BEND wrong in not refusing the order, in todays economy???

Post dot-com crash, and into post 2000, everything had gone military, today its virtually impossible to do business, and not get a majority of your orders from an agency of Homeland Security aka Bush-Cheney.

No ax to grind on Suterra or Nosler, they both make interesting products, in fact Nosler to will tell you that bullets when used in their intended method will hurt you. When the bullets leave the factory, they can't control the usage.

When Suterra chemicals leave the factory they can't control the usage. The EVIL of the CALI spraying of Suterra-Checkmate is because of Bush&Cheney. The people of Bend-OREGON voted in majority for BUSH-CHENEY both terms.

Bio-Weapons, or match-grade precision military sniper bullets, BEND-OREGON has always been a military weapons manufacturer.

Nosler makes some the best bullets in the world, Suterra is the US leader in micro-encapsulated Pheromone delivery systems. Both good companys, and both clearly tell their customers that their products are dangerous.

Quimby said...

Dunc, yes, I was shocked and angry when I read of the gross mismanagement on the part of the city. It's comparable to losing your job, falling back on your nestegg and going on a spending binge! As the article states: a lack of financial discipline.

"Who would have guessed" is now a bullshit excuse. It is their JOB to guess and keep the city from insolvency.

RDC said...


I do believe that Bend must be having a shortage of aluminum foil these days.

Here you are agiant with all kinds of hyperbole again. Claims without support.

The warning on suterra are not any different then you would find on any pesticide out there, or for that matter just about any chemical. MSDS contain similar warnings on most organic solvents.

I suspect that if you took most the componenets of most household cleaners and look at the MSDS sheets for compounds they contian they would also be listed as poison (chlorine for example).

The safety of many things today depends upon proper use. But then your discussions are not limited to the merits of the safety of the compounds. Instead you go off on claims of government conspiracies and all kind of mysterious evil intent on the part of anyone you don't like. Yet you offer no documents that support those points. In the postings you right it is guilt by association at best. If an association does not exist then you seem to do your best to try and create one.

Facts and accuracy of what you post is clearly not a major matter of concern.