This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 23, 2003 1:11 PM. The previous post in this blog was Cracks me up. The next post in this blog is With a little help from our friends. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Regime change

Mayor Katz announced her retirement today. b!X has the full text of the announcement.

Rather than run against someone over the age of 21 (which she hasn't had to do in a while), she's decided to pack it in. And so marks the end a long era of bad ideas and misplaced priorities.

What do we have to show for three -- count 'em, three -- terms under Vera? Here's what she says we've accomplished:

I am proud of projects such as the extension of lightrail lines to the airport and Expo center; completion of the streetcar; expansion of the Oregon Convention Center; creation of new neighborhoods in the River District and South Waterfront; launch of the River Renaissance; construction of North America’s largest Chinese Classical Garden and the Eastbank Esplanade; restoration of our historic City Hall and the Civic Stadium; and the rebirth of Oldtown/Chinatown, North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods -- with the Central Eastside, St. Johns, Gateway and Lents on the way.

I am also proud of groundbreaking policies and initiatives that reshaped city services like the City’s first comprehensive economic development strategy; significantly-increased funding for the arts; the Youth Gang Anti-Gun Task Force that stopped a rapid escalation of gun and gang violence in the mid-1990s; our graffiti abatement and auto theft programs; the annual Regulatory Improvement Workplans; the Fair Contracting and Employment Strategy to assist women and minority owned businesses; maintenance of our triple A bond rating; reduction of administrative costs that saved millions of dollars; and the protection of our schools by keeping them open and funded until the Legislature acts.

With these and other efforts since 1993, Portland is safer; countywide per capita income has grown; citizens rate the livability of neighborhoods higher – results that helped Money magazine rate Portland as the most livable city in America in 2000.

Anything on there to make you start applauding? None for me.

Not mentioned: rotting schools, flight of large employers to the suburbs, national leadership in unemployment, disintegration of mental health services, endless public subsidy to a small handful of real estate tycoons, "community policing" which has made both the community and the police very unhappy.

And then there's that endless string of bad ideas: Put toll booths on the Willamette River crossings. New computers for the water bureau. Luxury boxes at Civic Stadium. Double the size of a Convention Center that wasn't getting enough business. Sell the Bull Run reservoir. Buy PGE. Cover I-405 through downtown for more development. Narrow Burnside Street. Pave over much of Waterfront Park. Streetcars for Homer Williams. An aerial tram for Neil Goldschmidt. The list goes on and on.

Worldwide Pablo hit the nail on the head when he cited "her repeated lack of leadership, the coziness with monied developers, her tin ear to the needs of every-day Portlanders, and her haughty, impractical and occasionally heavy-handed single-mindedness about Portland's future."

So now it's on to Earl Blumenauer vs. Jim Francesconi for mayor, with maybe other candidates as well. The person who will get my vote is the one who promises to be the least like his or her predecessor.

Clicky Web Analytics