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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reverse 911 failure: bureaucratic error

When the City of Portland's reverse 911 system failed to call out to residents near a toxic chemical spill, we wondered whose fault it might have been. Now the answer has been revealed: It's Portland's goofball system of government, with its various politicians running a Byzantine collection of city bureaus on an amateur basis and using them to feather their own political nests:

A city analysis of the incident released Wednesday showed that the dispatcher was not aware that the city had changed its so-called reverse 9-1-1 system two years ago. It had originally required notification of the Portland Police Bureau to activate the system. The city subsequently contracted with the private FirstCall company for the service, however. Since then it can only be activated by the Portland Office of Emergency Management and the Portland Water Bureau.

This is what silo government gets us. Why do we have an office of emergency management, run by Mayor Creepy, and a bureau of emergency communications, run by Nurse Amanda? And why in heaven's name is the water bureau authorized to trigger reverse 911, but the police and fire bureaus aren't? The water folks have gotten way out of control with Admiral Randy at the helm; if there's any raw power to be exercised, you know who'll be pushing to the front of that line.

It would also be interesting to consider how much the city is paying a private company for a notification system that nobody knows how to use.

Comments (10)

What a typical cluster of clowns

Keystone Government.

We need another report.

Aren't we overdue for a "Government Reform Committee" to be appointed to issue a report the City can ignore?

Until something bad enough happens that prompts a federal investigation, I doubt anything much is going to change structurally. A few people might get crucified here and there.

There's just too many people either on the gravy train, wearing blinders, or still high on Shangri-La kool-aid.

Jack, your comments are appreciated, but you're not on the Committee. There must be a misunderstanding. Fritz will be sending a memo shortly to clear things up.

Good gravy, these clowns could f*ck up a wet dream. I swear. Take the simplest damn operation and complicate it to no end.

This is just another example demonstrating the need to abandon this foolish commission form of city government. Putting amateurs in charge of vital city services is, and always has been, a terrible idea. Not only that but putting a city council member in charge of a bureau seems to lead to a perverse allocation of resources amongst the various bureaus.

Per Amanda Fritz, this is a good example of the system performing flawlessly (it was the people who screwed up).

We all know those bloodthirsty cops are just trying to cover their a$$. Who ya' gonna believe?

Time for Sam to create the "Office of Reverse 9-1-1 Calling". Ten paid staffers and a budget in excess of $1 million.

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