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Friday, March 12, 2010

Mission Creep Manor

One of the biggest problems facing Portland residents today is that several of the city government's bureaus are totally out of control -- particularly the water bureau, that cash cow milked daily by the commissioner-in-charge, Fireman Randy. The water bureau's now the landlord of property in Waterfront Park downtown -- property that has no connection whatsoever to the water system. Just because Fireman Randy decided that was the way he would do it. It's also running the enforcement of the city's mandatory biodiesel program, for no good reason. The examples of such mission creep are many -- an alarming number.

But perhaps the worst is this one. Now the water bureau is going to sponsor a demonstration project for eco-smart infill houses in the city's neighborhoods. We have a planning and sustainability bureau, we have a development services bureau, we have a whole development commission, but no -- the extra cash is lying around in the water bureau, and so that's the bureau that will sponsor the Boss' infill housing demonstration.

And even though no contractor wanted the work the first time they tried to start it up, they're now rejiggering the specs to make the "green" part less rigorous. Come hell or high water, Randy's going to get a sustainable palace that he can pose in front of. Maybe they'll torch it and he can stand on the roof, saving the children.

This is the way things are done back east, and in Chicago. The local machine bosses could care less about the niceties of the city charter and code. They just do what they want, and if you ask any questions, the fire inspectors (in Portland, also run by Fireman Randy, of course) will be all over you like white on rice.

Let's hope that Great Leader and Dear Father doesn't read another book this weekend, or Monday morning we'll see the water bureau blow some more of our water bill revenues (set to double over the next few years) on something else that has nothing to do with its legally defined job. And its crew of paid Tweeters can make up poems about it.

Comments (28)

Chicago, this bad?

Say it isn't so!

Randy "neon=art=neon" Leonard is trying to build his own Versailles here. You remember how well that worked out.

Greatest thing is that he'll piss away all that money on these projects and then when we finally decide what to do about the reservoirs, guess what? Nothing left - We need to raise rates again - Because we can.

Where the heck is the leadership at BES whose toes are being tromped on?

Our Lords and Masters are preparing a "Parks Levy," because the City just doesn't have the money for this core function. I might naively suggest instead a levy vote to decide whether or not to build Randhole's 'Greenhouse," $600 million worth of bikepaths, spend untold tens of thousands to train 'diverse' leaders to round up votes for them, Lord knows how much for the Lincoln Condos 'renewal' site, and so much more. But this would only be held after the vote we were promised on the "voter-owned elections." It would help if we had a daily newspaper that would look into these frauds, but they are too busy moaning about kids injured on slides (when their fat parents land on them.) Thank God for a limited life expectancy & the proximity of Washougal.

I wonder how many tons of concrete for lining underground tanks or covering open reservoirs that $300,000 would buy. Or tons of chlorine to clean deer piss out of the drinking water. Or miles of new water pipe. Or dollars in rebates back to ratepayers.

Ah, who am I kidding? Of course the money shouldn't be spent on such silly things . . .

Jack, how could you forget Randy's creep into designing and building crappers? Creeping Crappers, what is going on with this City?!!!!

I have a Portland address but don't live in the city. We pay about $70 a month for water and sewer services combined this time of year. Would anyone be willing to disclose what they pay for these same services in Portland on a monthly basis?

I'm beginning to conclude that Randy and Sam are turning into modern-day Caligulas. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia about Caligula:

"The contemporaneous sources...describe an insane emperor who was self-absorbed, angry, killed on a whim, and who indulged in too much spending and sex. He is accused of sleeping with other men's wives and bragging about it, killing for mere amusement, purposely wasting money on his bridge, causing starvation, and wanting a statue of himself erected in the Temple of Jerusalem for his worship. Once at some games at which he was presiding, he ordered his guards to throw an entire section of the crowd into the arena during intermission to be eaten by animals because there were no criminals to be prosecuted and he was bored."


I live in a 3 bed/2.5 bath house with two occupants. We have 1.6 gallon flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, Whirpool energy star ratedfrontloading clothes washer and dishwashers. Our bills have averaged $100 to $120 per month for the last six months, with zero outdoor watering.

The house is for sale if anybody wants to pay $500/month in property taxes to live on a potholed street the city will never pave. But the cops will write you a nice police report after the tweakers break into your house and car. Then they'll send you a bill for your new house alarm.

We all know there's a segment of the Portland electorate who "just love Sam and Randy"

Can one or more of you offer an explanation for this?

Are those people stupid, duped, misguided, ideologically screwed up, or corrupt?

Or am I and I can't recognize how swell they are?

I live in Portland but have Rockwood PUD for water service... I pay about $25 every two months for water. On the other hand sewer is provided by Portland and I pay about $105 every two months for it. (And that includes the discount for disconnected downspouts.)

So I pay about $65/month. I can only hope that the crap Portland charges goes onto the water portion of the bill so I get out of it. ;)


I wish I could offer an explanation, how I wish I could. It has even brought me to wonder about the elections. I hate to think that way, but the pattern in our nation's elections with machines is troubling, and I did observe in some detail what happened in Ohio 2004.

Since I am on the subject, you should all know that Kate Brown, our Secretary of State hired a a new Elections Director for the state of Oregon.
Click on your state and you can see that that State of Oregon has been placed on Black box Voting Watch List Aug. 09 due to hiring state elections director with history of obstructiveness to public observation.

Believe me, I think about what you brought up. Another reason may be that this all falls under the umbrella of corporate takeover. The media is mostly corporate owned and promotes corporate agendas and many people just do not know or find out when it is too late. Our media for the most part covers for these people. Some of us are watchdogs about this stuff and yet others want nothing to do with politics. I don't see that in a crisis time, that it would be easy to continue this avoidance.

Then there is the "insider" theory that has been discussed before on this blog.

Adams in my opinion is a hypocrite.I would advise his followers to look behind the curtain and see what he does as it doesn't match what he promotes.

Leonard, well who knows what happened to him? Many that claim they voted for him regret that they did. They say he is a changed man.

Whatever, good topic and hope more will offer their analysis.

Seriously asking this . . . can we not form some sort of protest? Truly, we cannot afford our water/sewer bill. Water isn't a problem - it's all the sewer add-ons that are killing our budget.

$20 million for bike paths . . . no prob, just use the Water Bureau's chunk of change.

How dare they have the audacity to talk about doubling our rates, yet the money we pay is being used for all sorts of tangential things that have nothing to do with water and sewers! Use the "reserves" to pay the water/sewer costs, and then rebate the rest to us!!

The last time they bid this project two contractors gave bids and as I recall they were almost double the budget.

You were lucky it was only double!
I can site many instances where the final costs were 7 or 8 times the original bid!
The last instance was the bus mall costs.
Go by street car, or tram or train!

Did I hear correctly: the Water Bureau wants to sponsor a visit of the Dalai Lama to Portland?

Randy and Sam remind me of that show Beavis and Butthead. Intelligence is not part of there personality. I use to work at BDS and I watched Randy place his cronies in our bureau and suck out money for nothing. When BDS ran out of money I lost my job, where I actually generated income. Randy's cronies got jobs at the cash loaded water bureau. It makes me sick to my stomach.
Randy only hires people who will kiss his a**. And as you can image that is one ugly image. I know that BDS will continue to decline until Randy and his cronies move on to kill something else. Let us hope it is not the water bureau or anything else that we all love in this great city.

I am only surprised the Dear Leader or Mayor Miscreant haven't shut off the water to Bojack Central or sent the HIT Squad to knock on your employer's door.

Mister Tee, you made me very happy that I'm not living in Portland's water/sewer districts. Tualatin Valley Water District's rates have also risen steeply in the past 4-5 years, but they're still much lower than Portland's. I hope they stay that way.

I have a Portland address and just paid my bill : $187 for three months. One human occupant, no outdoor watering in the winter, disconnected downspouts, only full laundry loads and I run the dishwasher about every 5-6 days. This being a family-friendly blog and all, I wouldn't want to say where Randy can put his eco-infill, but it would be more appropriate there than anywhere else around town.


Like I have mentioned before, there are conservatives and left thinking folks who agree on issues, such as financial responsibility and accountability, and want our constitution and rule of law, etc.
Labels such as R and D keep the citizens apart and on the personal issues, well, we need to work together on what we can agree on.

My last quarterly bill was around $320. That's for a family of four. I can hardly wait to see the bills this summer.

I am tempted to test the system by converting my only toilet to the latest super-ecocomposter, diverting all greywater to the grass, and telling the Sewer Nazis to shove it - my gutters already go to ground (hell, out here past NE 122nd, in the Occupied Territories, the dumbshorts who were talked into annexation were promised no downspout charge - Ha!) I'm on the well-run Rockwood Water, too, & I've been told by the PDX Waternazis that they're really mad they can't cut off my water to make me pay the sewer extortion. So if I cut off from the sewer, I stop paying! In the real world, jackbooted Sewerthugs led by the Fascist Fireman would be on me in a second. If my cancer comes back big, maybe I'll try it! (At any rate, I intend to send them a bill soon for the water that comes off their street, which I treat for them on my property - Taking half the street width [from the crown] to the property line, and the length of my road exposure, I take far more runoff from the City than my meager contributions from a single-person toilet - low flush - and conservative washing. Everyone without curbs can send a bill of their own!)

You technically own the property all the way out to the center line. The public just has a right-of-way.

Even where the road is dedicated? I'll have to check, but I think the city or county has title to dedicated roads.

For what it's worth, my deed & legal description of the lot say my property ends at the edge of the right-of-way. My street was originally a county road (ah, the good old days...) so it could be different where the city existed when the streets were laid out, but I don't think I own the street in front of me, & will prepare the bill for my services in handling the city's runoff - it should offset some of the bogus sewer charges. (In the Occupied Territories, we had perfectly functional septic tanks, but the City Planners decided one house on a half-acre is too much for our kind. The invading City insisted on sewers to allow an increase in density to provide a dumping ground for the people they found undesirable in gentrifying the inner neighborhoods - result, an explosion of crappy apartments, violent crime and Mexican gang graffiti. Rockwood, a pleasant single-family neighborhood in my youth, is now a slum. Thanks, Planners! Mission Accomplished!)

Maybe I missed something...why are the rates going up?

And how can there be $20 million available for the "bike vision" if they already have to raise rates?

Maybe nearly 500,000 residents are missing the story about why the rates are going up! Thanks to the O for zero investigative reporting on this, citizens need to do the research, be watchdogs and are trying to get the truth out to the rest.

Leonard and the water bureau, the Mayor and the rest for that matter are essentially getting away with way too much to write about here now. (See some earlier threads on the subject of our water) Corporations in line to getting millions can thank corporate media for keeping this huge story under the radar screen. Shades of "Chinatown".

If you are serious about not knowing about this and why we need to save our Bull Run Water System and Reservoirs, you can start by reading

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