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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 24, 2009 9:08 AM. The previous post in this blog was The affordable-Pearl-District-liquor-store tax break. The next post in this blog is They can take away flavored cigarettes, but.... Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eat what you kill -- but at City Hall?

The Portland building permit bureau -- whatever Orwellian name it goes by these days -- is broker than broke, and that means it may have to lay off even more employees than it's already pink-slipped. It seems that the department's budget comes from the fees it charges builders, and since the builders aren't building anything these days, there's no money to operate the bureau. It appears as though we're going to have fewer inspections, more undetected and unremedied code violations, more neighborhood blight, less safety. Or maybe some new tax will be invented to cover the shortfall.

Meanwhile, funny thing, people are still using water. And so the water bureau has tons of dough. Read our blog! Try our Caesar salad recipe! Bus rides! Look -- a photo of our bumper sticker in outer Mongolia!

It seems crazy to us that that city bureaus' budgets depend so heavily on the levels of revenue that they raise. Here is one of the most left-wing city governments in the world, and it seems to be implementing a misguided version of the right-wing platform of "running government like a business."

Then again, the whole Portland commission form of government, with its revolving cast of Sim City bureau assignments among politicians with little relevant expertise, is straight out of Mayberry RFD. As is the practice of electing all the council members at large, with no districting. If the Arlington Club crowd weren't making a mint off the current system, they could probably get the public to change it in a New York minute. But they like it just the way it is, apparently, and so we have no choice but to go by streetcar, as it were.

Comments (16)

It seems crazy to us that that city bureaus' budgets depend so heavily on the levels of revenue that they raise.

Maybe City Council could institute a government-run gambling system, and use the proceeds to pay for health care? I mean, BDS?

And you can bet the folks at the Arlington Club are quite familiar with a New York minute.

The water bureau is a separate enterprise. It is not permitted to use tax revenues to subsidize its operations. By the same token, its revenues cannot be used to fund other city services. I'm not saying its right, that's just how it is (and has been for a long, long time).

If the Water Bureau has sufficient resources to engage in goofiness, I take it as evidence that water rates are too high.

The planning dept has been twiddling their thumbs for over a year. Layoffs are happening now only because they can't continue in 'make-busy' mode without drawing a lot more attention.
When can we expect to drop some dead weight over at the water bureau?

Maybe City Council could institute a government-run gambling system, and use the proceeds to pay for health care? I mean, BDS?

ECO, Creepy already runs city hall like a casino. Pay to play. Perks for the 'whales' and comp land for all the regulars.

Garage Wine -

The Water Bureau revenues are segregated solely because of the City Charter and a City ordinance, AIUI. The City can change
its Charter and ordinances.

Its not written in stone in state law or the risable state constitution/

Uh-oh . . . I better get that tree-removal permit in before they jack up the rates from the already-too-high $35 . . .

But we have to keep in mind that it is Portland voters who have the power to amend the charter to upgrade us from Mayberry to a real "big" city, and they have turned down multiple opportunities to vote to do so, including a chance just a couple of years ago.

"I take it as evidence that water rates are too high."

Plus the water went up 18% this year and sewer rates 5% a year for the foreseeable future.

Of course, they are awash in money if they can hire a no talent to make up blog posts about water and people holding "Drink Tap Water" stickers up all over the world.

"The City can change its Charter and ordinances."

Why would they do that? Then they couldn't use the excuse about money being dedicated for something and not usable for anything else at all - a la the streetcars?

Just keep in mind folks that San Francisco changed from Citywide election of Supervisors to District election of Supervisors years ago; and the cast of clowns at City Hall became even worse than it was in the past. Portland seems to be doing a first class job of copying all the goofy, financially bankrupt policies of San Francisco from what I can see.

While it is true that Mr Leonard has nothing about which to boast in his oversight of the two most prominent bureaus in his portfolio, surely it is our alleged mayor who deserves continued reproach for his abuse of the citizens of Portland via PBOT:

Our alleged mayor, clad in orange, plugged a single hole:

Perhaps someone living nearby will keep tabs on the longevity of our alleged mayor's patch?

It is my understanding that they would not have to layoff so many people in planning had they not have so much of their revenue siphoned off to pay for the sustainability department and a bevy of unproductive managers.

The commission form of Government emerged in Galveston, Texas at the turn of the century. Galveston abandoned it in 1960.

Portland is the lone big city hold-out for commission government in the entire country. Small towns still use it. And guess what! It's really popular in towns in Southern Florida! Croak, gasp, I need my oxygen, is there a network of connections between these facts?

Non-sequitor here, guess what I heard last night. Weirdest, wierdest, recall experience comment ever. We're at a trailer park at dusk. People are signing, their pit bulls are wagging their tails, etc. We see a slightly dishevelled man walking out of the driveway as we are leaving, I he a tramp, or does he live here? Hm. Maybe both things are possible..Anyway, we ask if he'd like to sign, he says "no thanks, it's not his fault that he's"... and he adds a word in a low voice I can't hear. "It's not his fault he's what now?" I ask, curious. (Thinking of course, he must have said "it's not his fault he's gay", just to add to my memory trove already acquired of such comments, to which I always snap a similar response-"Hey, I voted for the schmuck, so I'm not a gay-basher, I can assure you.")

But no.

"It's not his fault he's a pedophile", he replies.

OK then. Hey, it's utopia in Portland.

I wonder if the pothole Sam filled was the pothole he promised to fill in front of Brigadier General Michael Caldwell's house if the good general would serve as a "historian" in Sam's Chavez street renaming "process."

And, yes, Sam the Tram really did quid-pro-quo a the general's pothole in exchange for serving on the "Historian" panel. Sam and the good general joked about it in a Council meeting: "Ha, ha! We sold out our citizens over a pothole. See you in the men's room!"

MW, you're exactly right. Also, BDS funds were used to pay non-BDS expenses such as building leases and such. The work is there--inspections need to be made. But thanks to mismanagement, they just don't have the funds to keep paying the inspectors.


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
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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

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
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

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