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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 8, 2006 9:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Who cares? Opie got re-elected. The next post in this blog is Get it while you can. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, September 8, 2006

The smell gets worse and worse

The SoWhat district should be nominated for All-Time Most Transparent Scam in Portland History. It would stand a good chance of winning, even without the aerial tram [rim shot]. But with that beauty in place, it wins hands down. Nick Budnick spotlights the latest badges of fraud in today's Trib -- everything's rush-rush, no time to do anything right:

Ward was echoed by Shelly Lorenzen of the League of Women Voters of Portland, meanwhile, who complained that the earlier version of the agreement approved by the council in April had progressed through the public process in just 48 hours — hardly enough time for a meaningful public debate.

When the league complained in April, she said, city officials promised that the final agreement, considered Wednesday, would receive a full public discussion — a promise that she said the city has not fulfilled.

This observation was echoed by a landowner’s representative, Edward Trompke of the Jordan Schrader law firm. Representing Zidell Marine, he submitted written comments saying that although the agreement had “evolved” since being approved by the council in April, the “amount of public review and input has been very limited.”

Why Grampy continues to play along is a mystery to me. He doesn't seem like a crook. Maybe someone should be brave enough to ask him.

Comments (12)

Maybe he fears the Foxworth Treatment

My guess is that Potter goes along, because like just about every other flawed human being on the planet, he has a weakness/skeleton in his closet and doesn't want it exploited to his political/economic detriment.

That is how the game is played around here: if you "rock the boat", whether you are a public figure or an ordinary Josehpine, you can be expoited to make it appear that your worst day/weaknesses are WHO you are. It is done through p.r. and a not-skepical-enough newsmedia, I think.

Just about a year ago, a good friend of mine's husband was competing for the pr hack job at OHSU that Lora Cuykendall now fills. A local friend of mine commented that he "never had a chance". I don't see it that way; he is hispanic with ties to Harvard. OSHU paid for him to fly to Portland twice, the second time with his family so they could check out schools, etc. A friend and I had a couple of conversations with him about problems with SoWa and how we felt they would not ultimately be ignored, because they were getting aired on Jack Bog's Blog. Then, although I have known his wife for 35 years, and whether it was his own idea, an assignment, or just the way pr works, he went to my sister and tried to find out what she considered to be a weakness of mine he could exploit. I tried to contact the search committee at OHSU and posted here about the situation. He didn't get the job. But my friend and I, who used to communicate every year on our birthdays, haven't spoken since.

There aren't many crooks out there, imho. It is the go-along crowd that makes it appear that way sometimes.

That guy sounds dumb if he did it that openly, Cynthia.

Yeah, I know. I think it may have been a combination of being desperate for a job and thinking I was dumb.

The SoWhat district should be nominated for All-Time Most Transparent Scam....

Alas, "All time" is a pretty strong label here. Let's not forget that, right this moment, there are many non-transparent scams going on out there, that only the passage of time will reveal.

Is there any reason the PDC and/or City Council couldn't be sued for failing to represent the public interest?

Just because their fraudulent behavior is conducted (mostly) in the public eye doesn't make it any less fraudulent, right?

I think the local journalists are having a tough time accepting the true level of official malfecience and incompetance we have here.

But they are sure coming around.

They'll have to demand the full records of money spent on SoWa Urban Renewal with full accounting for TIF debt service costs along with a complete financial updating of the original 1999 SoWa (North Macadam) plan.

And every dime paid to or promised to OHSU and every other recipient of city cash.

"Let's not forget that, right this moment, there are many non-transparent scams going on out there, that only the passage of time will reveal."

Tonight I met someone for the first time in a context completely unrelated to land use and land scams. I tried to make pleasant conversation by asserting that the San Juan Islands, where he formerly lived, must have been lovely. He then proceeded to tell me about how cops were involved in trying to run off old timers in order to make land available to speculators. I was thinking, "What is it about me that the conversation always shifts to land scams?". Then when I read this, I realized that,perhaps, it is because they are everywhere in beautiful places developers try to exploit where government has no backbone.

And Mr. Tee,

Yeah, you could sue these guys, but the scammers influence on the courts is such that many lawyers would be afraid to do it,and many who tried wouldn't win.

Cynthia, when you say "run off", how exactly do you mean? What were the methods used?

I didn't ask this guy for details. Believe it or not, I don't like to be depressed about these things all of the time, just most of the time. I figure he is a friend of a friend, so I can ask later. But what I have seen in these parts is cops/marshalls enforcing court orders upholding fraudulent property transfers. Among the worst situations that stand out is one where a (not too bright) guy married a woman he had only known a few weeks. She moved into his house from which he ran his business. She then used cop/judge connections to obtain a restraining order against him and proceeded to sign his name on deeds transferring all of his real property (he'd been willed several parcels), plus his new pick up truck to her. Though the marriage lasted less than a year and the guy got handwriting experts to attest to the forgeries, the court upheld this property division.

Sometimes code enforcement is misused to acquire property. Randy Leonard brought out some examples in Portland a few years back. I have seen them, too. And in Tigard,in the 1990s, some on the planning commission were trying very hard to get a holdout off her rural property and the city started trumphing up violations, sewer, wiring, even a phony meth lab. Basically, from what I have seen, once someone with government connections determines they WANT some property, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingenious acquisition strategy.

Roger,

Here is one example.

PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL AGENDA
City Hall - 1221 SW Fourth Avenue
WEDNESDAY, 9:30 AM, SEPTEMBER 13, 2006

THURSDAY, 2:00 PM, SEPTEMBER 14, 2006


1234 TIME CERTAIN: 2:00 PM – Increase the estimated assessment amount for project costs in Assessment Zone D on Marquam Hill in the Portland Aerial Tram Local Improvement District and increase the estimated assessment amount for Auditor's costs including financing in all assessment zones (Ordinance introduced by Commissioner Adams; amend Ordinance Nos. 178675, 179009 and 179297; C-10009)

Add to that the other levy's and taxes, and common folk can't afford to live here anymore.


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