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Monday, March 7, 2011

Portland City Hall cover-up on Hayden Island

The Trib ran a story late last week that suggested what many of us have long considered obvious: The City of Portland is totally behind the Port of Portland's plan to pave over wildlife habitat on Hayden Island for some sort of shipping terminal, and the public process being conducted on the proposal is an utter sham. That proposition is to yawn over, but more interesting was a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes skullduggery that goes on at City Hall when people make public records requests:

"My inclination is to hold him (the reporter) off for a few more days," wrote chief city planner Eric Engstrom in an e-mail to Amy Ruiz, the mayor’s sustainability advisor, and fellow city planner Joe Zehnder.

Ruiz, a former Portland Mercury reporter, concurred, writing July 16 that the reporter was free to file a public records request, "and it might take us a few days to locate the records." At the time, Ruiz and her colleagues possessed the document on an e-mail file and could have made it available in a matter of seconds.

Staffers for the mayor and planning bureau agreed they wouldn’t release the task force report to reporters until midday on July 21 – hours after Adams intended to release his compromise solution for the jobs-vs.-environment dispute. In effect, that would head off any negative publicity about the task force’s dissenting views.

City Hall staffers then began discussing how they could justify withholding a public record, if asked. In a July 22 e-mail to City Hall colleagues, Engstrom advised that withholding the report was not "an attempt to suppress information." Rather, he wrote, the city responded in a "reasonable time frame," delayed in part by "busy staff schedules."

Having spent many years dealing with state and federal bureaucrats, we can honestly say that the culture at Portland City Hall has become the sickest we've ever seen. But take one look at who's in charge -- it is not surprising.

Will our crusading state attorney general, self-proclaimed champion of the state's public records laws, take any action in this case? If he did, it would come as quite a shock. If envelopes of cash handed to witnesses don't bother him, little white lies by the Amy Ruiz types won't, either.

Comments (10)

Kroger is starting to look more and more like the crooked DA you see in made-for-TV crime movies.

“These are basically fake public processes that are meant to give the appearance of input.”

Sure haven't heard this before, huh?

Amy's Sustainable Advisor job is up for grabs now. She's been promoted to serve as Sam's Communications Director or something like that. In her tweet, she asks, "Want my wonderful job? Apply ASAP!"

Funny and sad how quickly and willingly Ruiz, a former reporter whose job was to help keep the public informed, went over to the dark side to advocate delay of public information. It's too bad journalism is in such decline, since many scribblers have no choice but to sell out like this.

With the putrefied City of Portland money and management permeating the "institutional" environmental groups, they continue to remain silent and sit on the sidelines of this worthy cause. Only Audubon has spoken up and it's hard to do this alone. Sad to see these phony environmental groups selling out to cash, abandoning their core mission statements for wine and cheese parties to make themselves feel good. Where are you environmental advocates?

Told you. Ruiz fits "Team Adams" perfectly: no genuine ethical or moral standards, no actual respect for the honor of public service, and no apparent clue about how profoundly wrong her attitude and actions are. Adams, however, knows exactly what he's doing, and his career has been one long act of careful, methodical equivocation.

Portlandia doesn't even need to hide any more! Where in the rest of the country, those involved, would be scrambling to explain, some resigning in disgrace. It is business as usual (yawn). Hardly even sells paper. Pass the rolling papers and the latest issue of Man-Boy...


These guys don't seem to follow the American Planning Association's code of ethics regarding public notification. Hmmmmm

I wonder if Beau Breedlove ever paid back the cash that Sam "loaned" to him.

That envelope of cash might have been enough to move the Mayor towards resignation. But not here with the "web of power" in control!

Now, those who are such Sam followers - how can you justify the hypocrisy here?

Sustainable Sam wheeling and dealing with West Hayden Island? Do you folks "get that" the reason to pave paradise over is why? - make room for cars to be imported from China by 2040? or is it for some other insane plan?

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