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Friday, February 5, 2010

Forget that police killing. Look! Bike lanes!

Having sopped up some votes last week by pandering to the soccer children, this week Dan "Legend" Saltzman seeks to shore up his Portland City Council re-election bid by worshipping at the altar of the bicycle. He's actually proposing that the city pay for more bike lanes out of what it collects from residents from their already sky-high water and sewer bills.

I wish the grownups with jobs and lives would take this town back. Instead they're all tuning out or leaving, and the hipsters, construction goons, and condo weasels have their run of City Hall. Their harebrained ideas will all come crashing down at some point, and probably the sooner the better. It's sad to watch.

Comments (30)

All this extra money from utilities and so much to spend it on! What's a tax and spender to do?

Here's an idea: lower my utility bills.

"I wish the grownups with jobs and lives would take this town back."

AAAA-freaking-men to that. The kids are running the daycare here. And not one of them has ever held a real job that I can discern.

Saltzman's idea sounds like it runs afoul of the City Charter. The Water Bureau is supposed to be operated as an enterprise: It gets no money from the general fund, and it cannot turn over "profits" to the general fund.

Now, the sagacious man of steel wants to bugger all that to pay for ... bike lanes?

Uh, no thanks.

Saltzman is also pretending to grow a pair by calling for the grand jury record of the police killing to be made public:


I just get the feeling that some years ago, the liberal powers that be deemed Portland as their test kitchen for liberal utopian ideas.

What happens when all those tests fail. What is left of Portland?

Not much I am guessing....

mp97303, you might not pay attention to election results and such, but the "liberal powers" you bemoan includes the vast majority of Portland voters. we elect liberals to virtually every office for the simple reason that most of us are liberals. it's gotta be frustrating for conservatives, libertarians, etc, but the city isn't run by a strange cabal out of touch with the sentiments of average Portlanders. the people we elect actually do represent us. that's why we keep electing this type of person.

Couldn't the money be used to help fund future water infrastructure projects instead?

It's a sad thing to watch. Wonder who'll pay for these wonderful experiments when the businesses and people with taxable incomes are nowhere to be found....??

"but the city isn't run by a strange cabal out of touch with the sentiments of average Portlanders"

Actually, the average voter knows very little about the commissioners and they are elected, re-elected largely on name recognition.

Note the Oregonian article today where the "men on the street" basically can't say what Adams and the local govt have been up to.

the people we elect actually do represent us. that's why we keep electing this type of person.

Really? So you are ok with all the boondoggles, developer giveaways, and shenanigans at City Hall? Or do you just ignore these things because they are liberals?

Mmm hmm. And how will we notice these spiffy new bike lanes when they are covered by leaves and we can't spare the money for leaf removal?

Wow, there seems to be an inordinate amount of money spent on bike projects. Remind me again how big that budget gap was for Portland Public Schools. And how is all that seismic upgrading for school buildings coming along? I guess these things just aren't sexy and European enough for the current crop of elected derelicts.

..."strange cabal out of touch..."
I know - our current overlords are so in touch with fiscal reality: Trams, 9% bond(20% higher then junk bonds) payments for MLS stadium. SoWa dist. $600m Bike transportation plan...

"I wish the grownups with jobs and lives would take this town back."

Well, back to where? It does seem that Portland REALLY wants these clowns.

Do you think Tonkin (a man with a job and a life) could get elected in PDX against a homosexual liar with niether? Or anybody sane against a deranged Fireman Randy who is in the pocket of the unions?

I wish the same thing you wish for Portland, but I think the majority is quite happy with things as they are... including the total lack of interest in any recall.

interesting anti-democratic tone in the comments. i didn't realize bojack was followed by that kind of elitist. interesting.

Nobody in the MSM reports the boondoggles or outs the weasels or describes the fiscal insanities for what they are. So to say that most Portlanders like any of it is nonsense. The MSM is beholden to the big money interests or in bed with them, so you will never see these stories that expose how mismanaged the city is.

The police thugishness gets through because of the "if it bleeds, it leads" principle and because PPB is obligated to give the MSM stories and has no advertising budget to speak of.

interesting anti-democratic tone in the comments. i didn't realize bojack was followed by that kind of elitist. interesting.

Versus the brand of elitism practiced over at BO?

But seriously, what's "anti-democratic" in the tone or anything else of these comments, t.a.? I'm looking real hard, and the best I can do is that they criticize the current powers-that-be. Therefore presumably, because they were democratically elected, it is then anti-democratic AND elitist to disagree with them? I don't get it, please explain.

As an aside, I find it INTERESTING that a "progressive" blog such as BO, rarely if ever comments on the whole out-of-control cop situation in Oregon, and Portland in particular.

I am not an elitist but I want all the commissioners voted out of office!

It is not "democratic" to passively accept bad governance. If democracy is not about the contest of ideas, it is not worth having. Nobody here is obligated to like or even assent to Saltzman's illegal proposal for redirecting water bill $$ to bike lanes just because he won his last election or because bike lanes are popular among our many contemporary sufferers of prolonged adolescence. (Who cares what the school dropout rate is as long as we get bike lanes and organic beer!"

Nobody has accused Gandhi of being anti-democratic. Quite the opposite. Yet it was he who said, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

In any case, if fiscal responsibility and careful management of public dollars is out of fashion, I don't care. I reserve the right to shoot my mouth off about it. Not just because my dollars are among those being misappropriated, but because every citizen has a right to their opinion.

BTW, aren't the city's BofA weasel friends getting indicted this week or something?

"out of what it collects from residents from their already sky-high water and sewer bills."

Whoa, I thought they couldn't use Water/Sewer fees for anything, but Water/Sewer! This is so depressing.

Great Leader and Dear Father Kim Jong Leonard realizes that his remaining profit center is water & sewer - Get ready.

"interesting anti-democratic tone in the comments."

You mean Portland City Council?

And to restate the obvious, this city already has streets everywhere. As a long-time cyclist I feel that motorists are generally pretty good about sharing the road and I can pretty much go wherever I like, whenever I like. If the city is serious about improving the lives of motorists and cyclists alike they would get serious about maintaining the streets we already have.

This is all about a very small group of activists with a very narrow range of interests focused and pushing policy and money in their direction. Man, that IS democracy. And people that don't like it have to organize and push back. For real.

Is it just me, or does Portland's city government remind you of one of those gaggles of kids in every neighborhood who would suddenly organize everyone for a rousing rendition of the game "Let's put on a parade," and then throw tantrums if anybody suggested anything other than what they wanted to do? I know every city has a certain amount of this, but it's as if the mayor in particular is getting inspiration from the hipster goons on Alberta.

I asked the very same questions posed early in the responses. What has actually been proposed would be that excess utility taxes would be siphoned off into a bike fund. (Yes, both Water and BES pay into the City Utility fund, which also gathers taxes from the other utilities in town.) The funds from the Utility License Fee go into the general fund, to be used for anything that the General Fund pays for (pretty much everything in the city except Water and Sewer, which are in their own enterprise funds, as noted earlier.)

This would operate, as I was told, similar to the State Income Tax kicker - forecast that 50 million would be collected by ULFs, and if the number came in at 52 million, the extra two million goes into the bike fund. Of course, the City would never manipulate the numbers . . .

Great to hear you're getting paddle boats out west!

Nigel Jaquiss has offered on the WW blog this evening a condensation of the State of the City speech proffered today by the alleged, divisive, secretive mayor of our city. One of three new CoP funds mentioned by the alleged mayor is:

"3. A $2 million scholarship fund for struggling students to attend Portland Community College or Mt. Hood Community College. During his speech, Adams did not address the source of funding for this proposed program. But he later said it would combine private money and money from the bills of water and sewer ratepayers."

There would appear to be many reroutings for the monies water and sewer ratepayers had thought we were paying only for the water we use and Mr Marriott's perpetual employment.

The Oregonian published a softball article today, suggesting that the second recall effort was doomed because people have forgiven the mayor for his sexual indiscretions . . . as though they were the main - or only - reason for the recall and the only thing he was doing wrong.


Commish Dan,

There are miles of antiquated sewer and water pipes in the city of Portland.
Many aged and frequently rupturing sewer pipes are located in the West Hills stream beds resulting in many sewage spills in the watershed and DEQ fines for the spills.

The troubling part is that you, Commissioner Saltzman, haven known about these infrastructure problems for years.

Unfortunately you have long ago adopted the Vera Katz approach of gross negligence and continually choose to misappropriate city revenue.

Your abuse of your fiduciary responsibility is official malfeacanse.

The fact that you share that malfeasance with several former and current council members is no licence to do so.

Perhaps this is known, and I just missed it. But I found out recently that the citizen group, Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) receives funding from the sale of license plates in Oregon. Since when do we fund private groups of this type? Did you know that the BTA get to vote on actual policy with the Council?

The Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) is an appointed group. However, they are anything but an advisory, and have unilateral authority over certain planning policies. This group must be disbanded, and Roger Geller needs to be banned from city employ. I'm convinced he's misappropriated funds aimed at helping the poor too, by diverting these funds into his pet-bicycle projects; and then painting the theft as helpful to the poor based upon the notion bicycles help poor people. A specific example is a Federal grant made available by the Obama administration to address transportation issues for the poor. These funds were meant to be spent on bus passes, and programs like the Cash-for-Clunkers give-away; and went to bicycle groups instead.

Bikey-type nepotism is rampant at city-hall, and they've set up a virtual minireplublic on its steps. Opposition to the pillaging of the auto infrastructure are categorically barred from the dialogue as a result. I've been saying it for months and months. Roger Geller is public enemy Number 1, on an ego maniacal rampage.

Here's one for you JB. There is a BikePortland.org link on a PPB page, within the portlandonline.com site. It's listed there as the arbitrary result of content for that page being pulled from IRL media, like a paper-brochure. Nothing too sinister there. Alright, that link has $$$ written all over it. BikePortland.org is a private, for-profit site, and that's a city link to a resource on the site. In and of itself, no big deal. However, that link is a hit-funnel, number one, and it is also a tacit endorsement by the city, of that website.

I started a campaign to have my website listed there. My position is that it is not legal for the city to have the link there in the first place. As a link to a private, for-profit business it's the only one of it's kind on the entire site too. Furthermore the media from whence it came is BAC lit, and there is a relationship between Roger Geller, and Jonathan Maus, BikePortland.org's editor in chief. That's a conflict of interest, and a half. I wrote extensively about this on my blog, and it was the authorities position too, that they do not usually allow links like this for the same reasons I've stated here.

I found out that BP did not have to apply for this benefit. I found out there is no application process for this benefit. At that, I was denied even a consideration for a link of my own, presumably due to the nature of the content on my site. This opens the door to a 1st amendment issue, and that's the tack I've most recently taken.

As an area blogger do you share my feelings that this site is receiving a publicly funded benefit? If so, would you like to have that benefit? If so, would your being denied that benefit upset you? How do you like BikePortland.org being singled out for a benefit you and I may not even apply for?

The bikey-regime is running amok down there, and they are vulnerable as hell in a lot of ways. Picking off Geller would break up a lot of nepotism, and disbanding that BAC more of the same. Also too, extricating the BTA from any role in policy-making is highly recommended.

Here is a link the the portlandonline.com/PPB page I mention:
Observe the 'Take Action' heading.
And here is a link to the whine-fest on my site:

bojack for Mayor!!!!

When I got a ticket last Summer I was given the option to attend a 'Share the Road' class and avoid the fine. The class had presentations from a Judge, a Traffic Officer, a Emergency Room Doctor, and a snotty little bastard from the Bicycle Alliance(who made us get up and stretch before he lectured us).

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