Portland mayoral race is on; WW endorses Saltzman
Observers of the nervous breakdown known as Portland City Hall are wondering what to make of the latest news from that quarter -- that the mayor has reshuffled a couple of bureau assignments among the other city commissioners. "Legend" Dan Saltzman picks up the permit bureau and the cable TV bureau from Admiral Randy and Nurse Amanda, respectively.
The mayor's explanation of his reasons for the changes comes, like everything he says, with a presumption of falsity:
"First, there is additional work required of City Commissioner Randy Leonard to implement the $72 million fire and public safety technology bond, which he championed and voters approved last November. His tenure as Commissioner-in-Charge of Bureau of Development Services has been marked by historic service and efficiency improvements.Along with the moving out of several of the mayor's staff people into city bureaus, he's obviously up to something. And the best explanation seems to be that he's getting ready to run for re-election, and probably setting Leonard and Fritz up to do the same. The primary election, at which city races is often decided, is 14 months away, and the dialing for dollars has already begun.
"Second, Commissioner Amanda Fritz has completed reforms of the Office of Cable and Franchise Management that have improved the office's effectiveness, and significantly increased revenues to the City. Also, Commissioner Fritz has agreed to take on a significant new assignment. Portland's Equity Initiative will engage City government and community in changing the way the City does business, to better align with Portlander's values of increased opportunity for all. This will require extra efforts, working with our community to shape policies and implement the resulting work plan.
"Finally, Commissioner Dan Saltzman has stated his willingness to take on more work assignments. The assignment of the Bureau of Development Services is a very important and challenging assignment. Recently, BDS has taken the deepest budget cuts in the city while working to automate its services. And the Office of Cable and Franchise Management is a key regulatory platform to upgrade the technology available to our residents and businesses. I appreciate Commissioner Saltzman taking on these new assignments."
Meanwhile, the city's crusading (sometimes) alternative newspaper, Willamette Week, took the occasion of the shuffle to heap praise on Saltzman, their fair-haired West Hills prince. They reprinted their endorsement of him from two years ago, suggesting that Leonard is leaving the development services bureau as one of the "disasters" that Saltzman is often called upon to mop up.
It's clear that WW wants Saltzman to run for mayor, and if he does, he will get their backing. We can see their point. A normal person who spends decades studiously keeping his head down is probably a better leader than a person with deep personal problems.