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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 10, 2011 8:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Piling up the bad karma. The next post in this blog is Blah blah PDC blah blah. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Change agents or paint crew?

The city charter review commission that Portland voters set up in a ballot measure election in 2007 is off and running, and it appears that the City Council is afraid to let it do its job. The review commission has the power to refer changes in the city charter directly to voters, without the council's approval, and like all control freaks, the council members are pressuring them not to upset all the pretty apple carts set up in and around City Hall.

Nurse Amanda has grabbed the reins and suggested that the commission stick to "housekeeping" measures, and the council has given the panel only a laughably small budget to work with, thus hoping to ensure that nothing will come of it. But it's not clear that everyone on the commission is willing to be limited in that way, and the folks at the Tribune are egging them on to tackling big issues. Former Mayor Tom Potter is also preaching that the group should adopt a broad scope for its work.

Will the charter commission take on the City Council and propose serious change? Here's the roster:

Steve Abel
Jeff Bissonette
Jan Campbell
Cassie Cohen
Ann Collins
Justin Delaney
Sue Diciple
Brian Heron
Rebbecca Kirk
Patricia Knoll
David Martinez
Bonny McKnight
Henry (Hank) Miggins
Lai-Lani Ovalles
Ayoub Ramjan
Shelli Romero
Tricia Tillman
Steve Weiss
Mark White
Anita Yap

Their biographies are here. Is there enough knowledge, independence, and gumption in that group to propose serious charter reform? With all due respect to the volunteer commissioners, we'd be more than a bit surprised -- but quite pleasantly so, of course -- if there was. There are no doubt a few folks on that list who either already owe somebody on the council a favor, or will eventually be asking the council for something besides a pat on the head. It's a small town.

And don't forget, Portland's idea of how to "shake up City Hall" was to elect Sam Adams.

Comments (13)

You need one of your on line polls again, Jack.
My vote is "no changes".

Also, not one person from the business community except the "Stranded" Insurance guy...who might as well be from the "gubbmint".
This is a total waste of everyone's time.

Good Grief, I just read the bios of the panel members and now I have a headache. It's like Policy Wonks on steroids. Why no ordinary trades people or service sector workers who simply enjoy a beer and darts after work? Throw in a couple of plumber or janitor types from outer SE to balance the perspective.

I've seen Hank Miggins at work on the Citizen Review Committee of the "Independent" Police Review Commission. I was not impressed.

I don't think I know any of these others.

It's a good thing the fourth estate in Portland is on our side and looking out for us...........oh, my bad.

Independence?

That is the key.

There are too many "committees" where maybe an independent one or two or what ever number are allowed, or types are selected that will in the end go along with the group, but the city makes sure that there are enough others who will bring city's desired results.

Even if per chance a "takeover" to redo the agenda, city will find some way to neuter or kill any such idea.

Is this group anything like the "independent" charter review comm for multnomah co? (the one that independently proposes an amendment to repeal county term limits every time it convenes).

I have been to a few of the public meetings and the group appears to be very independent and open to public input... despite Council's best efforts to:

1) starve them of funding - they only got $20,000 for public out reach

2) mislead to them about their scope of power by strongly recommending for them to focus on 'housekeeping issues' and promising them that two years from now they will impanel another group

3) lie to them about a 6 month life span to force any of their ballot measures to be on the Nov. 2011 (this group can last as long as they want)

I have to say that this group is very civil and open to looking at major policy changes such as - District Elections, Increasing # of Commissioners, Term Limits, Public Oversight of Utility increases, Adding accountability to PDC.... More so, they are looking to place charter measures on the May or Nov 2012 ballot.

What is really needed now for this group, is your public input, as the bureaus and Mayor's Office are already trying to overwhelm them with 'Housekeeping' issues.

The city has committed to getting them a website (still waiting) and never post their meeting times in the calendar, so you will have to call Fritz's office at (503) 823-3008 to get the time and place of the next meeting.

This group and is what we make of it, it may just be worth attending the next meeting to give your thoughts... because we already know what City Council thinks this group should do.

In their respective dealings with Multnomah County Animal Services (Director and 2008 task force facilitator), Hank Miggins and Sue Diciple perpetuated the status quo despite evidence that it needed to be investigated, aparently because they were told to ignore those raising questions.

The really small towns in Oregon are not this bad.

I read the bios first, then did the math that of the 20 people only 2 work outside of non-profits and government. Then I read the above comments.

Only 10% of the free enterprise, commoners are represented while CoP and others claim that only 25% of our city work for non-profits and government. If so, (which I disagree with since many private jobs, consultants are dependent on non-profits and government) then why aren't all our commissions, committees, URACs, etc better represented by the average Joe who pays the taxes and contributes?

Let's have better, fair representation; but I don't mean to disparage any of those serving on this commission.

Let's Play Mix n' Match--pick the bio of the charter person to the topic they will inveigh on. e.g. Susan Pearce-- 13.10.050 Animals Must Be Properly Shod.

Online Charter and Code of the City of Portland, Oregon
City Charter (Chapters 1 - 15)

Title 1 General Provisions

Title 2 Legislation & Elections

Title 3 Administration

Title 4 Original Art Murals

Title 5 Revenue and Finance

Title 6 Special Taxes

Title 7 Business Licenses

Title 8 Health and Sanitation

Title 9 (Repealed)

Title 10 Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations

Title 12 Air Pollution Emergency Responses

Title 13 Animals

Title 14 Public Order and Police

Title 15 Emergency Code

Title 16 Vehicles and Traffic

Title 17 Public Improvements

Title 18 Noise Control

Title 19 Harbors

Title 20 Parks and Recreation

Title 21 Water

Title 22 Hearings Officer

Title 23 Civil Rights

Title 24 Building Regulations

Title 25 Plumbing Regulations

Title 26 Electrical Regulations

Title 27 Heating and Ventilating Regulations

Title 28 Floating Structures

Title 29 Property Maintenance Regulations

Title 30 Affordable Housing

Title 31 Fire Regulations

Title 32 Signs and Related Regulations

Title 33 Planning and Zoning (PDF format)

Title 34 (Repealed)

http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=28148

2 out of 20 who are NOT from gov't and non-profits is quite telling.

This does not bode well for fixing systems broken or breaking. Naturally the city goes with this mode of operation...to perpetuate the system as usual.

More than one way to get “no real change”
- suggested that the commission stick to "housekeeping" measures
- the council has given the panel only a laughably small budget to work with

Amanda may not actually have been the “public candidate” many thought they would have when they voted for her to be Commissioner. As I recall, it was Mayor Katz who appointed her to serve on the Planning Commission, and in my opinion Katz would not appoint one who would not serve the agenda. Amanda may be personable, but tends to go along, thus causing some to be quite disappointed with their “publicly financed candidate.”

Merge Titles 4, 8, 10, 14, 19, 21, 23, 30 & 33. Then the "developers" could use the PDC & Water Bureau money to build multicolored mud huts around the Portland Harbor for the mentally ill, homeless, and shriveling working class. Go by handbasket! Or else they'll shoot you.


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