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.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 23, 2007 1:30 PM. The previous post in this blog was Blazers win!. The next post in this blog is An equal opportunity offender. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

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

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
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
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
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 Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

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
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
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
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
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

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, April 23, 2007

News from the sticks

I haven't heard much about last week's far-east-side debate between Mayor Tom Potter and Commissioner Randy Leonard on the topic of the proposed Portland charter reforms. One reader writes:

Randy insisted that, under the new form, the mayor would only need to get TWO other votes on the council to get his way. Randy insisted that was too much power. I don't know what cog he slipped. Clearly, the mayor only needs two more votes NOW. But Randy kept saying it over and over.

Potter was equally clueless. His main point was that City Hall would be more accessible to citizens, rather than special interests, under the new form. Huh? One phone number instead of five provides more access? Portland Business Alliance paying for the campaign?

Bottom line, they are both clueless. And all the talk is b***s*** anyway. Look at the vote on the couplet. Form of government be damned, full speed ahead for the developers.

Wonder if anyone else attended that debate and could provide a different perspective....

Comments (25)

i've heard people say "let's fix the system, don't choose the strong mayor system."

okay. who's going to do that fixing? more simply, who's going to *enforce* that fixing?

the Commissioners have the power. to a man, they're loathe to relinquish it. to a man, they cite the main reason for opposing change as "too much decision making power given to one person."

which commissioners, exactly, are standing up to take blame for the SoWa development fiasco, for example?

to me, thats key to the problems of the current system--nobody's to blame. for anything. ever. it's "the other Bureau's" fault. we "didn't get the memo." the "other guy didn't vote for it." and so on.

and, enough platitudes about i get who i vote for. i believe it's actually less about "who" than the "how" of the system. the system *encourages* walls between the supposed wise council of leaders.

enough.

This is one illustration of why the Charter changes shouldn't be on the May ballot of an off-year primary. Ballots are due this week, and hardly anyone knows about or understands the issues.

The argument outlined above was on selling public property. Under the current Charter, 4 of 5 Council members must vote to declare the land surplus, then 3 of 5 must vote to sell it to a particular buyer at a particular price. Under the proposal in 26-91, only 3 of 5 have to vote to declare the property surplus, then the Mayor alone would decide who to sell to at what price. That's where the "too much power" comes in.

What a poorly packaged set of proposals. I can't see it having a chance of passage, although a few "Reform City Hall" lawn signs have cropped up over our way.

Reform City Hall? I thought Sam Adams was going to "shake up" that building. As the kids say, ROTFLMAO.

i don't see a clear benefit to either current alternative.

what *does* confuse me is--why is it automatically considered "too much power" for the mayor to have sole decision-making power on specific issues?

from those opposed, i haven't heard an alternative for fixing the chronic problems that exist in the current system other than "yeah, it has flaws."

i keep reading the same arguments in opposition, which seem ( i think) to boil down to worries that the mayor would rub his/her hands together in glee and proceed to destroy the city.

what i'd like to see is a strong argument *for* the current system--why it deserves preservation. saying it's good because the current alternative is "really bad" isn't a strong argument.

and--given the current state of affairs in Portland, i'm hard-pressed to to find that strong defense of the council system.

As someone who works for the Federal Government, I can confidently say that adding layers to the system, ie. an Administrative Officer, in the name of increasing accountability and efficiency won’t guarantee either of them.

what i'd like to see is a strong argument *for* the current system--why it deserves preservation. saying it's good because the current alternative is "really bad" isn't a strong argument.

Excellent point. Now sit back and think about why Bush won the popular vote in 2004.


Excellent point. Now sit back and think about why Bush won the popular vote in 2004.

fraud?

Fraud...No. Because the alternative was worse.
But I do have to agree with you on all the rest of your points.
For me its removing amateurs from running multi-million dollar bureaus and turning that part over to a professional who can be fired for poor performance.

By the way, the Parkrose debate is being rebroadcast on CH 30. Times at:

http://toomuchpower.org/2007/04/24/catch-the-tom-and-randy-show/

Thanks, Chris. We'll pop some popcorn.

Under the current Charter, 4 of 5 Council members must vote to declare the land surplus, then 3 of 5 must vote to sell it to a particular buyer at a particular price.

I thought it was the other way around. 3 of 5 to declare surplus (a simple majority), but 4 of 5 to actually sell (a super majority) -- the premise being that it should be (1) easy to undo a declaration of surplus and (2) very difficult to actually sell something.

Yeah, current Charter on sale of surplus property: "Favorable vote of at least four-fifths of all members of the Council shall be necessary for any ordinance authorizing such sale, disposal or exchange."

It's the designation as surplus which only requires a simple majority (although I don't recall offhand if the rules ar slightly different on designating park land as surplus).

But anyway, yeah, the bit above which your reader tries to use to make it seem like Randy didn't know what he was talking about is WAY out of context. He made that argument in the conteext of a mayor, under the new proposal, no longer needing to get a 3/5 vote to declare surplus AND a 4/5 vote to sell, but only the 3/5 to declare surplus -- and then the mayor could do what he wanted with the property with no further Council action.

what i'd like to see is a strong argument *for* the current system

The problem is that there's no time for that discussion, because Council stupidly fast-tracked this particular proposal to the ballot.

In that context, the burden of proof rests upon the proponents of change. They have to show that their idea is better than the current one. And the reality is that even if one supports, in theory, "strong mayor", this particular proposal is brimming with flaws.

Why isn't either side buying ads on my blog?

8c)

I use to be a long time resident of Portland and I always believed we had too few council members. Portland has always been made of districts Linton, Kenton, Sellwood and West Hills. S at the least the council should be made of representation from more than the elitist Hollywood-West Hills people. North Portland has been sorely disenfranchised for ever. Want better government open the city council to more represented government.

I don't understand all the concern about "concentrated" power. As it is Sten can go after PGE, Leonard can declare biodiesel to be holy water, Adams can build streetcars, Potter can vision, and Saltzman can choose the size of a big pipe. All with absolutely no oversight.

And, if anything goes wrong ... It was the other bureau/bureaucrat's fault. I've never seen a mea culpa among any commissioner ever. Sten blamed the water billing fiasco on some bureaucrat. SoWa was blamed on bureaucrats too (who now work for Homer Williams).

It sounds like a confederation of fiefdoms where any mayor-to-be or governor-to-be can try out his or her next harebrained idea.

Really, can it be any worse?

Makes one want to vote out all the clowns. Is that on the ballot??

fraud?

Well, the NY Times had a front-page story a couple weeks ago that said there has not been any fraud. So Im thinking not.

b!x elocuted:

The problem is that there's no time for that discussion, because Council stupidly fast-tracked this particular proposal to the ballot.

In that context, the burden of proof rests upon the proponents of change.

i agree, it was stupidly fast-tracked. there *was* time for alternative proposals to be prepared for the ballot, however.

who will put forth a ballot proposal afterward that mandates reform of the Council system? Jack?


There are two charter changes that Portland badly needs: term limits and election of council members by districts. I could care less about the rest of it.

For me its removing amateurs from running multi-million dollar bureaus and turning that part over to a professional who can be fired for poor performance.

Actually, professional managers (bureau directors) already run City bureaus, in terms of day to day operations, and they can be fired for poor performance. It's a misleading argument of the pro-reform folks who say that the Commissioners are "running" the bureaus, as though they're walking the cubicles every day, reading memos from staff, and making management decisions.

What the Commissioners do is make policy decisions for whatever bureaus they are assigned. The only change under the strong-Mayor system is that one politician (the Mayor) will be in charge of all the bureaus, rather than five politicians divvying them up. The CAO will report to the Mayor in exactly the same way that bureau directors currently report to commissioners, so I fail to see how this puts the City under the management of a "professional" any more than the current system. A politician will still make all the big decisions. . . and if that politician is one of the current Council, you're going to get the same bad decisions with even LESS oversight.

KISS, when I get around to it (read: when finals end), I will post a graphic from a great talk at Reed on precisely that topic.

In brief, when compared to the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country, the "smallest representation unit" (citizens / seats) is larger in Portland than any other city by a HUGE margin. I mean HUGE.

This is what makes the debate over campaign finance reform (for instance) so wierd. We elect city commissioners in districts that are LARGER than our congressional districts, yet we have this notion that limiting spending to 125k is somehow "good".

By what token? If a typical congressional race takes $700,000 to inform a 600,000 electorate, why do we think that a city commissioner race (which is, after all, a much lower profile office) is sufficiently funded at $125k?

Yet, at this talk, a city official argued that the current spending is even too high and needs to be lowered further.

paul, i've got a crazy idea.

let's limit campaign contributions to ZERO. then, let's provide a free, cheap-to-create public mechanism(s) that all candidates must use to get their word out.

imagine that. disallowing those with the most money to have the best chance of getting their pet candidate (or themselves) elected.

but of course, nobody can imagine that. so, government is largely bought, sold and shaped by the moneyed, despite vehement claims to the contrary.

the emperor has no clothes.

May 15th the Mayor is asking us to vote for the 7th time since 1913 on a historic change to our City Charter that will result in further centralization of city government, and I haven't even received my ballot in the mail yet!!!

It is my firm belief that more transparency and community involvement and oversight in the government process is needed and desperately so. At least the existing system has a checks and balances factor (however flimsy).

With his current track record, I do not believe the Mayor makes a reasonable case to ask Portland’s citizens to vote for a change to the City’s governmental structure. If anything, we need more community access to our elected commissioners. So when it comes to the Ballot Measure 26-91, along with Commissioners Sten, Leonard, and Adams, former Commissioner Margaret Strachan, former Mayors Frank Ivancie and Bud Clark, the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, Portland Fire Fighters Local 43, Portland City Employees Local 189, and Laborers Municipal Employees Local 483, I will vote “NO”.

Jon,

From the NY Times article you quote: "Justice Department has charged only 120 people, most of them Democrats"

That the Bush administration and Gonzales' J.D. hasn't found evidence of fraud means little to me.


Sponsors


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

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
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: 96
At this date last year: 144
Total run in 2016: 155
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