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.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 19, 2010 10:15 AM. The previous post in this blog was Sewer till raid for bike toys continues to rile Portland public. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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

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

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
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
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

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

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

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

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ring it up! Now Portland needs consultants for "planning"

How many "planners" are on the Portland city payroll? A hundred? Two hundred?

Then why does the city have to pay an outside consultant $75,000 to do "strategic planning" for the housing bureau?

Oh, and the housing bureau needs that special somebody to help it build a "brand." Are we running public housing here, or a chain of submarine sandwich shops?

Here's the money paragraph from the official amalgamation of bureacurat psycho-babble surrounding the bid invitation:

The City of Portland, Portland Housing Bureau is seeking proposals from individuals, firms, teams or consultants, hereafter called “Proposer(s),” with demonstrated experience in Strategic Planning and proposes to engage the successful Proposer for the following services:

Analysis: Review and synthesize data, planning work and community and stakeholder input gathered to date towards setting a community housing needs framework to guide the development of PHB’s strategic directions, goals, priorities and direction.

Public Participation: Conduct needed community and stakeholder engagement to fill informational gaps, validate assumptions and set a standard for PHB’s public process.

Strategic Plan Development: Facilitate with staff and stakeholders the development of a 3 year PHB Strategic Plan that will include the following:

- PHB Mission, Vision, Values and Priorities
- PHB’s Impacts:
- How will the community benefit from the formation of PHB?
- How will the new organization measure its improvement from past models and going forward?
-PHB goals, objectives, strategies, performance measures and deliverables.
- Programs: defined outcomes, goals, strategies and deliverables for our direct community investments.
- Influence: Strategies and outcomes for resource development, legislative agenda, community engagement and intergovernmental work that serves PHB’s mission.
- Community Equity: complete the process underway to define PHB’s vision for community equity and to set corresponding goals and strategies to achieve the vision. Proposed structure for PHB public involvement and advisory bodies.
- An organizational development critical path to achieve change.
- PHB Business functioning and community relationships: optimized to meet and exceed new objectives and performance measures.
- PHB Communications: Identify key strategies for establishing a PHB Communications Plan, including PHB branding work and Strategic Plan marketing and distribution.

We don't need to "market" public housing for the poor, any more than we need slogans and "branding" for Fireman Randy's water and building permit empire. And if we did, we have plenty of city employees sitting around blogging and Tweeting who ought to be required to get the work done. City Hall has gone so far off the deep end, it's gotten really hard to fathom.

Comments (20)

They are hiring 'Pro-posers' because the current city government is made up of 'Posers'

I wonder how many consultants it took them to create the proposal for more consultants. Perhaps I can be a consultant to review the consultants proposals that come in. This is just crazy.

Staff often hire consultants to cover their butts. Instead of putting your neck out there with some proposal, you get an "expert" to say it. Then you point to the report: "Well, this expert says we should...."

(It should be illegal for governments to run any PR campaigns on the public. "The WES is a success!" No it's not, and you shouldn't be able to spend my tax dollars targeting such a lie back at me.)

This is just insane. There are already agencies involved in this work. This new proposal isn't going to help them or even consolidate or get rid of them and absorb their work. What IS the "mission" and "vision" of this newly proposal boondoggle that makes it any different or efficient?

I see nothing but a lot of buzzwords - sound and fury signifying nothing other than that we are once again going to spend a lot of money to decide how to spend a lot of money.

Don't get me wrong - we need a sensible, affordable homing system that will cover the problem and we don't have anything close at the moment. This doesn't sound like a solution, at least as described.

So stupid. Especially considering that bureau (and others) may be facing layoffs.

Back-n-fill. Next argument is that PHB is so busy with farming out make-work that they really need to hire more people.

Hayek was right about planners - It is the end of freedom.

Snards doesn't want the government to tell us anything, ever.

Good plan.

We were suppose to have a chance to vote on "voter-owned" elections this year, that would be 2010. But I haven't heard one peep out of cityhall about following up on this verbal committment. Water and Sewer rates include funding of some $150k, or there abouts, for "voter owned" elections. The funny thing is Fritz got elected with the aid of these funds, and then turns right around and effectively stabs water and sewer ratepayers in the back by approving more use of water and sewer bills for "pet projects" as Tracy of PURB (Portland Utility Review Boad) called them last night.

Sounds like good work if you can get it. How does one become a city consultant? I mean other than via the Mayor's pants.

Part of the housing bureau's job should be to keep some parts of the city seedy enough so that the housing stays affordable. It's not as exciting as dealing with consultants, but it would help fulfill the mission.

Looks to me like the bureaucrat who wrote the request for proposals could do the job.

I wonder if anyone thought of that?

There could be several available to do the job and they talk around the office.
Joking about how stupid management is to be subbing this out.

But none of them feel compelled to say or do anything, so they just follow orders and go home at night as happy bureaucrats.

Or Prodophobes: People who are afraid of production.

Note that the purpose of community engagement is to "validate assumptions," rather than "challenging assumptions." This is what happens when agencies get so caught up in process that there are no competent employees to do real work. I feel like I'm paying for a big social experiment where my local government hires incompetent women, black people, pretty people, and gay people, and then nobody in the whole ship knows what the heck is going on. All they do is come up with extraordinarily wasteful ways to blow money, or lame pleas like this for outside help. Psychobable screams incompetence. I read this as "please let us pay you to screw us over."

Nothing new -

Rod Blagojevich
Timothy Geithner
Dan Saltzman
Henry Paulson
Warren Harding

are/were all straight, white men who were major f... ups. Gender, race, orientation have nothing to do with competence. Quit whining and ponder this. Within 50 years, Hispanics will be the majority in this country so lose your attitude while you can.

nothing new - Excellent point re: the distinction between "validate assumptions" and "challenge assumptions." As you mentioned, it reveals something significant about the mindset at the CoP.

Jack's comment:We don't need to "market" public housing for the poor, any more than we need slogans and "branding" for Fireman Randy's water and building permit empire.

Well, suppose they think they may need to “market” public housing not just for the poor, but for the middle class now too.

The reason I bring this up is that years ago after a meeting in Central Library, I had a talk with Rex Burkholder about my dismay regarding some “affordable housing units and density”. He said to me that this is not just about housing for the poor, but will be for my children and grandchildren. I answered that I did not think that this is what we had in mind for the American dream! Apparently though, it must have been be on the mind of some. I remember this as it was jolting for me to hear this especially years ago. It now makes me wonder how far ahead some were planning and deciding how and where we should all live.

Consultants may be needed then to brand this so we will think it is a fine idea. After all is done, who will be able to afford housing "as we knew it" especially if the council drives us over the cliff financially? Citizens may be taxed out of their homes and moved into these public housing units. Subsidized housing for the masses and why?

I sure hope I am wrong about this, but one has to wonder what they are up to after what so many of us have witnessed.

By the way, pay attention to the words on the subject of housing and how they are arranged. Housing that is affordable is not the same meaning as when the city advocates for "affordable housing". It is confusing when city says we need more affordable housing when if what they are saying is that we need more public subsidized housing. The trend then has been to replace housing that was affordable with "affordable housing". . and here is where I began - with what are the plans, to put more and more people out of housing that was affordable into "affordable housing"?

Shore, I agree with you, but you picked the wrong word in your sentence. Instead of "may", you really meant "should," didn't you?

A bit more seriously, there's actually a tiny bit of light at the end of this tunnel. As a general rule with state and city government, you only start seeing this sort of stunt when the mayor or governor realizes that s/he's screwed up so badly that there's nothing to lose. Sam's got, wha, another 2 1/2 years left before the electorate finally boots his butt out of the mayor's office? Then that's two and a half years where he can hire as many college buddies, high school classmates, and political sycophants as he can. That's two years of blogging and tweeting for all of them, and maybe more if they do a good enough job of hiding that nobody notices them for a while.

At this point, Portland becomes a real city, just like Chicago or Dallas. Barring a real recall effort, or criminal charges where Sam's frogmarched in handcuffs by the FBI, it's going to be nearly impossible to get rid of these parasites quickly. Even with a citywide audit pointing out the number of employees who "work from home", you have to figure that someone will have to make the decision to let the little darlings go, and their superiors won't want to take the hit for not saying anything sooner. The new mayor in 2013 probably come in knowing that Sam's stripped out everything that wasn't nailed down, stripped out everything that was, stole the nails, and managed to lease out the nail holes. If someone else points out that one department has no clothes, then that person is immediately subject to attack from others wishing to distract from their own overhiring issues. Best of all, not only will all of these consultants get anywhere from three to ten years on the payroll, but they'll then have a great reference on their resumes from "The City That Works".

Don't think that I don't have sympathy. I really do. We in Dallas are currently facing the likelihood of half of the city's residents having to buy flood insurance: while our previous mayors were bending over for Ray Hunt of Hunt Oil and the A.H. Belo Corporation in financing a new stadium and new bridges and that horrible 2012 Olympics bid, the levees that keep the Trinity River from flooding the city were allowed to get into such disrepair that the federal government probably won't cover any damages when the levees fail. We're in exactly the same boat, with a mayor who's too busy showing off for television cameras to do his damn job. $6 billion in debt versus getting washed into the Gulf of Mexico: that's a tough call as to which is worse.

Jack - PDX needs consultants for everything - their leadership is a group of idiots...I'd rather have competent private sector consultants calling the shots than sam and randy....could the private sector actually do worse?

Erik Sten never "branded" the Housing Bureau. Nick Fish is all about Nick Fish. Better to spend the money providing actual services to the homeless.

Texas Triffid Match --

No, I didn't mean "should." Not for staff anyway. The insane ratio of managers to staff... that's a different story. Ditch some managers and keep the workers going.

Never seems to work that way, though.

Sorry. *Ranch, not match.


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

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: 113
At this date last year: 155
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