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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Turning the screws on Saltzman

The Oregonian editorial page is always good for a chuckle, and today was no exception. That page, as you'll recall, is edited by the spouse of the chief p.r. flack at OHSU, and today's edition continues the tradition of marital harmony. Now the O is putting the heat on Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman to cast a swing vote in favor of additional city money toward the wretchedly over-budget OHSU aerial tram [rim shot]. Up 'til now, Saltzman's been firm in his opposition to any further city funding of the Ski Lift to Municipal Bankruptcy, but the Stickelers sense weakness there, and so they're after poor Dan.

The editorial is a real piece of work, pulling out all the stops, everything from badgering to threatening to blaming, and then to flattering. Danny, you're the only one on the council with the private sector experience. Use that experience and make all of us out here in the real world proud.

I had to chuckle over that one. Big Pipe hasn't had a real job in at least eight years, and his engineering training sure didn't help sniff out the rats in the Kohler-Coaster program when it was put over on the taxpayers three years ago. Now the signal from the old money in the West Hills (from which most Oregonian editorials emanate) is to play ball if he wants to get re-elected.

If Saltzman votes for more city money toward the tram, he'll be getting lots of private sector experience beginning January 1. Oh, well -- it's his political funeral if he takes the advice of a newspaper that also features beauties like this one, just two pages away from that fine editorial:

"Come on, Dan, more subsady for the tram."

Comments (22)

Took me a second. THAT'S funny.


I'm glad you posted this. I read this article today and had the same thought. If you didn't know Bob Caldwell was married to OHSU's PR chief, you might think that this was a "this just makes sense" piece. But, since EVERYone (chuckle) knows the relationships, I'm sure everyone (chuckle) will see right through it. Just underscores the importance of the blogs.

Thanks again.

You're wellcome.

Your a gentelmin and a scholor.

That's what make it so priceless under Saltzman's watch the same cast of charaters that gave you the TRAM are now showing up to guide Parks.

Hold your ground, Dan, and we'll use the platform from the canceled tram for your statue. The tram's not worth an end to your career in politics.

As for the Oregonian editorial: "The City Council can't argue with a straight face that it had nothing to do with creating the tram's cost overruns, though, since the city is overseeing construction."

Wow, what an awkward sentence. I thought Lora was a better editor than that.

And Ginny was too busy to help with the editing.

Oh, well -- it's his political funeral if he takes the advice

No offense to Amanda, but do you all really think (and I'm asking sincerely) that Dan can be unseated regardless of his position on the Tram [rimshot]?

My sense (and one reason I bailed from the race) was that Dan hasn't done anything dumb enough to lose his seat and that the general consensus - this mighty blog aside - is that the tram isn't that big a deal. After all, it's only $3.5MM, right? (Yes, I know it's much more even without a vote for more funds, Steve :)

Business backs him. Stand for Rugrats backs him. The environmental crowd backs him. Which of those constituencies will fail to support him if he backs more $$$ for the K-C? I honestly see him at 55% in the primary regardless of whether he votes more money. He can always spin it as making the hard choices, even in an election year. How brave.

But, of course, if he did that, the Oregonian might chide him... oh, wait, I guess not. He's got them in his pocket if he does, and maybe he doesn't if he doesn't. I don't see any reaason for him NOT to vote with the mayor. Do you?

Now that everyone knows each other . . .

. . . this blog thing could be called a blarg instead (good cartoon found when hunting for watering hole).

AP NYT circa 1981

"Two police officers who admitted dumping dead opossums outside a diner owned by blacks have been dismissed, Police Commissioner Charles Jordan said today. ''Everyone was embarrassed by the opossum incident but I can't help but feel that the professional police officers suffered the most,'' Mr. Jordan said."

That news piece is about as close to an opossum toss as words can get.

"play ball if he wants to get re-elected"

Or, flick it right back.
But how?
It smells like chicken feet, and it has got to go (even if someone might be offended).

To comment on Don's question, no, I don't think Amanda has a good chance of beating Dan, and I will be surprised if it's not over by the primary.

I like Dan and appreciate a lot of the public policy coming out of his office, but natural born politician he ain't. We'll see May 16th, but can a candidate really be a "political genius" and lose to Saltzman?

Me thinks not.

The Oregonian's editorial page has finally reached rock bottom. OHSU must have told Caldwell's wife to make him an offer he CAN'T refuse. I just hope there was some lingerie involved, or maybe something illegal in the State of Texas.

Dan Saltzman is a better man than Caldwell, and I'm sure he's not going to be manipulated by the Oregonian.

BE STRONG, DAN...IF THE COUNCIL PRESENTS A UNITED FRONT, either OHSU or the developers will have to fund the deficit. They won't let the Tram get mothballed over a couple of million bucks: it means much more to their bottom line than to the city's.

Don, the tram is a "big deal", especially if you combine it with the North Macadam UR District Central District 5 year budget. The taxpayers of Portland have bonded over $20M in TIF money to help keep the tram construction continuing. This is because the two LIDs and OSHU have contributed almost nothing to the construction so far.

This means that the NM URD is now over $27M short in just this 05-06 year budgeting, largely due to the tram's bonding, not even including it's financing costs to be added. So, yes the tram beyond it's shortcoming itself is now affecting the financial future of the whole NM District. The tram is a "big deal" beyond what the tram symbolizes in itself.

""""And Ginny was too busy to help with the editing"""

that was funny

Anytime I think, "I shouldn't make that comment," I know I should: Your great, great blog is deeply betrayed by your masthead photo. I like it, don't get me wrong. I can see the attraction, Yet what we readers find here is informed and educated opion pieces about current local goings-on, written in a voice that is both authoritative and breezily colloquial. But the photo shouts, "Would you like to read the colorful, fruity remarks of a whimsical, publicity-seeking, colorful, fruity person? I guess that would be geeky little ol' me! Lookit, lookit, lookit me as you drive past at 70mph on your way to other, more important destinations! Lookit!" Please don't change your self-deprecating editorial voice, but please kick your look up a notch. You write like you mean it, so let your clothes reflect that. Get real, my man.

The fruit store is a Portland landmark. The masthead changes frequently. I was about due for a switch, but I think I'll leave it up another week or so just to show you who's boss around here.


I know the tram's a big deal, but unless he proposes tearing it diwn, who cares where the extra $$$ comes from. (I care, but voters?)

Re: the fruit- I think anyone who has been around town any length of time recognizes the old Corno's market landmark - it's great - keep it around for a while!

If it were a water billing system then it would take only a house mouse hitched to a wagon holding a CD-ROM and a contract to sweep the slate clean for a restart.

That darned concrete could not be removed with the stealth of a night-time raid by a house mouse. Imagine Erik boldly asserting that he will hitch his mouse to the water billing system (the first one) and rip it out?

Did OHSU get insurance to cover the cost of removal of the eyesore, the modern New Carissa that has run aground? I would get an estimate of the cost of removal so that the city can send OHSU a bill. Randy and Dan can cover the cost of removal of concrete poured subsequent to the city attorney (staff attorney) opinion of non-liability for the city.

Many likely Portland voters don't like the tram. It's become an icon all right, but a different kind of icon than originally envisioned. Just ask Potter and PPS. The electorate is polling in a foul mood toward the city. And, they have a poster child -- The Tram.

I would neither "count" its influence in terms of simple dollars, nor discount its influence on the upcoming election.

Like all icons it's way bigger than just the sum of its parts.

"""Like all icons it's way bigger than just the sum of its parts."""


But wait till you see the BIGGER parts.

The "foul mood" is about to get much worse and in plenty of time to play heavily into May 16th.

Steve, (here is a math/logic problem)

I like the notion of FULLY FUNDING the present choices to commit/redirect prospective budgetary resources (revenue by any other name).

Take the pension actuary's little analytical expertise (deception) on switching a pay-as-you-go government retirement plan to a fully funded plan (one that enables bonding for reinvestment in stocks) . . . and apply it fully to all urban renewal or TIF type diversions/expenses. And do the same for all special tax breaks of whatever form that extend beyond the period where the elected government official sits in office.

If there is a "moral" commitment upon future elected officials to honor their predecessor's prospective commitment for one purpose then it is virtually indistinguishable from another purpose. Let's fully fund the prospective TRAM/NM commitments through a bond issuance where we can place them into the hands of the OIC where 8 percent future returns are considered a conclusive "fact" rather than law, sort of like where an .08 percent blood alcohol level is a "fact" that proves intoxication.

The O has a special affinity for such bonds, via their big ad revenue.


Can you e-mail me a way to contact you?


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