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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 7, 2011 1:07 PM. The previous post in this blog was Sustainability, with ambition. The next post in this blog is Edlen now getting big no-bid work from Portland school district. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Transportation Sue is packing it in

Two years of the Adams administration was enough for her. Now one of Mayor Creepy's office boys (who rides a bicycle to work, of course) will be directing that bureau. Heaven help us.

Comments (24)

Heaven help us indeed.

Keil was an efficient, level headed manager who kept the worst of Sam's lunacies at bay. One that she stopped was the ridiculous notion of moving the Sauvie Island bridge for a bike bridge over the I-405 trench.

With Miller, we will need another ten million for the Sellwood bridge for skateboard lanes.

The nervous breakdown of a city continues.

Keil has just come off some major hip replacement surgery.

Health issues could also be involved.

Maybe this'll bring things to a nasty head faster and get it over with for everyone, sort of like lancing a boil.

Does Tom Miller know anything about the day-to-day operations of a city transportation department?

Don't bother to answer....

What's with Sam declaring that PBOT has done an outstanding job "despite significant financial constraints"? The tax revenue, the budget for the city has gone up for every year of Sam's PBOT Commissioner's reign. Even PBOT's budget has gone up every year. Where's the constraint?

Why don't reporters ever ask the obvious questions. At least they should go back to their desk and research and report the real facts. That is why this whole piece was just one of Sam's 30 staff PR outfit press releases-and not media reporting.

Looks like Sam is reward the loyal and making sure he has a legacy in Portland City Hall by "burying" political staffers in safe civil service positions.

Eminently qualified:

"Miller began as a volunteer for Adams' Portland City Council campaign in 2004. With Miller promoted to manage the campaign after the primary election, Adams rebounded to make up a sizable gap to candidate Nick Fish and won the seat."

Jason -

Fcats count.

Its not a civil service position.

Its been more than a decade since the charter was changed to eliminate civil service protections for bureau heads.

Ony the Water Bureau guy, Scharf (sp?) who was in the bureau chief job before the charter change, has any civil serbvice protections. When he goes, the next water bureau chief will be on the same. no civil service protections, level as the other bureau directors.

Actually, Nonny, it was Dean Marriott at BES. That's why Grampy couldn't fire him.

You are correct.

Thanks for setting me straight.

Still, the point is that Miller won't be in a civil service job. Serves at the pleasure of the commissioner in charge of the bureau.

What a disaster . Internally, transportation employees despise and disrespect Miller - replacing Keil is like going from bad to much worse. Bureau Directors used to be individuals who had experience and education in the field. Randy broke that mold when he hired his Chief of Staff David Shaff as Water Bureau Director.

Sue Keil was Potters pick, but she's been able to roll over, sit up and not speak. BES was delighted when she took this position and has stayed in the job just long enough that her Director Salary is exactly what she will be able to retire with.

So what's next? God help us residents.

This is not unexpected, but extremely disappointing.

Davi Shaff is not protected - he serves at will - it's only Dean Marriott and Yvonne Deckard ( mean and evil HR director) that are bureau directors grandfathered in.

All I can say is let's replace the Commissioner -in-Charge of Transportation in two years, then we'll see how long Miller lasts.

WW says that Miller is going from just under $100k to over $150k. There are precious few good-paying private sector jobs in Portland, but these dilettantes practically stumble into positions, and get paid like kings. For heading a bureau in a discipline in which he possesses exactly zero practical experience.

Must be a personal favor. I thought that was illegal, or is nothing anymore if you're an Oregon politician?

PWB Shaff's experience was being a good shill for his corporate engineer buddy who wants all the PWB contracts.

Mary: . . Bureau Directors used to be individuals who had experience and education in the field. Randy broke that mold when he hired his Chief of Staff David Shaff as Water Bureau Director. .

When and why would Leonard put Shaff in as Director of Water Bureau if Shaff had no experience in that bureau??

Doesn't sound like Randy should have ever been Commissioner of Water. This is too much of an important Bureau, our drinking water and the health of our community, to be playing games with our water and water rates as it looks like he is doing.

Apparently our "sustainable" Mayor likes exactly what is going on, or he would have taken the water bureau away from Randy.

Tom Miller is well known for his skateboarding skills.

Only in P-town would that qualify him to run the Transportation Department.

It's too bad we don't have a city sanitation department: Creepy's cup runneth over with staff who know how to wade through garbage.

Great - we'll never get another pot hole in this city fixed, but we'll have lots of bike and skateboard lanes.

In terms of budget - I believe the revenue dollars have been relatively flat - but prices for items such as asphalt, cement, etc. took big jumps in the 2005-2008 era. Thus the amount of roadway work that could be done, measured in miles, decreased.

He rides a bike to work? Then he's one of the 5% of Portlanders who do, apparently even in the winter (in contrast, out here in suburbia, I packed it in until March when it's light again at commute times).

And yet, according to Jeff Mapes' book, even Portland spends only 1.5% of its road budget on bicycle improvements.

Sort of puts things into perspective for all the bicyclist-haters out there, doesn't it?

And to counter the next inevitable argument, I drive a lot too, and pay gas taxes when I fill up. So do most bicyclists - due to the way our streets and cities are set up, it's pretty difficult to go through life entirely carless.

I don't mind spending part of my gas tax contributions toward making me safe when I bicycle, and I suggest that most other bicyclists who also drive don't mind either. And, as I calculate it, only 30% of my gas tax contributions are going toward road improvements aimed at bicyclists.

You don't actually believe that 5% of Portland residents ride a bike to work in the winter, do you? Please.

And I, I, I -- isn't that the biker mindset? It's not about you. Grow up!

Umpire, the CoP budget hasn't been "static" as you claim. Going from $2.9 Billion in 09 to $3.4 Billion in 2010 is almost a 20% increase. Did your wages go up 20% this last year?

Snards: "Miller is going from just under $100k to over $150k. There are precious few good-paying private sector jobs in Portland......" Sorry to bust your bubble, but there are many jobs in Portland that pay $100K to $150K a year. In the regional office where I work (retail banking) of the 15 employees, 11 earn $100k or more. Multiply that by hundreds of corporate jobs; that is why the average salary is $50k - $60K per year offsetting all those $8 per hour barista jobs. You may not want to admit it, but college grads with 10 years + make good money, even in Portland.


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