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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 24, 2010 8:33 AM. The previous post in this blog was The few, the proud -- the Bojack bumper sticker. The next post in this blog is Portland "spring". Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Mayor Creepy takes on emergency response

As the kids say, OMG. The Portland city auditor, who has done nothing but carry water for the Sam-Rand Twins since she showed up at City Hall, has suddenly taken an interest in the city bureau that oversees emergency response. And she says she doesn't like what she sees:

We found that the emergency management system lacks both a clear definition of roles and the strategic planning needed to focus limited resources on the highest priority risks. We also determined that many essential emergency preparedness activities are incomplete. However, POEM has made recent progress in some areas, including clarifying and defining operations at the City’s emergency coordination center.
Now, this wouldn't raise an eyebrow except for two things: One, the bureau is currently run by the mayor, whose tenure in office is itself a catastrophe worthy of a continuous 911 connection. And two, the mayor and Fireman Randy have suddenly found $10 million or so lying around to buy a bunch of real estate for an emergency "staging" site, which the city would purchase from The Oregonian (I am not making this up).

It's hard to believe that the auditor issued this report on her own initiative, or that it isn't designed to serve some nefarious purpose of the Twins, probably connected to their latest real estate scam. Or maybe the water bureau is going to wangle itself into the emergency management arena to continue its mission creep juggernaut. In any event, I admire but also worry about the front-line folks who work on emergencies. It's a hard enough job without having an unstable person as your boss.

Comments (20)

More bungling from the Twins!
I do wonder 'whazz up' with all this.
More moral problems for the people who actually work at city hall...so sad...

Maybe Mary Volm should have run for Auditor instead of Commissioner. Then she could have really blown the lid off of all these scams. LaVonne ran unopposed this time; having a competitor would have at least forced her to explain and defend her positions.

The auditor's office is an often overlooked opportunity to elect a change agent. Unfortunately the candidate has to be a CPA, so I don't think Mary would have been able to run for it.

An "emergency staging site" for his new fire speed boat? Let me guess, they're paying for it with water fees?

The report concerned the Portland Office of Emergency Management (POEM) which is not connected with the Bureau of Emergency Communications which handles 9-1-1 calls and is supervised by Commissioner Fritz.

Emergency staging site? Jesus Christ, if it's truly an emergency, you temporarily take over the parking lot at Conway or any one of the asphalt expanses on the west side. Or close off a street in industrial NW and set up shop there. Cost = $0.

Save money for pet projects, we don't need a 911 system. If there is an emergency just Twitter Sam and he'll handle it.

I skimmed over the report and as a person trained and involved with EM in the past, I would say it is a classic Portland SNAFU. It is ripe for political plucking. It's being set up for a "it's for our children" forced copulation.
There is so much wrong with it I don't know where to start. What is being said over and over is that it is a farce, has no power or authority, training or knowledge. It was set up to take federal money and make jobs and political appointments. The staging area purchase is an "Amy Ruiz" for the Big "O"

...So now the Oregonian will be a public-private partnership. A quasi-public agency like OHSU and Trimet.

And thanks to KPTV for so diligently reading the city press release word for word this morning without any critical questioning whatsoever, and pretending that is journalism.

POEM has 15 employees and they do what??
Of course there's the usually 5 administrators supervising the other 9 and tweeting. The other 1 is the PR person telling us how wonderful they are. All this for a $3.5 Million dollar taxpayer bill?

I know, we'll get shot down for analyzing and commenting on another city department.

Go to the WWeek archives and read about the Cascadia Subduction Zone. When we do get our massive earthquake, due any moment, it won't do a lick of good to have any staging area because none of the city employees will be able to get there. It will be everyone for themselves. Don't wait for emergency crews to arrive. They aren't coming.They'll be stuck under the ruins of their homes just like everyone else. There won't be a continuous stretch of road to travel on to a staging area either so it doesn't matter what side of town it's on.
And yes, Lavonne is just another minion for the twins. The timing and the amount of money on this land deal needs to get closely scrutinized. Particularly at a time when the O is hurting financially and not giving any objective coverage to city hall.

Quite a cozy deal with the city and the Oregonian. Watch and see how many Leonard cronies get jobs there now.

Don't believe a word coming out of the city now, all very carefully controlled and not for our benefit.

We have an emergency right now today - it is right in our city hall: driving over a financial cliff. Our officials won't think or don't want to think beyond their money schemes.

Let's face it, if we ever had an emergency, such as a natural gas fire along with an earthquake, there would be no getting out, we would have instant gridlock, how safe is that?

So, just keep adding more and more people.
By the way, perhaps fast subways might have helped, I doubt the slow moving light rail cars would. It is all mute anyway if power is lost.

It seems a joke with these people - even calling it a POEM.

Don't forget what an unexpected 4 inches of snow did to the City last December.

Maybe the Water Bureau should just park some vehicles on the West side - there's numerous City sites on the West side where the Water Bureau could lease a few parking spots from their fellow bureaus.

I've corrected this post to clear up a mistake I made in writing it -- unbeknownst to men, the 911 response bureau and the "emergency management" office are two entirely separate bureaus under two different city commissioners. More on that tomorrow.

What's the problem?? We need a place to park our snowplows, right? Oh, wait...

People, you need to think bigger picture than staging area - Think bike paths.

Besides the O could use the kickback money for some logrolling.

If there is a true "emergency" can't the city just take over the Lincoln High School field for "staging"? Rent out the Con-way parking lot short term? Field's Park and the three or four adjacent vacant blocks in the Pearl?

Why do they always have to buy or own property?

This is the notorious failed Costco site from 15 years ago, formerly the office and warehouse of U.S. Steel in Portland, with buildings designated as historic. Costco proposed to reuse the buildings for its store. The Oregonian enthusiastically endorsed Costco's proposal to save the buildings. A few years after the city council turned down Costco's proposal, the Oregonian bought the property and the historic buildings and promptly tore them down (proof that the businesspeople there don't read the editorials). Now that the Oregonian's struggling to get by, it needs to sell the property -- and where better to find a buyer?


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