This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 27, 2007 3:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was On the air. The next post in this blog is No wonder. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Equal time

Fresh on the heels of yesterday's mailer urging us to vote against the proposed change of the form of Portland's city government, today we got a smaller flyer in the mail from the other side of that debate. And man, when it comes to obfuscating what it is that we're voting on, the "yes" guys are just as bad as the "no" camp, if not worse. Here's their summary of what we're voting on:

I guess Mom and apple pie weren't available.

I wish that, instead of voting on a "strong mayor" form of government, we were voting on whether to continue the existing "strong developer" system. Now, that would be a meaningful election.

UPDATE, 4:40 p.m.: The type on that image above is pretty small. Just so you can actually see how little content is there, here is the sum total of the explanation of the four measures:

Comments (18)

Nice font, tho.

The font reminds me of an old Monopoly game... which is, of course, what a yes vote will create.

Unlike the "no" flyer, which came addressed to both registered voters at our address, the "yes" flyer came addressed only to the Mrs., who is currently the only registered Democrat.

The fact that the actual charter change language is not in the Voter's Pamphlet is criminal.

If you hate George Bush..vote yes!

I agree with you, Jack - on both the pathetic nature of the mailers with their poverty of content, and that the Charter change language not being in the Voters' Pamphlet is appalling. Measure 26-90, in particular, is not "streamlining and modernizing". "Gutting and returning to the old system of patronage" would be more accurate.

I wonder if the full charter change language will even be on the ballot. If not, I would question the validity of any of it.

Potter is playing primarily to senior citizens --who vote in big numbers -- hoping to manipulate them. His old man, folksy performances as well as the vintage flier shows that this is a strategy that he and his team thinks can work, and it might.

Remember the 2003 campaign: Potter out delivering Meals on Wheels and visiting senior centers, keeping his hair its white gray color. Potter's Charter stumps speeches have been at nursing and retirement homes.

Potter is exceptionally skilled at exploitation and misleading people, so it's foolish to think his strategy and the flier won't work.

I wonder if the full charter change language will even be on the ballot. If not, I would question the validity of any of it.

Of course it isn't. The redline version (pdf) is 80 pages long.

It's really sad to see such an important issue being sold with such demagogury, as though the Mayor isn't already in charge of all the City's computer systems though the Office of Management and Finance which consolidated IT operations City-wide years ago (except where they've chosen not to). 300 different computer systems indeed!

The reality is that too often over-centralizing causes massive inefficiencies, as priorities are set centrally.

I happen to like Mayor Potter an awful lot, but these proposed changes --along with the campaign to win voter approval for them-- just really reeks.

You want more audits, fine, double the Auditor's budget. You want efficiencies of centralization, then order the centralization. The Mayor's power right now is sufficient to accomplish nearly everything the Charter changes promise...without the negatives, the multi-million dollar implementation costs, and political gamesmanship that will follow.

Strong is as strong does.

Frank is right. Systems consolidation is already well under way under OMF. When Randy wanted to take the water billing back, Potter could have pulled the bureau from him if he was insistent on keeping it under the Revenue Office. Or at least work out a compromise for heavens sake.

I finally got this in the mail. In the interest in truth-in-advertising, I've made a remix.

Wow. This flier doesn't even point out that we're voting on a strong mayor...

I mean, I'm all for making this stuff easier to understand (which means simplifying and reducing) but 26-91 is about reducing the number and cost of COMPUTER SYSTEMS?!

That's some misleading stuff. I still haven't decided yet, but if the YES folks can't make the case, well, forget it.

This is one of the most bizarre referendum or initiative campaigns I have ever seen... and after 28 years in Oregon, that's saying a lot.

That's some misleading stuff. I still haven't decided yet...

What adds to the confusion, Kari, is the almost breathless defense of the status quo by the "no on 96-21" group. (Now that I'm home I can actually see the propaganda that we got in the mail.)

Portland is a great city...provides voters direct accountability...citizens, not special interests, have the strongest voice...

Well, not exactly. There are problems and fixes that could help...why frame the debate as though everything's great? That doesn't seem a good strategy to me.

The worst thing, though, is you gotta wonder if an insider, policy-wonk geek like Kari --you don't mind the characterization, Kari, do you?-- what's the hope that less-engaged voters can sort this out?


We aren't voting on a "strong mayor."

The proposed form of government is officially known as a "mayor/council form of government." The strong mayor form of government gives the mayor the power to veto council legislation and appoint department heads without council approval.

This proposed charter amendment does neither.

Please see proposed Charter:
-Chapter 2, Article 1, Section 2-101 (Council Duties)
-Chapter 2, Article 3, Section 2-301 (F)
(Mayor's Duties)

This "strong mayor" claim is a deception made by the opposition.

We aren't voting on a "strong mayor." The proposed form of government is officially known as a "mayor/council form of government."

Karin, pardon me for using the wrong terminology.

But here's the thing: The flier promoting a YES vote on 26-91 doesn't say that either. One more time... it says merely that it'll reduce the number of computer systems.

Seriously, make the case for mayor/council and I'll listen. But to pretend that we're voting on more efficient computer networks, that's just dumb.

But to pretend that we're voting on more efficient computer networks, that's just dumb.

Worse, it's a lie. As BTS --Bureau of Technology Services-- has forced individual bureaus to transfer their IT (information technology) staff to the centralized BTS, and has established city-wide rules about what software we can have on our individual computers...I mean, what are they talking about?

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