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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sam Rand Twins changing their tune

Somebody must have taken a poll.

As we noted over the weekend, suddenly Portland's water commissioner and admiral of the fleet is posturing around as if he's a frugal watchdog over water bureau money. This after he's been exposed as a profligate spender who has blown sky-high water revenues on all sorts of pet projects that have nothing to do with the delivery of water.

He's up for re-election about a year from now.

So is the city's kooky mayor, who has abruptly seen the light and decided that despite his fondness for teenagers, he isn't going to pay for his proposed college scholarship fund out of water and sewer revenues. This after the city auditor has basically told him that it's illegal and he's cruising for a lawsuit if he keeps pursuing it.

These two fellows are such caricatures of petty municipal government that it seems incredible that they may get re-elected. But they are shrewd and practiced political operatives, and it's clear that whoever takes them on will be in for an ugly fight. And the many sheeple in the city are standing by waiting to be manipulated into voting for four more years of nervous breakdown.

Comments (16)

Two things to note:

*Amanda would have supported taking water/sewer money to pay for the scholarship program

*The program is still continuing (in modified form; it's my understanding that they have to hire 3 people at the Water Bureau to manage the program and the interns; those salaries are taken from the "scholarship fund", meaning less money for students). Taxpayers are still on the hook; we'll just be paying for it out of regular taxes rather than the artificial taxes of our water/sewer bill.

This is a feel-good program, but I can't see how it's part of the City's legitimate business.

Caricatures, yes, but their ours.

I am still not seeing a viable contender for either guy and its still better than even odds they'll get re-elected.

Keep Portland ignorant!

"I can't see how it's part of the City's legitimate business."

Simple, a 50% bump in water fees is about $40M extra revenue per year to PWB in the past two years. Sam says we'll give $500K of those ill-gotten gains to kids and the rubes will think its great.

Check out the water cooler kids' gossip mongering ...

We may have choice between Ben "Ban Everything" Cannon or a woman who wants accent equity for street signs.

Maybe Jules "Put My Name on Every Bill" Bailey will run to make it a progressive trifecta.

I'd really like to see Blumenauer run only because it would be popcorn worthy to see Sam the Scam try his dirty campaign tricks on the man with the magic bowtie.

You're right, Jack, they will be reelected, for sure. Now, think I'll go back to sleep-along with the rest of Portland.

I think this time may be different. Leonard has given us enough material to re-think his electability. The problem is there are enough phony morons lining up to replace these idiots that the net gain is marginal at best. Hopefully some fresh blood that doesn't get dizzy from flip-flopping may win. One can hope, but I'm already sizing up U-Hauls for next year's move just in case the the citizens of Portland remain too stupid to know they're too stupid.

What's funny for me is Commissioner Fritz told me via an e-mail it would be illegal for General Fund surplus monies to be transferred to the water and sewer bureaus. I'd proposed that after city hall had lifted $20 million from the water and sewer bureaus for bicycles and bio ditches, it seems only fair to return some of the general fund surplus to the water and sewer bureaus.

Measure 26-121

Adams said his main goal currently is to get Portland Public Schools' tax measures passed this May. Betsy Hammond, Oregonian columnist, wrote two sundays ago the District's construction costs are excessive relative to costs in the surrounding Portland burbs. The District shot back we have special circumstances. I think it is because of folks like Mayor Adams and his need to usually spend on high end construction, the District's construction plan is so over priced.

Vote No on 26-121.

City hall and the District need to be told we just need good buildings to educate our children, not highest ranking LEED buildings set within Historical monument type frameworks. The average homeowner cost of 26-121 is $400 per year, and not the $300 low balled by the district using the statistical Median concept.

Since I still don't stop meeting residents who say things like "I think City Hall is doing a great job", or "they're right on track with my values", I'm willing to wager that they get re-elected by a landslide. Also possibly because not one single qualified other candidate will run against them, i.e, doesn't want the job.

What is the history of an incumbent actually getting voted out of City Hall? Has it happened recently?

Other than someone like Jim Fransesconi running for Mayor and losing, I mean. But he wasn't beaten in a race for his existing seat.

I know plenty of people who voted for Sam who aren't this time. Leaf removal fee and to many bike lanes have pissed a lot of people off. I think if a half way competent candidate runs, Sam's in trouble.

"Half-way competent" in the leadership pool in Portland is a pretty high bar.

They'll get the money from water and sewer by raising overhead rates, which moves Water and Sewer $ into the general fund, then pull the scholarship dollars out of the "surpluses" in the General Fund.

And given the short memories of the SamRand twins, and their vindictive behaviors, I would doubt a viable candidate would run (especially if they ever want to do business in/with Portland) unless they're absolutely certain they can win.

A bit off subject but I just saw this video and thought it would be interesting to juxtapose Portland against Sandy Springs:


Apparently a well-managed city with level headed government officials. Sadly it would never work here. Portlandians are too enamored of debt and bankruptcy.

Portland exists only to amuse those who have left.


The strength of the citizens will be needed to take charge of our city in a way that will assure that public interests prevail.

It will not be easy to change the insider’s agenda, but if we do not insist and fight to put people in our Council and all other elected positions who we know will put public interests first above the developers and first above the corporations, we will lose.

We cannot sustain this insider game anymore, including having the insider’s selecting the candidates for us, or we will either go over a cliff financially and/or people will be having to get out of Dodge. Worse yet, some will not be able to leave and have more and more extracted from them.

The citizens will need to be brought up to speed, know who the insider candidates are and not cast a vote for the same types who have gotten us into the mess we have now. We need to be engaged more than an occasional meeting and a vote. It will take much effort to make this change, but we will end up losing money and our quality of life here if we don’t. It will be one battle after another, one week of horrendous news after another and we have to stand up to it, because.....

"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."
Mario Salvo quote

Skipper Bob: Maybe you should consider getting that U-Haul reservation before either of these two fiscal trainwrecks get re-elected. If you move to Washington or Nevada you will save a small fortune in taxes vs. what you are paying now. Our tax savings alone from 2009 are enough to pay for 80% of our current mortgage payments..

Speaking of trainwrecks: there is one we can stop.

There will be public hearing on Water Bureau proposed rate increases (13.9% for next year as part of a package of 85% increase over five years) on May 18 at Portland City Hall.
Visit http://foresttofaucetpdx.blogspot to stay current and to help.

Here's the correct address related to comment above:


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