Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 8, 2006 12:42 AM. The previous post in this blog was He promised to exalt us, but low is the way. The next post in this blog is All in the family. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, June 8, 2006

You can't take a sharp picture of a fuzzy object

Does the Portland Development Commission do a good job? Is urban renewal working in Portland? City Auditor Gary Blackmer (right) sent out a crew to start asking these questions, and they came back with few answers but many additional questions.

The Blackmer report was written up by Oregonian reporter Ryan Frank the other day, and he offered readers his rose-colored glasses, to be sure. "Portland renewal zones flourish," proclaimed the headline. But a careful reading of Blackmer's report paints a much different picture -- an assessment that would better be described as lukewarm. It finds the PDC's job creation strategies only "somewhat effective," and concludes that the jobs picture didn't differ much in several of the city's urban renewal areas from what it was in comparable areas of town that didn't receive PDC subsidies. Employment in two key urban renewal areas was about the same as in the rest of the city -- down around 9 percent. And what additional jobs the PDC creates, the people who live in the urban renewal districts typically don't get.

The O article did own up to the fact that the report criticizes the PDC's data collection and performance measurement systems. But the O summary -- "the city needs to do a better job measuring the success of its business recruitment work" -- is putting it rather mildly. The Blackmer report found that "on an organizational level,... PDC lacks clear goals, measures and data it needs to continually improve its decision-making processes and better link its investments to community results." Indeed, in two key areas, the report finds, the PDC publishes misleading data -- showing projected economic development results for projects that are already completed, and leaving the impression that these are actual, observed results. And the scope of the auditor's investigation was limited by the fact that there isn't enough information readily at hand to evaluate the PDC's performance.

Indeed, a fairer summation of the Blackmer report is that there's no way to tell whether the PDC is doing a good job, because the agency has poorly defined goals and doesn't keep the information necessary to determine whether it's succeeding at whatever it's supposed to be doing. What data the auditor's office dug up on its own reveals mixed results, and some of the records that the PDC shows around are less than candid.

There's enough interesting material in the report that concerned readers ought to read the original document and see for themselves. It's here. Don't let the number of pages scare you -- there's a lot of white space in there. I'm going to post some more entries on various aspects of the report over the next week or so, and I invite readers to help me steer the additional discussion.

Before leaving the study for now, however, just one additional observation is in order. The Blackmer report spills most of its ink on the end results of urban renewal, but it never mentions the opportunity costs of the many hundreds of millions of dollars that ordinary Portland taxpayers have been forced to throw at urban renewal over the years. Remember, more than 19 cents of every property tax dollar the City of Portland collects, from every taxpayer in town, goes to pay for "urban renewal." If the PDC weren't blowing that money by way of its $200 million annual budget (estimated spending for this fiscal year was actually $248 million -- a 167 percent increase over just four years), what else would the money be available for? Expressed another way, how badly does "urban renewal" drain needed funds away from core government functions?

Oregon state law requires cities to estimate the financial impact of urban renewal activities (such as tax abatements) on tax collections, but as has been mentioned in this space before, Portland refuses to comply with that law. Other cities can do it (Lake Oswego, for example), but Portland says it's impossible.

There have been several calls by urban renewal critics for the city to start complying with this law in earnest, but so far they have fallen on deaf ears. You would have thought that the city auditor, while he's busy talking about unavailable data and missing performance measures, might have said something about that. But there's not a word in the report about it.

Comments (15)

I still like your earlier suggestion, $250M (05-06 Budget) = 1666 $150K houses given away and have the owners pay prop taxes. At least with property taxes you get a 1.5% rough ROI.

You especially can't take a sharp picture of a fuzzy object with a Kodak Instamatic.

"""doesn't keep the information necessary to determine"""

I'm shocked!

What is it with auditors in the Portland area? I mean Multnomah Co. auditor says he was pressured to "rosey" the numbers by defated Co. Chair Linn. The Metro auditor is defeated because of percieved ilregularities. Portland School District auditors are quitting one after another. And now the city auditor is releasing a report that if I'm understanding Jack correctly, leaves some very important questions unanswered or ignored, but are crucial to examining whether URD is worth it.

"What is it with auditors in the Portland area?"

I think the better question has to do with those who are cutting the package deals for instamatics. Alexis Dow wouldn't bow to David Bragdon, the son of Neil's good friend Paul. Methinks the picture is starting to come into focus. And shame,shame, shame on the electorate.

"...the PDC publishes misleading data -- showing projected economic development results for projects that are already completed, and leaving the impression that these are actual, observed results." Sounds like the PDC stole a page out of an old Enron playbook. Private sector executives are being prosecuted and sent to prison for this type of thing. Maybe it is high time that the FBI begin investigating these people.

The PDC is attempting to walk their self serving fabricated line between what they can easily chartacterize as innocent ommission the what they are indeed doing, defrauding the public.

The Tram life cycle cost estimate was a classic example among many in SoWa.

My rub today is who told PDOT's Rob Barnard to exclude debt service and other fundemental costs?

Someone did.

Who told him to use the 50 year life span?

Who instructs the staff to exclude many numbers from reports and to withold budgets from officials and the publici?

Why do the electeds allow this?

Why did Sam Adams present such a flawed life cycle cost estimate? Many concerns for costs, especailly debt service, where communicated to the commissioner and others many times.

On another interesting note:
Is OHSU paying prevailing wage on it's projects?

There's an ongoing debate between the PDC and the State Labor dept over PDC subsidized projects,
but I have not heard any mention of OHSU.

A couple calls this monring and I am nearly believing that on top of many other generous public funding of the sometimes public sometimes private OHSU may alos be enjoying the luxury of not be required to pay prevailing wages on their construction projects.
Projects which are publiclly funded in one way or another.
Does anyone know?

Perhaps the pill projects are paying but their new SoWa not?

Guilt by association? I thought I understood that there were performance issues with the outgoing Metro auditor. How is it that being the auditor of the son of a friend of Goldschmidt confers heroic status? General Metro issues aside, what's the real story here?

Let's see,

The City Auditor investigated E. Boyles for the return of $150,000 plus fines for her apparent misuse of public election funding. Isn't that just precious?

When is the City Auditor going to investigate the payment of at least $3.5 million by the CoP to OHSU. Taxpayer money that Commissioner Leonard and the Oregonian state may have been paid based on false and material misrepresentations to City Council by OHSU representatives, associated developers and city officials.

How about the City Auditor investigating that?

Alan L., Not guilt by association at all. The issue at Metro is whether Bradgon complained about Dow in retaliation for DOING her job. It's how the machine operates. On the chance you really are interested in these issues, I told a friend who knows the particulars that someone on Jack Bog's Blog is wondering about the situation.

I was wondering -- hence the questions. Answers would be welcome.

Jack: I have a hunch that Ryan Frank did not write the headline for his article. Maybe Bob Caldwell?

The meat of his article doesn't go with its content. At least he tried.

Another point. Notice that only 5 URA's are analysed in the article, and they are generally thought of as being the most successful (Pearl District, Downtown, etc.), if you can consider it that way. When and if the remaining 6 URA's (Lents, NoPo) are added to the equation, I think the prognosis of all Urban Renewal (even using PDC's thrumped up, inflated, guessimates, etc) will be much bleaker.

Okay, that's enough - I demand that all of you who can't see the "wisdom" of the progressivness (is that a word?) that the PDC brings to the table, immediately turn in your "progressive" card. Next thing you know you'll be complaining when our "progressive" government wants that last dollar in your wallet. We all know that government KNOWS how to spend your money better than you - give it here!

Next item on the agenda - wealth re-distribution (from your pocket to those cozy with government).

"scuse me, while I kiss the sky"

Yay !'s the same old song, isn't it?
We just keep watchin' 'em.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
Wente, Merlot, Sandstone 2011
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2012
Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
Coppola, Sofia, Rose 2014
Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2011
Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold 2012
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2010
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010

The Occasional Book

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
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
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
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
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
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
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: 61
At this date last year: 97
Total run 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
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics