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Monday, November 15, 2010

In case you missed it

Late Friday, we learned that the Portland leaf tax has fallen apart.

Comments (8)

spent a lovely saturday morning cleaning up the street in front of my house and three neighbors. They cant afford this darn tax any more than I can. It felt great.

I feel a bit sorry for the faceless bureaucrat(s) who undoubtedly were the targets of one of Sam's signature tirades over this, since it made him look bad.

On to the next Sam Adams debacle.

Call me cynical, however, I have a suspicion that this whole leaf debacle is a ruse.

Adams is the queen of lying to the constituency in order to manipulate public opinion.

It's not too far a stretch to envision Kaufman and Hibbitts putting their heads together and conceiving a way to gauge public reaction to new taxes.

Consider this a false flag victory for the people of Portland and more of a "dry run" for the next round of Muni bonds and/or Urban Renewal whatever.

I know it borders on "conspiratorial" giving Adams and his crew this much credit for smarts -
- however - he IS still in office.

I have a suspicion that this whole leaf debacle is a ruse.

Eavesdropping through your fillings again, Ms. Mith? (All seriousness aside, I'm impressed that someone would think our City Fathers capable of such convoluted action.)

"All seriousness aside, I'm impressed that someone would think our City Fathers capable of such convoluted action."

I agree.

Can't have it both ways.

Either A or B, not both:

A: Sam and his twin Randy are Village Idiots, incapable of doing much of anything right, and totally proficient of screwing up even the most basic municipal chores.

B: Sam and his twin Randy are political wizards with Rove like powers of genius to manipulate the public into anything and everything their masters want.

I vote for A (Village Idiots). But if I am wrong, then that Evil Genius Sam faked me out with his Beau Breedlove head fake, and that masturbation while driving and wrecking his truck in the parking lot. Pure genius.

Re: "Call me cynical, however, I have a suspicion that this whole leaf debacle is a ruse."

msmith, et al, somebody in City gov't motivated many people to remove a lot of leaves from city streets -- at virtually no cost to the City. And to feel that they have bested City gov't in doing so. Clearly diabolical.

"The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation announced today that it has simplified opt-out requirements for customers in the City's 28 designated leaf removal districts. The change was made to minimize confusion and ensure that everyone wishing to opt out of the fee this year can comply."

But some confusion, it would appear, may remain. The City advises:

"Residents and property managers in the leaf districts will receive a bill after the final sweep in their neighborhood. That mailing will include the leaf removal bill, an opt-out application and affidavit form, and a letter explaining the program."


"Customers can qualify for an exemption to the leaf removal fee if they declare that they removed the street leaves themselves, they paid someone else for the service, or they have no street trees near their property and the trees in their yard do not drop leaves in or near the street. Customers must complete an application form and affidavit that the information they provide is true. No additional receipts or photographs will be necessary."

That is, you'll receive a bill for which you'll need to claim an exemption.

The City further advises:

"If a customer submitted an earlier opt-out application, they do not need to complete this new application and affidavit form."

But if a "customer" has previously submitted an opt-out application, then why does the "customer" receive a bill after the "final sweep?"

It would appear that there is ample room for disagreement between "customers" and the City. (Note the corporate model of the City with its customers inherent in the City's language.) And it would appear that a judicious "customer" should indeed assemble evidence to buttress any affidavit.

BTW, the mailing of the leaf tax bills appears to be separate from all other mailings, which raises questions about the management and cost of the mailing and all other aspects of "the first time the City has charged for leaf removal and street sweeping in neighborhoods with high concentrations of mature street trees, where fallen leaves clog storm drains and cause slippery road conditions."

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