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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The vision thing, now in paperback

Grampy's Portland Vision Quest project rolls along. Now there's a 16-page booklet supposedly summarizing and reacting to what they found out from the questionnaires that folks filled out. There's the inevitable followup questionnaire as well. For the big pdf file with the whole booklet, go here. For the short version and some other stuff, go here.

Comments (13)

I didn't see the part where they mention that Portlanders hold a strong belief that they need oxygen to live, and that it rains sometimes here.

Also, the majority of Portland residents believe that the US dollar is the primary currency utilized in cash-based transactions in Portland, and most likely will maintain this standing in the decades to come.

My favorite part: Apparently its going to cost more than originally planned and its not going to get done on schedule.

Cue Crosby, Stills, and Nash "Deja Vu".

I was thinking more along the lines of "Follow the Yellow Brick Road."

I was waiting for this to show up somewhere. It's been on the city website for days now.

I remember when there was a full-time blogging journalist in town covering these things.


I just got an e-mail notification about it this afternoon.

Thanks for the heads-up, Jack. Oh my. People, please complete the survey. It's not necessary to read the blurb before taking the survey, if you only have time for one or the other.

The very first question raised ny hackles. It asks us to rank the top two of many values. They are all important, and implying two have to trump the others is bogus. I left the question blank, and said why in the comments.

I'm going to have a nice cup of tea, and maybe sleep on it, before venting more. But to give you one example, do we really want a built environment in all Portland's neighborhoods which are a mix of "the reassuringly old and the strikingly new"? Sounds like the tram going over the historic district in Lair Hill, to me. Do we really want that mixture of old and new in Laurelhurst, Irvington, and elsewhere?

It is, like all camels designed by committee, strange to look at. and essentially, so general as to be meaningless.

favorite part of the "report" so far: p.14. when asked "What is the most important thing we can do now to help us
get to our vision of Portland in 2030? Please be as specific as possible", you're given--two lines.

in the end, here's what I really want: an articulation of Vision from our leaders.

not cornering wayward citizens at an outdoor concert and asking "Hey! what is your vision of Portland in 30 years?" (which was essentially one of the questions and how it was done.)

as this brochure shows, people wanted what they always want: fairness, a community to belong to and good leaders.

now, we have 21,000 pages of questionnaires to back that up.

now, instead of action in any form, they're "studying the results."

ahh, social science.

"People, please complete the survey."

Why? He'll ignore stuff he doesn't like and then handpick repsonses he does. Then he will order another survey, we don't need any more wasted time on this.

Instead of visioning, why not ask people where the problems in this city are today?


You are right on! I hate that Mayor Grumble Grumble is so concerned with 30 years from now...how about all of the problems RIGHT NOW!?

What a waste of time and money....

Why complete the survey? At this point, I think there may be value to the Vision staff and volunteers hearing from Portlanders if what they've proposed isn't "on track". Otherwise it may be fast-tracked to a conclusion that could be used to spend even more money on the "visions" of 25 years hence, at the expense of the here-and-now problems of today and next year.

Example: "a global leader in transportation...." is one proposed Vision. How about catching up with the rest of the world in having paved streets and sidewalks where people want to bike, walk, and push strollers or wheelchairs in neighborhoods? Considering the unmet needs, it might take us 25 years to achieve that goal, even if the City Council decided to prioritize basic services for all over premium transportation for some.

Why fill out the survey? I'll tell you the same thing I tell people who question the value of their vote come election time - "If you don't vote, then don't bitch".

Sure, they may take those surveys and use them as toilet paper. However, it's our job to keep telling them, over and over and over, that there are certain things we want for our city. Certain things we want our tax dollars spent on. Their inability to listen does not lessen our responsibility to speak.

$1 million for 13,000 questionnaires ($76 per form) from less than .01 percent of the city's population who filled out an open-ended, non-scientific survey that PSU experts say was difficult to analyze.

Okay. I'm still waiting for an explanation as to why information collected this way is suppose to yield any useful value to the city at large and be the basis of a strategic plan.

It would have been smarter and cheaper to just hand out a short scientific based questionnaire at a Blazers game during half-time. Would have saved $950,000.

The City of Bend used a cost-effective, scientific approach to gather citizen input for their 2030 vision plan.

Portland is just getting more of Potter's fuzzy feel good "public involvement" charade. I ask: Where's the public accounting report on the $250,000 in "grants" Potter handed out to ANYONE who promised to collect a survey or two?

If Potter doesn't invent reasons for surveys, how will the consultants make their car payments.

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