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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 7, 2005 12:14 PM. The previous post in this blog was Some guys have all the luck. The next post in this blog is Blazer coach choice leaked. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, June 7, 2005

World-class b.s.

Interesting story in today's Oregonian about Anthony Harris, the-four-time-bankrupt consultant who made $131,641 working for the Portland Development Commission as a "management coach" to its deputy director and a guru behind its laughable "world-class city" campaign.

One of the assistants to outgoing CEO Don "the Don" Mazziotti wrote a memo a while back wondering what the heck the PDC was getting from Harris under his no-bid contract. As O reporter Ryan Frank tells it:

An assistant to executive director Don Mazziotti raised concerns about Harris' work on the world-class project, according to an undated memo written earlier this year and obtained through a public records request. Harris billed $200 an hour for his work.

"I must convey the continued negative remarks I receive relative to Anthony Harris," Tracey Gemma wrote. "The majority of these comments relate to the amount of money he receives and does not deliver quality goods/services.

" . . . I tend to agree with the feedback, as he is paid extremely well to come unprepared and to be utilizing our staff's time to complete his work."

You tell' em, Tracey! Of course, she is now refusing to discuss the matter in public, no doubt fearing for her future on the municipal government flak-job merry-go-round.

Also revealed in the article is that Harris ran out and hired a graphics design firm as a subcontractor:

Gemma's memo also raised concerns that Harris asked commission staff to make changes and print color copies at $1 each. Handwritten and unsigned notes in Harris' file at the commission show employees spent 29 hours working on the project and made 800 color copies.

Tim Liszt, the commission's Web content coordinator, said he was asked to build a PowerPoint presentation for the commission based on Harris' work.

Winston said Liszt's job was to make the presentation compatible with the agency's design styles. Yet, Harris had billed the agency thousands of dollars for a graphic design firm he hired as a subcontractor.

Sweet. I'm afraid to ask who the subcontractor was.

As commenters on this blog have suggested, do the math, folks -- $131,000 divided by $200 an hour is 655 hours -- the equivalent of more than 16 weeks (nearly four months) of full-time work. Did the PDC get that from Mr. Harris?

Am I the only one in town who thinks a criminal investigation of the PDC is in order? Lars, could you give the Republican U.S. attorney a shout out for me on this one? Ask her to do a Kenneth Starr on the PDC.

We sit down here in Portland and cluck our tongues at what the mayor of Spokane was doing in his office. But what often happens in public agency offices in the Rose City is also self-abuse.

Comments (22)

Given what The O reported today, dig the comments in today's Tribune:

"There is no action contemplated with Winston," Hennessee said. "I'm impressed with the work of Mr. Harris."


Twenty-three more days of "Rev." Hennessee. Then he and "Rev." Harris can hold hands and pray for another pot of public gold.

The world-class city" line seems so pretentious to me; it reminds me of when I was a kid and some of my mother's long-lost Ozark Mountain relations visited us in California boasting that they had taken the "extremeline train". A hokey lawless gang is a hokey lawless gang, no matter how dressed-up, no matter how multicultural. I would like to see a criminal investigation, but don't know if some of the dufuses (dufi?) are capable of forming the requisite intent.

What cracks me up is that Winston gets 130 something thousand a year for a leadership position, but his leadership skills need coaching. Wouldn't you think somebody getting that kind of dough would come with the skillset required?

Harris said he delivered what the commission wanted and received only positive feedback. For the world-class project, Harris produced a 33-page report that covered topics ranging from creative workers to tax credits.

Is that report available on-line? Seriously, I'd love to see what I and my fellow taxpayers bought for $130,000. Something tells me it is mostly filled with generalities and that any specifics could be found using a $15/hour college-age researcher who knows how to use Google.

The lack of accountability at this organization is the most absurd thing I've seen in quite some time. It reminds me of my time in Salt Lake City, where local and state government was filled with all these little good-old-boy networks, invariably populated wth elders in the LDS Church, who were unelected, unmanaged, and unaccountable.

From what I read today it appeares Harris may have assigned work to PDC staff then billed for it as if he did it.

With the type of comments coming from Hennessee and Winston the entire Portland blog world should
simultaneously demand and end to the PDC and it's fast and loose use of public funds and interests.

The Port of Portland has supervisors using Port credit cards to rack up 45K in vidoe poker losses and the Tram has already produced it's first scandal with

Tram Ma'am Sara Graham
The Tram architect was not licensed in Oregon and calles it a which hunt when she is fined.
Every architect, two bit contractor and other business folks know a license is necessary to operate in other states.

Sarah Graham, designer of Portland's aerial tram was fined $15000 by the Oregon Board of Architectural Examiners.

The board fined Graham $5,000 each for three infractions: representing herself as an architect in Oregon, her firm as an architect in Oregon and providing false information on her registration application.

Graham paid the $15,000 without argument. But contacted by e-mail, Graham called the action a "witch hunt."

Oh my! Perhaps Hennessee can reimburse her with PDC funny money.

And the library has been letting people walk out the door with hundreds or thousands of DVD's and CD's.

And the library has been letting people walk out the door with hundreds or thousands of DVD's and CD's.

You THINK. Because they don't have a system in place to tell you (or themselves) whether that is true or not.

(Question: why can Movie Madness design a simple system to eliminate theft of DVDs, but the local library cannot?)

We sit down here in Portland and cluck our tongues at what the mayor of Spokane was doing in his office. But what often happens in public agency offices in the Rose City is also self-abuse.
You are only now figuring that out? This is something that I tuned into early in Goldschmidt's first term as mayor, about 1973 or so. It may have been going on long before that, but I never noticed. But when I did tune into it, it outraged me. No more. I've long since realized that it's an indelible part of Portland politics, so now I just enjoy it for the theater of the absurd that it is. And the elected politicos are the most fun to watch. The antics of appointees and other lower-level public employees aren't as amusing as they are disgusting.

As for Winston and Harris, I'm just wondering why the race card hasn't yet been played one way or another, not by anybody, not by critics, and not by defenders.

Re. library losses to theft ...Multnomah County is, unfortunately, typical of well funded libraries in this respect. There is no interest in taking reasonable steps to protect the public's investment because the basic orientation of most public library administrators and their staffs is to avoid actions that will detract from what they see as their primary mission - to eliminate any barriers, regardless of reasonability, between the public and the library's services. Sounds good but the cost to the taxpayer of library thefts and losses is far (!) higher than anyone is willing to acknowledge. By avoiding periodic physical inventories and focusing on the loan rate and program attendance, libraries have been fairly successful in diverting attention from this issue. The cooperative agreement between Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties makes it even more interesting as the level of information sharing about "problem" patrons (thieves) has historically been pretty much non-existent because of concerns over privacy.

'Criminal investigations', heh. This isn't even interesting enough fodder for Lars' show.

Investigations will get as far as a Critical Mass tantrum, er, protest - not far. They'll make lots of noise but do no good. Because so far the PDX is only guilty of working to improve a poorly performing employee & a contractor.

I think the PDC whores should be run out of town. But between you and me Jack: this is the town that gave us Vera, Sten, Potter and a freakin' tram - the PDC is just fitting in. Nothing's going to change in the next 10 years.

On the library story, this is funny.

"Among other problems, they said security systems cost too much -- many thousands of dollars each year for gates and magnetic stripping of materials"

Why? Because I watched Multnomah County build a new neighborhood library branch in the SW Portland, Hillsdale neighborhood. It cost over $6.5 million for a 12,000 sq. ft building.
Oh it's a swell building, but 541.00 per sq. ft. is almost criminal incompetence.

Big Bo!!!
Are you certain the U.S. Attorney is a Republican?

Let us ponder Ms. Immergut's legal birth:
1. Native of Brooklyn, N.Y.
2. Graduated from Amherst College in 1982.
3. Law degree in 1987 from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.
4. Gravel & Shea in Burlington, Vermont.
5. Primarily prosecuted white collar crimes.

Perhaps I may be wrong Ms. Immergut is Yankee blue nose, who graduated from blue "U" in Berkeley. Ms. Immergut has spent part of her career prosecuting white collar crimes.

This species does well on the blue East and West Coast of North America. Endangered in Iraq, Iran, or any Macho country not pandering to vaginization of masculinity.

Can you Imagin being in the sack and under covers with Karin J. Immergut? Thats something NASA might want for fuel.

I Apologize to B!X for this.

Steve Schoop - "Oh it's a swell building, but $541.00 per sq. ft. is almost criminal incompetence."

You appreantly haven't seen the $3-million condos being built under a bridge and across from the Union Pacific Train yard. This is Portland, we demand Quality...with a 'K'.

Did I mention we're building a $40-million tram?

vaginization of masculinity

Hey, that's enough of that. See a shrink.

Scott inJana says to me, "You appreantly haven't seen,,,"

Oh I be a seein Scott!

I've memorized a staggerin list which grows daily.

"The world-class city" line seems so pretentious to me"

Lets repaint city vehicles with our new motto: "Paris on the Willamette"

I guess that does sound a little pretentious.

Steve - "Oh I be a seein Scott!" But you gotta admit, $540/sq-ft is a steal in this town. Oops, did I say, 'steal'? Bwahahaha.

Jerry - Maybe the slogan could be: "What SuperFund site?"

Sigh. At least we have a tram.

The research on how to make Portland a world class city is a farce.
A notion with no real definition or measurement of progress yet useful to the PDC for coming up with trumped up validation for what they have been doing, for fabricating the need to do more and for concocting endless busy work to keep them occupied, employed and empowered.
The PDC $280 million dollar budget allows them to spend relatively great sums on self preserving and self promoting tasks.
All carefully calculated and prepared to posture the agency as one fulfilling a vital need which only they can provide.

Let's face it. With 200 employees, personal coaches (bullshit artists) and money flowing everywhere it's an easy game to make.

Afterall, what's their opposition? A few follks on blogs?
I'm more than sure some PDC folks lurk around the blogs getting some good laughs.

If the PDC would make a 6-digit donation to my personal vacation fund, I'd stop complaining.

And they have a $280-million budget?! Why the *&#$ don't they pay for the tram themselves? It's not like they're using the money for anything useful to me (see above comment on vacation fund).


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
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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
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
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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
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King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
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La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
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Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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In 2005: 149
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