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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 12, 2005 1:10 PM. The previous post in this blog was Portland: We love dremers. The next post in this blog is Multiplying like rabbits. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Encrypted message

There's a curious op-ed piece in the O today. In it, the president of the local gas company, who is a high-ranking member of Portland's business elite, loudly sings the praises of the Portland Development Commission, particularly the selfless volunteers who contribute to the agency's operations.

The recent financial scandals at the PDC are nowhere mentioned. And the serious questions that have been raised about the agency's dubious priorities and insensitivity to the values of the city's residents are dismissed with a terse brush-off:

Over the years, there's been disagreement about the short-term goals and implementation of PDC projects. In retrospect, I'm sure we would do some things differently, and some have voiced concerns in recent months.

What's the point of the column? It's a little hard to tell. The closest it comes to an actual punchline is near the end:

With many urban renewal districts waning, now is the time to embark on a serious discussion about the collective vision for the city's economic future and to ensure we're making the best use of the valuable tools we have to work with. This re-examination should be more than aligning bureaus and public agencies. I applaud the mayor's willingness to evaluate whether "business as usual" is good enough.

And my wish is this: As we review the PDC -- its mission, its goals and its operation -- let's remember Ira Keller and his vision. Let's remember the value of independent, citizen volunteers in shaping a city.

Portland wouldn't be the same without that remarkable, intangible and priceless asset.

Can someone who speaks West Hills please translate this for me? The best I can make out is that the Old Boy Network is sending a message to Mayor Tom Potter, that it wants the current bureaucratic structure for urban renewal in Portland left alone.

If that's what this is about, I disagree. The City/PDC organization chart needs a good redrafting. The current system lacks transparency and accountability, and invites waste and corruption.

As for "the value of independent, citizen volunteers in shaping a city," what about the scores of "citizen volunteers" who show up at meeting after meeting with PDC face cards and bureaucrats, only to have their suggestions trashed and their noses rubbed in the resulting mess? I'll take those folks over weaselly aspiring politicians like the current chair of the PDC (19 days and counting) any day.

Comments (8)

Yeah, it's a curious piece. On the one hand he says that bit about "independent, citizen volunteers" yet on the other hand he applauds Potter for questioning "business as usual".

It sounds more to me like a middle-of-the-road try at sounding moderate on PDC so as not to offend either side in the current conflagrations.

So why bother?

I have no idea, tha's why I find it curious. Or, there was a stronger point somewhere and it's just so poorly written that I can't figure out what it is.

Is it saying, "We like the idea of five commissioners, appointed by the mayor"? Or "Potter, when you replace the two Katz holdovers, we want new Neil Network representatives"?

Since this wasn't the subject of an O editorial in the last few days, it's a mystery to me just what it's doing there. 8c)

"And my wish is this: As we review the PDC -- its mission, its goals and its operation -- let's remember Ira Keller and his vision. Let's remember the value of independent, citizen volunteers in shaping a city.

Portland wouldn't be the same without that remarkable, intangible and priceless asset."

Boy, PDC's proctologist probably never got that far up their colon.

My translation - The PDC is a noble organization, lets leave them alone as they right themselves.

Just more claptrap - We heard you and we are looking into your complaints, just don't expect any changes.

Gotta go - Heard Potter is working at McDonald's today as Mayor McCheese. He didn't want Adams to upstage him.

Jack-

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

http://jerkbog.blogspot.com/

Ah, the children are at play....

The more I think about it, the more I believe the piece was The Network's way of appealing to the egos of the two new commissioners. This way, when Tom Imeson invites them out to lunch at Higgins to discuss the latest Grand Vision from You-Know-Who, they'll be open to suggestion.


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