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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 28, 2011 10:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was Move 'em? Or lay 'em off?. The next post in this blog is It looks real. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, February 28, 2011

Move it on over

An interesting lateral move in Portland city government: The mayor's chief economic development staffer is leaving City Hall and heading over to the Portland Development Commission. Her name is Kimberly Schneider Branam. Yes, that Branam -- recently married to the colorful Portland City Council "clean money" candidate of a few years back. She's in her early 30s and got a graduate degree from Harvard less than four years ago. Before that, she was Phi Beta Kappa at Colby College and spent several years in the Peace Corps. She does not appear to have worked much (or at all) in the private sector.

More recently, Ms. Branam's been presiding over the mayor's economic development "strategy" -- the whole "cluster" business. Now she'll be part of the team under the car-hating new CEO of the PDC, Patrick Quinton.

Here she is offering a testimonial about a trip she recently took to Scandinavia -- no doubt on the taxpayer's dime:

You wonder how the PDC staffers who were passed over for the CEO job -- especially Erin Flynn, the PDC economic development chief, and John Jackley, the communications director -- are feeling these days. Probably not thrilled. Quinton used to work for Flynn -- now it's vice versa. Plus here comes a new kid from Sam's stable of beautiful, sustainable 30-year-old "senior policy director" types.

In any event, good luck with the economy, Portland. We are certainly going to need it with the pipedreamers in charge. Go by food cart!

Comments (30)

Or by liquor cart. Take a look at the latest Austin stupidity that'll be endorsed and encouraged in Portland before the summer is out:

That whole "Team Adams" thing is downright creepy.

I have a different take. The house of cards is collapsing and it's being turned over to the bigger, youner loons who will take the blame as they over reach and make it go splat.

Adams is nearing his chicken roosting time and his fallacies are unraveling.

The severity of troubles faced by TriMet, Metro, PDC and the lunacy of their cost burgeoning plans is about to face reality.

District heating and cooling. Can't wait for that one.

Hopefully the poor girl can invest in some concealer, mascara and shampoo if she is going to look like she rolled out of bed ten minutes before her important presentations....sorry it's the comment about Sam's stable of beautiful....types

"District heating and cooling. Can't wait for that one"

They tried that at the Beaverton Round and city ended up having to buy the whole system to keep it running.

I think they call that "investing".

It's amazing the people they keep getting to come play SimCity with our lives.

If they do it in Scandanavia, it must be good. Could be a new motto for the City.

Peace Corps huh! I wonder if she can help us dig wells or help us through the permitting process or both.

Kimberly said she went on an IsoStain tour What the heck is that? What are they staining?

Iso could mean the International Organization for Standardization. Is this Sam's continuation of Portland becoming the leader of the World, as his City Club speak called for? The New World Order.

I hope we are all looking forward to being Standardized like others in Ghana or elsewhere. Forget cultural, economic, religious, or the feeling "why do I want to be like you" differences.

PDC is mainly just filled with more planners.

This woman is a perfect example of a Portland bureaucrat. Young, booksmart, but without enough real-world experience to humble them about how much they don't know, or how limited the tools of local government really are to impact some of these things they're trying to do.

Portlanders have much too much faith in the local governtment's ability to take on every type of problem under the sun. There seems to be nothing beyond their purview. Cities generally do some pretty basic things, like law and code enforcement, parks and rec, issuing permits.

But in Portland, we expect bureaucrats to be able to "create industry clusters", or "build peace" through a human rights commission, or socially engineer the entire population into living in condos and riding bikes. Even if you believe these are laudable goals, why would you ever believe that the city government as the ability to meaningfully impact any of those things?

"Before that, she was Phi Beta Kappa at Colby College and spent several years in the Peace Corps."

So her whole concept of eco development comes from writing grants for subsistence farmers in the Sub-Sahara? - Maybe she knows the future of Portland better than we do.

Sam's putting a lot of warm bodies in cold places isn't he?

Go to Portlandonline click to Adams and then to Contact and Meet the Staff.

No bios on Mayor's staff except a short two sentence? No listing of their education, experience, etc. (is that information hidden somewhere?)

The Commissioners have this important information about their staff.

On Mayor's staff, we only have emails to reach them and then a list of their twitters.

On second thought, here is the link:

What do you think?

Sounds like we need a good dose of OXY-Clean down at Kiddie Hall!

Standardization, Smart Growth Planning - what happens to children growing up under these controls?

I do believe that CoP is actually in a major regressive mode.

Kimberly talks about "an innovative District Heating and Cooling" system. That is not innovative. She's too young to know much, or it wasn't in her school books.

In Portland's recent past we had a steam plant right where RiverPlace now exists. It provided heat/cooling for much of downtown Portland. But more "innovative" systems came along outdating the system.

Another "innovative system" was in the existing Pittock Block at SW Washington and SW 9th. The whole enormous basement had a steam/water plant that provided steam for much of the upper downtown area and into NW CoP. The plant is still partially used for the building itself, but "innovation" made it obsolete.

I wonder if Kimberly ever had a history class mixed in with all her sustainability classes.

I also wonder about Sam's abundance of senior advisers like Kim. Here she is a 30 year old "senior economic development adviser". How would you like to be thinking of coming to Portland with your little $10 Million dollar company that you've spent 22 years building and sitting down across from Kim and being asked:

"How many of your 13 employees will be biking and how can we, you increase their bike trips?";

"Will you sign a release that if we form a District Heating/Cooling District that you will join in an LID to pay for it?";

"We know your business is auto dependent, no off street parking is conveniently available. and you rely on on-street parking, but will you agree to support our intention to install bioswales on your two property corners eliminating 4 parking spaces?"; Will you.......

How many of us would hire a financial advisor (senior at that) that is 30, never worked a private enterprise job, and has a very narrow scope, an narrow agenda to their investment strategy? That seems to be Sam's staff, and a whole lot of the other commissioner's staff.

"She does not appear to have worked much (or at all) in the private sector".

PERFECT! She'll fit right in! Check book? Check book? What's that? Budget? Isn't that what you do to your dog if he's in your way? Where's my yurt? Oooooh...let's interface!

lw:.."Will you sign a release that if we form a District Heating/Cooling District that you will join in an LID to pay for it?";...

When this this whole LID affair begin and where? Am so weary of all this, and can see where business or anyone really would not want to do business here.

Good examples, and Yes, lw, history is important. That staff could use you as a consultant to educate them.

dg writes; "If they do it in Scandanavia, it must be good. Could be a new motto for the City."

Yup! Sweden uses a nationwide voucher system for their schools, has a half dozen alternatives for senior pensions and get this big one, a private company runs the transit, at least the buses, in Stockholm and a few other cities.

"When this this whole LID affair begin and where? Am so weary of all this, and can see where business or anyone really would not want to do business here."

Well, you do own the property to the middle of the street, but dedicate it to the city. In effect, they tell you what you can do, but to quote:

"Will the City Pay to Maintain or Improve Our Street? The City of Portland does not currently share in the cost of constructing streets or maintaining substandard streets."

Remember that next time Randy blows your property taxes / water bills / SDCs on a neon sign or a boat or a train.

"Team Adams" is another indicator of the unreality bubble that envelops City Hall.

I wonder how far Adams will move away after he's eventually pried out of City Hall? I can't imagine that even an ego the size of his could stand years of hearing "Hey, how's it going Creepy?" as he walks down the street. The other day, a friend told of how two full tables of men at CC Slaughters were making fun of him and how obnoxiously dishonest he'd been in office. They had a name for him that doesn't fit a family-friendly blog.

Then again, he loves the public sector teat more than life itself. Maybe one of the Future Fantasists of America he's embedded in worthless positions will help him get hired somewhere.

Or maybe he can rent a room from Vera.

""Hey, how's it going Creepy?" as he walks down the street."

Puh-leeze this is Portland. If Goldshmidt can cruise into Jakes with his hangers-on like nothings happened, then Sammy can walk in with his wing men into Silverado. That's why he's stuffing the bureaus with his own sycophants like Randy and Neil have already done.

Better yet, they can go on double-trolling dates together since they both will weigh about 300 lbs each pretty soon.

What I hear young Kim saying between the carefully stylized rhetoric is this:

"We're gonna F--- Up your city, Portland, and you're gonna pay for all of it."

Go by Streetcar! Or 40 percent bicycle, as Kim says.

Clinamen: Gee that is a depressing link to the Mayor's staff!
I know I am old, but nearly all those folks look like they should be running the food carts on 4th street...oh wait...they were running the food carts on 4th street last week!
As for LIDs and BIDs and all the rest of the scams, they started out small and have now morphed into juggernaughts of international enterprise organized and run by this outfit in Reno, NV called "The International Downtown Association". Once you read about those folks you will understand why I do not sign my real name. Those are some scary folks!
As for the children, in Sam's office I hope they are saving their salaries, as we can only hope for their unemployment in 2 years time.
BTW the Peace Corps is a worthy organization, but I seriously doubt if living in a mud hut in Africa or a shanty in Costa Rica for 2 years qualifies anyone to be a 'senior planner' of anything, at age 30 something. However, since the PCVs rarely have cars, so in that area Kimberly is perhaps qualified.
I am in a quandary as to which is worse; the likes of "The Don" Mazziotti and his group of crooks, or this bunch of idiots.

The Mayor's staff includes a "Director of International Relations"?


"Director of International Relations"?

Focus on the relations and think of all the international trips Sammy takes.

Why do you think he is taking all these trips? Looking for another place to land?

But just in case, as I have mentioned before, his Chief of Staff now placed into the Portland Bureau of Transportation by Adams is a way of getting ready for what so many of us hope is inevitable. Finding a place for some staff before he leaves?

Good insurance though in case he can't land a job in another place, to have that new Transportation Bureau Head find a job for Adams in that bureau. Perfectly plausible if another "insider" gets in and thinks that would be fine.

Then again, he loves the public sector teat more than life itself....

so he may be on our payroll for a very long time!

THIS (video clip above) is why my East Coast friends love to make fun of Portland.

The kinds of questions that Kim would be asking that I posted above are like those asked of Columbia Sportswear and Albina Fuel several years ago. The questions were slightly different to reflect their times.

And where did they go? Got the heck out of town to Washington Co. and Vancouver. People can take just so much. Other people can continue with additional examples.


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