In its role as official house organ for the Builder-Developer-Realtor Axis, our local daily fish wrapper, The Bulletin, editorializes this morning that Bend needs to brace itself for another round of breakneck growth.
"Now is the time to start thinking about a return to rapid growth in Central Oregon," the editorial says. "Did we do it well last time around? What can we do better when it returns?
"During this time of economic loss and stagnation, most of us are waiting impatiently for a resurgence that brings jobs and restores tax revenues. Fortunately, there are a few signs of hope."
One of the "signs of hope" cited -- actually, the only tangible one cited -- is that the city issued twice as many building permits in the first two months of 2012 as it did in the first two months of 2011. The editorial doesn't mention that the total number of permits issued in January and February of this year was only 56 -- or that, according to an index of leading indicators compiled by University of Oregon economist Tim Duy, the region's economy actually slid backwards in the fourth quarter of 2011.
But never mind: Developer Mike Hollern predicts Bend will have a population of 250,000 by the year 2050, and developer Bill Smith assures us that Bend will grow because of its wonderful "quality of life."
"Central Oregon will need quality leadership, with smart thinking, increased infrastructure and wise use of resources," the editorial says. "It will need to balance the benefits of significant growth with preserving the qualities that make this a great place to live."
Did it ever occur to you, o editorial writer, that people move to Bend precisely because they DON'T want to live in a city of 250,000 -- or even 100,000?
The essential problem with this town (aside from its climate and its middle-of-nowhere location) is that the people who run it are idiots with about as much foresight as a fruit fly.
And that's why Bend sucks, and will suck even harder in the decades to come.