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Friday, March 4, 2005

Dear Mayor Potter

Thank you, thank you, thank you for cleaning house at the PDC. A few weeks ago, someone asked me what I thought you could do that would really impress me. A change of personnel over there was just what I said.

I hope you will consider moving the PDC's functions back into the mainstream of city government. Having an autonomous agency with all that public money flowing through it invites selfishness and corruption. And what it's been producing is not the future of Portland that most residents want to see.

Anyway, thanks again.

Jack Bogdanski

Comments (5)

Notice the extra article in today's O which mentions what Potter wants in the next exec. director of PDC.

Meanwhile, since we were talking over on Communique about what would be required to dump PDC and have Council absorb its functions, and the fact that it would require a Charter change (as ner as I can tell), remember that Potter has said he intends to call for a Charter review commission next year.

So the door to that particular concept may be open at some point.

"And what it's been producing is not the future of Portland that most residents want to see."

That remains to be seen, Jack. I think you're definitely still in the minority on the Pearl District, from my informal soundings. As for the South Waterfront, the popularity contest is still ongoing.

One area you are definitely correct is the whole Convention Center/Hotel business. The voters rejected it, but they went ahead anyway. And the convention business doesn't have a great future, or so some new national studies say.

Build a $200 million Convention Center with no hotel. That's Portland's idea of "planning."

Bud, Vera, Erik, even Randy -- all out of their leagues.

The original convention center made sense, and the Lloyd Center Red Lion was close enough to make do as a convention hotel, particularly with MAX running between the hotel, the convention center, and downtown Portland.

I never understood the push to expand the center, which if I recall correctly (and I might not) was billed as a way to attract larger conventions that were passing up Portland because the convention center was too small for them, not as a way to get business that we were missing because the center was fully booked.

If the center attracts enough business then it will be worth someone's while to build a hotel nearby, without a subsidy. And if it doesn't attract enough business to justify a headquarters hotel, a subsidy from the PDC won't bring that business in.

Amen, Isaac. The place was half empty before, three quarters empty now.

We've got way too many planners on the payroll, and not enough real planning.

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