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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 15, 2005 3:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Same as it ever was. The next post in this blog is Oldie but goodie. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

PDC update

Thanks to a tip from b!X, we learn that the only outsider among the four finalists for executive director of the Portland Development Commission has dropped out. That eliminates a 24-1 shot, leaving three of the usual suspects to slug it out for the job. No ethnic minorities left in the bunch.

I also note that some brief candidate bio's are now up on the PDC site, hours after we complained here that the agency didn't circulate any. Interesting order they're listed in -- not alphabetical. Tea leaves, anyone?

Comments (30)

Knowles has the job. Just reading the first sentence of each bio, he's it.

Yep.

So what is going to be King David's big project? Tearing down the Coliseum? A Ferris Wheel in South Macadam? A parking structure at the Gateway Transit Center?

Since the east-side only gets token effort from the monkeys in gov't, I'm going for #3. And I venture it's going to cost....$32-million when it's finally completed...in 2009.

Hdqtr hotel.

That's it. The convention center hotel.
Which will stack up huge yearly losses on the current losses.

And I'm sure Leonard and company are already convinced it is vital. The PDC explained it to them just like they explained South Waterfront.

Now Eric, Randy and friends are convention center hotel chin rubbers ready to fork over more basic services bucks so they and theirs can play land speculators with other people's money.

Carpetbaggers is too kind.

The worst angle of all this ongoing maleficence is the widespread arrogance by elected public officials. Arrogance which has totally eroded all of their fiduciary responsibilities as well as their obligation to justify what they do.

And not a single elected official in the city is outside their stinking box.

You would think that a Potter type guy would see the reason in having one Dave Lister type head at least one agency or program.
But no it's box people only.

sick!

Steve, no one in Portland government's going to adopt your "radical" philosophy (or mine) overnight. Once Vera, Sam and Erik built the dopey Convention Center expansion -- the city's all-time worst white elephant -- the taxpayer-built hotel was a fait accompli. Good money after bad.

But it would be nice if Mayor Potter could take the city a few steps in the right direction, at least. Alas, with Knowles (read: West Hills crew) running the PDC day to day, that won't be easy to do. The key, I suppose, will be Potter's other three PDC commissioner appointments. The first of those should be announced soon.

Since we're talking about what they aren't going to do, I say tear down the Coliseum and let the Indians build a monster hotel and casino, Las Vegas Strip style, in it's place. They were going to build one and a ballpark, well, forget the ballpark, and give the city a percentage of the gross receipts instead. It's a win-win-win deal.

Better yet, just make the Rose Quarter a casino district. Allow each of the qualifying tribes to site one casino within it as thier single off-reservation casino.

If no tribe is left out, we won't have the sort of silly spectacle that is going on regarding the Gorge Casino right now with the Spirit Mtn. tribe (Grande Rhonde, I think) funding ads by a weird coalition of Christians and Enviro's to trip up the plan.

I'm sure they'd probably agree to build a hotel, contribute to schools and keep the City's police and fire retirement funds solvent for another decade.

Scott-in-Japan,
Construction on the Gateway Transit Center parking structure is set to begin June 23rd. There's also construction to begin on a three-story medical clinic and its associated structure.

This is sort of mean but, why don't one of you gutless elected officials lurking here explain, without the use of the infantile sloganeze, the pursuit of the Convention Center Hotel and your irrational support for it?
I know that most of you are worried that taking a principled stance may alienate you with your peers so stick to your gutless ways and go ahead and do it anonymously.

Share your wisdom.

"Share your wisdom."

I have some wisdom for you. Why don't you use your bottomless, insightful wisdom to "help" your hometown city council in Tualatin?

I, for one, am not intrigued by your "free market" philosophy that guided such giants as the late, great Herbert Hoover.

Jud - Ouch, that's gonna be crowded. Do you have a map of where all the buildings are going in at the Gateway Station? I'm having a hard time imagining how all that stuff is going to fit into the (in my mind) tiny amount of space.

Then again, maybe the City Council can build another tram to service both sides ot I-205...

Steve - "Share your wisdom". Here's a new slogan, "The Convention Center Hotel: because we're already building a Tram."

Jud - Ha! A mess AND it's gonna cost over $30-million. Man, did I see that coming, or what? $8-million seems like a lot for 2 stories of parking, I sense that's going to change to 4 stories before it's done.

And it's not like the Gateway area is hurting for medical offices, good grief.

Here's what might be a misbegotten attempt at peacemaking.

Randy, I think it is valid for Steve, even though he lives in Tualatin, to question economic practices in Portland which may have a negative impact on the entire region. As Portland goes, so go we all.

Steve, I think we have to give Randy credit for being the point man on the city council to reign in the PDC. Just last night the council considered his resolution to ask the voters to amend the charter which would end the PDC in its current form. (I haven't heard the news yet on the outcome of the session).

The reason that the PDC was created as an autonomous entity originally was because Portland city government was rife with corruption in the 40's and 50's and the voters knew it. They did not want the mayor and the council to have their hands on that kind of money, and probably for good reason. It seems to have swung 180 degrees and there's now quite an appearance of impropriety at PDC, if not outright corruption.

I think we all need to work together to redefine PDC's role and mission and get it back to its original intent; improving depressed and blighted areas for the benefit of all the citizens.

And finally, Randy, you have to give Herbert Hoover credit for being a great engineer.

I, for one, am not intrigued by your "free market" philosophy that guided such giants as the late, great Herbert Hoover.
If it isn't axiomatic per se, then it's gotta be the next best thing to it, that those whose pertinent life's experience consists wholly of being a public sector labor goon don't have a handle on free market economics. Just don't. Never do.

Randy,
It isn't "bottomless, insightful wisdom" which helps one recognize the fallacies such as the CC Hotel. It takes a simple read through the plethora of information from many other municipalities on the web.

Something which you no doubt find beneath you.

Your shut up and stay in Tualatin shot is more your style.

Regarding what you are doing about the PDC, I can't recall any of the primary PDC activities which you question or oppose.
You simply want the decision making.

I have not mentioned anything about the free market but I suppose your game is to toss that one out instead of offering any genuine explanations for the city's support for things like the Tram, South Waterfront, and the CC Hotel.

I do however appreciate your willingness to affirm my analysis with your public postings on blogs.

It should be pretty clear to most readers that you have little to offer but more of the status quo misguided gangthink.

Sorry Dave I don't buy it for a second.

If Leonard had any intention of working outside that sick box he would have been having broader discussions people outside the box.

How many times have you met with him?

Randy Leonard's position is he will not take a principled stance and risk alienating himself. Those are his word's shortly after becoming a city commish. That's his plan and he is sticking too it.

To repeat an earlier example of Leonard stubbornness. After Randy was provided news reports that South Waterfront property owners had earlier plans to develop much of the location without UR and public subsidies he maintained his false notion that nothing could happen there without the enormous public "investment" about to unfold. He sticks to that farce today even though there is time to curb much of the waste coming dead ahead. A better more comprehensive and workable plan is attainable yet Randy and company will do nothing. Not there or on any of the REGIONALLY significant issues they govern.

Hey, that last comment by "jaybird" was way out of line.

Well, I said it might be a misbegotten attempt....

Steve-
If you don't want in kind responses, drop the adjectives such as "gutless", etc.

Ask a civil question and you will get a civil answer.

Hey, that last comment by "jaybird" was way out of line.
Take a stroll in Truth Hurts Park, and while you're there you can take a swing on the Swings of Sorrow. Cry me a river. I used no profanities or vulgarities, with the possible exception of the term "goon." I believe that we are all big enough to handle "goon." I was blunt. You don't like blunt?

Was it Lars Larson who first suggested right after he was elected that Leonard was the "conservative" member of the Portland City Council? What was he loaded on? Get me some of that, if it's legal that is.

The simple truth of the matter is that Leonard's background is that of a union activist. A union activist in the public sector. Since when has union activism in the public sector ever been the breeding ground for conservative politics anywhere? I suppose that people were fooled by his background as a firefighter. I don't know why. Some kind of a stereotyping thing going on there. Plainly, Leonard is just a career union-oriented public employee with zero understanding of business or economics, other than seeing business as a pig to be porked. Taxing businesses more is his idea of creativity. But hey, if that were all it was, I'd say he's just the man to fit right in at City Hall.

But it isn't all. I've listened to him interviewed numerous times, and I've heard him on the radio dealing with callers. In sum, the man is not qualified nor tempermentally fit to hold office. Just on the radio alone he has demonstrated in abundance how he deals with disagreement, and how he reacts when he has his assumptions challenged. In short, it doesn't sit well with him at all, and he shows it. Callers call in --his constituents-- to offer differing opinions, and he reams them out in the rankest manner. And then you just simply remember that he cut his teeth clawing his way to the top of the firefighters' union, where it would seem obvious that disputes were won there by him by shouting down his opponents with a growl and a glare. You can then easily feature how Leonard's consensus-building through intimidation style of interpersonal communicating evolved. It's just amazing that as he has grown and supposedly matured that he hasn't learned to camoflauge it and otherwise dress it up a little better. I suppose that some people might find it "refreshing" that he hasn't. Me, I find it crude.

And I suppose you find all that out of line too.

Randy that is a hoot coming fromone of the rudest politicians I have ever come across.

Folks need only listen to any of your radio shows.

What is the problem with gutless?

Or arrogant which I also used?

Both are accurate but irrelevant as many people,
myself included, have posed the same inquiries without any "adjectives".

All you, et al, do is find another reason not to respond.

First it's the tone. Then it's the source. Then it's adjectives. Tommorrow it's something else or start all over again.
Anything but explainations.

More likely it is the $50,000 given to your campaign by South Waterfront developers which has your tongue tied on that issue.

Perhaps you have other campaign freinds associated withother PDC activities and/or the Convention Center etc.
It might be worth a look see.

For the heck of it, what do you think about spending millions on the CC Hotel? Vital?

"Jaybird," "goon" is not going to work here.

Whoa. A pile-on-Randy-Leonard thread. Nope. Not going there. I do find Randy Leonard refreshing and blessedly unrehearsed. The more rehearsed he gets the sadder I will be.

I was going to say that when I took history from William Appleman Williams at Beaver U, he called Herbert Hoover something along the line of the last honest conservative president. I honestly do not know what if any ultimate lesson he had in mind with that. I do know he thought Hoover got a bad rap for the wrong reasons.

Williams was a most interesting man. I wish I could listen to all his lectures all over again. We're almost never old enough the first time.

Sally says, "Whoa. A pile-on-Randy-Leonard thread"

Nowhere near the pile-on-the-public policies which Randy supports.

And who knows what lessons The Commish is attempting.

The severity of mounting overcomittment and reckless misadventures by politicians playing fast and loose with tax dollars demands strong condemnation even if harsh at times.

Steve, you know I enjoy the hell out of your thoughts and writings. But you appear to be presuming a malevolence here, in intent or in fact, which draws no distinctions between Commissioner Leonard and any of his compatriots.

I think it's an error, even a fatal one, to fail to draw differences of distinction.

(I also think this thread got a little drunk on itself. I could be wrong. I don't think I am entirely wrong about Commissioner Leonard.)

Having witnessed an abundance of City Hall workings involving Leonard and his compatriots I solidly contend there is little effective difference to distinguish.
I have also had the luxury of knowing and conversing regularly with others closely involved in City of Portland policy making for at least a dozen years.
Leonard's arrival on the scene, once greeted with expectations I never found to be too deep, (given his perpetual location inside the political box during his entire political career), have fallen into the malaise of the status quo parasite that feeds the box and kills off any intruders.

The only thing I see different with Leonard is his elevated presence on radio and on the blogs where he makes my points for me. IMO

Leonard and company are lingering around the edges with the PDC which (to those of us who have amassed a healthy cross section understanding of their activities) is a fiscal calamity brought about by a perpetual campaign of public deception for self promotion. Veins of conflict of interest
influences have spread throughout the agency and it's roll in the community. And the worse it gets the more obscuring cover is necessary.
Willamette Week unfolds yet another PDC dysfunction with their loan program in this week's edition.

Randy and company have no BS detectors and once a position taken let no reality turn that ship. Their make believe approach has the South Waterfront snafus all worked out.

All of the lies and fatal flaws in South Waterfront still exist. They haven't gone anywhere or been remedied or mitigated.

The Tram is transportation foolery, the biotech jobs are cartoonery, the public subsidies are bafoonery and the windfalls for developers is chicanery.

If all that was happening as a result of PDC and City Hall was SoWa that would be enough to condemn both, but the stack of reckless activities is indefensible chaos.
The Convention Center Hotel plan is a shinning example of the out of control policy making perpetrated by the PDC et al.

Hopefully the public is waking up because Randy and company are asleep at the wheel.

Jaybird,

Besides inflammatory, "union goon" was also imprecise.

Borrowing mafia terminology, a "union goon" is the equivalent of a "button man" or a low-level enforcer.

Give Randy some credit for his stature. He is a made man, much closer to an Underboss.

If his temper doesn't lead him to a Santino-esque demise, we might all be kissing his ring someday.

I guess I always figure, with temper, it's a choice between those whose sharpness & character require them to have it, and those whose calculations and control lead them to cover every bit of honest thought and reaction. If they even have any any more.

And I will always, always prefer the former.

Not a popular view -- which is why the second is so predominant, virtually mandatory.


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