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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 5, 2007 10:47 PM. The previous post in this blog was C'mon, Fireman Randy, save the planet. The next post in this blog is Can't wait 'til tomorrow. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Semper non sequitur

With friends like the Oregonian editorial board, who needs enemies? Today they decided that if you're against the ridiculous, wasteful Burnside-Couch traffic "copulet" boondoggle -- the Homer Williams developer crowd's next rape of the Portland city treasury -- then you must also be against the current form of city government.

That's right, somehow to the O, the reason the couplet is getting such a big push is not because it's got big real estate money behind it -- no, it's all because of the current city charter. If you would just vote for the pending charter change, giving the mayor and the bureaucrats more power, this kind of thing would never happen.

The editorial, which has a faintly Graggy odor about it, is downright scary. They really need to check the carbon dioxide levels in the Oregonian building. Something's not right over there.

When you make a ludicrous link between two issues, it emboldens opponents on both. This gives guys like Fireman Randy a way to say, "See, these people don't know what they're talking about," and consider himself free to sell us all out once again on a scam (which in the end will probably make the OHSU Health Club aerial tram [rim shot] look like a pop stand). As for the charter change, it's deader than Generalisimo Francisco Franco; nonsense like today's editorial just buries it a little deeper.

Comments (5)

Well said, sir. But we all know the Big O only bets on races it can fix. And still the sheep follow the Judas goat to the polls and do their bidding.

I don't want anyone to be complacent about the Charter changes being DOA. Wait til 70%-popularity Mayor Tom Potter records robo-calls, left while people are out during work hours. Wait til Big Business starts running their poll-tested ads, appealing to whatever may sell to unwary voters. And yesterday's editorial is likely only the opening salvo of The O's coming campaign. Like GWB getting Americans to believe Iraq was behind 9/11, they will make their false connections over and over, until some readers accept them as truth. I've already lost count of how many times Charter change proponents have said the tram's cost over-runs would not have happened under the new structure. That's absolutely untrue. But the pollsters know Portlanders are steamed about the cost of the tram, even if they support it in concept, so the Charter change proponents will be talking it up big time.

Amanda is right, the trams cost over-runs wouldcould have happened under the proposed charter change. It was the dominate Mayor Katz that spearheaded the tram for Neil and Co., with Vera's senior advisor Sam Adams advising. There were several checkpoints along the tram way that could have put the tram on hold. Like PATI and its subcommittee questioning the tram costs and asking for further review. Like public outcry on the expanding costs. Like the Planning Commission (with Amanda's vote) vote against the tram. Like the so-called townhalls by Adams to explore derailment of the tram because of costs. Like questioning by the whole council on the tram. But it was the "strong mayor syndrome"-Katz, and the perpetual machine motion of "we've (I) made a decision-the tram will be built come hell..." that built the tram.

An interesting tidbit to add to the lesson of the tram is to see the American Institute of Architect's Gallery showing on SW 3rd. It is a showing of endless number of models and drawings of the Tram and the design competition. There are over 26 models of the east tram tower alone, and over 16 models of the west terminal. They are all various but similar "studies" of tram proposals. The endless exhibits demonstrate to me the endless planning, overworked nature, then the final endless costs of the tram. In subtle form it personifies the habit CoP endures in so many of its efforts. "The City That OVER-Works".

And since the Tram was a design competition, also note that what was sold to the judges/public (besides the cost) is not what we got. Was this fair to the other participants? It seems that CoP and it's pols threw out ideas (like the tram competition participants), see what sticks, and proceed. And that is what can still happen and probably more so under the "strongarm mayor" proposal.

Many of use over two years ago said the tram (and on this blog) has/will become the definer of many things of this city-good and bad.

Please substitute the word "throw" vs. "threw",as in plural form in the last paragraph.

"It was the dominate Mayor Katz that spearheaded the tram for Neil and Co"

Let's not forget PGE Park and how she/Sam were able to get GLickman and his buddy $35M to fix a white elephant and the rest of City Council just had to sit and watch.

We really don't want a strong mayor - It only invites abuse.


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