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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 20, 2004 5:32 AM. The previous post in this blog was Taking the pledge. The next post in this blog is Got a pimp name yet?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Who controls the PDC?

Portland mayoral candidate James Posey's suggestion that the Portland Development Commssion be abolished, at least in its current form, got me thinking. It was high time I learned more about who runs the PDC. Like Posey, I don't like the vast majority of what they've been doing with my tax dollars in recent years. I needed to spend some time to figure out who "they" are.

It didn't take long at all. And the answer is, well, depressingly predictable.

The PDC is a creature of a 1958 public vote by which Portland voters established a commission to oversee urban renewal in the Rose City. The law passed by that vote has become Chapter 15 of the City Charter. The PDC is run by five commissioners, all appointed by the mayor; they serve staggered three-year terms.

The current commissioners' biographies, and the bio's of current top management, can be found here, on the PDC website. Chair Matt Hennessee's life story provides Clue No. 1 as to who really controls PDC:

Matt has 8.5 years of experience at nike, Inc., where he served in a variety of roles in customer service, distribution, and operations nationally and internationally.
Scroll down a bit and take a look at Commissioner Janice Wilson's life story, where you find this:
During her tenure at the bank she served for two years as an executive on loan to the City of Portland as the Executive Director of the Bureau of Human Services at the request and under the direction of then Mayor...
And there's Clue No. 2. But if you still don't have the answer, you'll get it when you read the sketch of the executive director and CEO of the PDC, Don Mazziotti, which reads in part:
Past positions include: Chief Planner for the City of Portland; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the U.S.; Secretary of Commerce for Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Chief Executive Officer, Delta Development Group, Inc. and Chief Information Officer for the State of Oregon.
We could probably find some more dots to connect, but that ought to be enough. Surely you've figured it out by now, haven't you? Who else has Portland City Hall, Nike, Federal Department of Transportation, and the State of Oregon on his resume? (Last hint: It's somebody whose clients (and he) make a lot of money doing business with the PDC.)

I hope the next mayor is more independent of folks like that than the current one is.

Comments (9)

As far as beauracracies go, the PDC seems about average. (I would much rather see the OLCC disbanded). I like the concept of a Portland based organization that attempts to develop and economically stimulate certain parts of the region.

However, some new blood in the PDC is definately called for, as this organization seem to spend an inordinate amount of money building projects that benefit the wealthy.

NW, Dowtown and the South Waterfront get beautiful new buildings (subsidized with tax payor dollars) and N. Portland, St. Johns and SE Portland get basic road repairs... ...there appears to be a discrepancy.

The PDC should be set up so that each member represents a certain section of Portland. And, more importantly, each member should be required to live in that area of Portland which they represent. I think this might help more equally disperse PDC's tax dollars.

The City Club talked at one point a couple of years ago about doing a study of the PDC. Does anyone out there know if that study ever got done?

The PDC and the urban renewal money is probably the biggest scam going in this town...but since it benefits the political and financial elite of Portland, it's never questioned.

Look at the Tram Scam..."Oh by the way, it's gonna cost a bit more than the $15 million we told the public originally...but only $28 million!" Why no outrage from anyone in a position of authority?

According to the PDC, "under state law, the sum of all urban renewal areas in any one municipality cannot exceed 15 percent of its total assessed value or 15 percent of its total land area."

With 10 urban renewal districts...haven't they that 15 percent threshold? How can one find out?

Sorry, I should have previewed before posting!

That last sentence should read:

With 10 urban renewal districts...haven't they reached that 15 percent threshold? How can one find out?

On page 38 of this file:

It states that urban renewal plan areas cover 12,086 acres out of a total 92,614 acres in the city, for a coverage of 13.05% of the city's area.

As for value, you have to look a few different places in that document. As near as I can figure, the "Total Plan Area Value" for 2003-04 is the right number- it is $7,338345,416 (page 42). The city's assessed value in 2003-04 is $35,002,570,061 (page 34) (This amount may not include portions of the city in Washington and Clackamas counties). My calculations come out to about 20.96%. Who knows if these are the right numbers, though- the assessed value of these areas have grown since they were started.

That's it? The fact that people formerly worked at (gasp!) corporations, including some of Oregon's largest employers and tax contributors, is enough to disqualify them from serving on public commissions? Ad hominem, nothing more.

Let me disagree, Brett. As usual, I see within the mind of Jack B., and it is filled with populist ire. The point is not merely that folks associated with Nike, Fed DOT, or previous city or state gov't experience serve on the PDC (the outrage!), but instead that (1) PDC's image as a tool of westside developers and Pearl district fat cats; (2) the image of the mayor's office and city council as tools of those same developers and fatcats; (3) the fact that the mayor appoints PDC board members; and (4) the eye-pleasing uniformity of the resume contents of PDC board members; taken in toto, can leave the plausible impression that Homer runs Neil who runs Vera (and will likely run Jim starting next year) who runs the PDC. The rest of us are left wondering why the King Food Mart at the corner of MLK and Fremont has been a vacant graffiti target for the past four years. Just because it's ad hominem don't mean it ain't true.

Although note this, from PDC Commissioner Noelle Webb's bio:
Ms. Webb is a City of Portland Planning Commission member, Board Chair of the Northeast Community Development Corporation, serves on the Small Business Development Center Advisory Council and the Urban League of Portland.
I guess I'll call her about he King Food Mart. If she lives in NE, she probably cares.

"The Portland Development Commission provides assistance to people who want to repair their homes but don't have the means."

"The Portland Development Commission is exploring options for upgrading the area of East Burnside Street at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard."

"St. Stephens will finance the $21 million project through tax credits and bonds, with help from the Portland Development Commission, said Bill Ruff of LRS Architects, which is designing the building.

The new church will retain parts of the current St. Stephens, to which many parishioners are attached. The new church, with a round nave, will include the old building's stained-glass windows, pulpit, altar and some rafters. Passers-by will be able to see traditional arches and crosses."

"A lot of schools in the Portland area have let manufacturing technology slide, particularly in this most recent downturn," said Jim Hagar, metals and transportation project coordinator for the Portland Development Commission.

Those corporate bastards.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
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Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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