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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 20, 2011 9:55 PM. The previous post in this blog was Tuesday's 'dogs are full of grace. The next post in this blog is Radiation cleanup in Japan: laughable (or is it weepable?). Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Big hush money paid by the PDC

Here's an utterly outrageous story. Two executive types who recently resigned from the deeply troubled Portland Development Commission were actually paid to leave. Urban development director Erin Flynn, passed over for the CEO job, was paid a cool $63,000 on her way out the door (headed for a way-overpriced bobblehead gig at Portland State), and the human resources director, Sandy Reina, who reportedly left her job to care for her parents, picked up a cool $85,000 severance.

In exchange for these ridiculous payments, the two promised to "not disparage or make derogatory comments" about the agency. Especially to prosecutors?

My God, what has gone so terribly wrong in Portland? People, it is time for some amendments to the city charter. This kind of garbage has got to stop. "Urban renewal," as currently abused in this town, has got to go.

Comments (37)

These types of severance payments occur at other governmental agencies around Portland as well. They should be illegal. They use taxpayer money to prevent taxypayers from finding out what's really going on. It's disgusting.

Amen. Maybe the state constitution ought to be amended.

Why do you all act 'surprised' anymore?!

This is ridiculous.

I ask people this: 'Are you pi$$ed off about the way the government wastes your money?'


Severances like this in PDC and elsewhere in our local government, coupled with PDC sponsored Barbur Lightrail, PDC SoWhat, PDC Milwaukie Lightrail, PDC's own failed Creative Center-now their own office, the list goes on, there will certainly be a vote on urban renewal. Either citywide or statewide. Keep it coming PDC. And I hope we get some whistle-blowers.

Bye bye is right on. The Tea Party is just regular folks who are mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more!

Jack, it would be interesting to get public disclosure on these PDC employee's contracts. I'll bet they didn't have severances packages, at least this high. Let's see the contracts. Record's request, please.

Hi Jack:
I'm not sure, but I think the PDC Eric Flynn you referred to was actually Erin Flynn, a lady and not a guy. Also not sure about the inside politics at PDC, but Erin was and is a very sharp cookie.
The Old Curmudgeon

Yes, I meant Erin; that was a typo. I know her gender -- I said on her way out the door. She sure landed on her feet with a $160,000 PSU gig and a $63,000 payoff to keep her mouth shut. There are a lot of smart cookies who don't do that well on the public dime, especially immediately upon rolling into town. Five years ago she was in Boston.

And what has the PDC actually achieved in the last four years for all the money it paid Ms. Flynn? That agency ought to be scaled back, or even disbanded.

From the exit interview: "Urban renewal? Oh, I thought he said bourbon renewal."

WTF? Severance in the private sector is given when your employer lays you off, not when you choose to leave. And if one of the had another job lined up, then severance is pure BS. And paying people for silence???? In the private sector, as part of severance you sign paper work agreeing not to sue over your severance. During one lay-off I am aware of an employee refused to sign and so his package was boosted until he signed. I think it should be illegal to sign any other terms.

So this is what you get when you just take $200M to $300M out of the property tax base. Be a real shame to waste that money on something like schools wouldn't it?

They have plenty of money - Vote NO on every/any bond ever.

Too bad the state has a worthless, spineless Attorney General who appears to be totally incapable of prosecuting any public official for wrongdoing.
Time to vote the blowhard out at the next election.

Jack, I would vote disbanding.

I think this may be a new level of outrageous behavior by the PDC.
Liars, Crooks and Thieves! Always have been always will be, until that organ-ization is gone!
However all the so called "urban renewal" organs around the state and the country are exactly the same, as they learn to to this B/S from the same source, The International Downtown Association.
Little tiny Rainier has "lost" $700,000 it was supposed to pay to the now bankrupt USGypsum company under a very shady urban urban renewal program set up there in 2001.

Disband by ballot measure... just sayin'

Happens in the burb's too. Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle made the decision last month to "lay off" the Economic Development Director Gary Brentano and transfer his responsibilities to Community Development Director Don Mazziotti. Brentano according to the Portland Trib is 60 years old and gets 6 months of pay. Sounds like a nice PERS send off to me.

And, oh by the way, the City is asking to form an urban renewal agency on the November ballot. Do you hear a street car approaching?!

Given the AGs apparent preference to only pursue cases of note if they're out of state and turn a blind eye if they're in, one has wonder if either he's decided he doesn't want to get his hands dirty or he's been 'advised' not to.

TriMet and Metro are no different.

The PDC UR scams have infected the whole region like a parasite.

Clackamas County has been following their model and Beaverton is attempting to.

The Clackamas Town Center UR district (since 1980) has grown into the typical PDC cash cow.

It's scheduled to terminate in June 2013. It only has a $5 million debt yet a $20 million reserve and $12 million yearly income.

Clackamas Fire gets a total of 75K from the entire district to provide fire and rescue service.

Another expired district has a $9 million annual budget.

So while county services have been cut and under funded their UR agency has been rolling in millions without any scrutiny at all.

In Beavetron their UR scheme has produced the most dishonest ballot title I have ever seen.

It is telling voters their plan is free. That ALL of the money will come from the "public & private investments and projects"

See here---

Yet their own UR plan docs show 3 out of every 4 dollars of the funding increment will be the normal routine increases that will happen with NO UR at all.
They also assume only a 3% normal increase in value for 30 years. Meaning they are claiming nothing will get built in the entire 1000 acres over the 30 years of the plan if no UR is used.
And they assume a 4% increase with UR. Wow!
In reality there will be things built and a 4% increase without UR.
But they want to try and bail out the Round with more TODs on the old Westgate theater site the city bought with help from Metro. That and the city is paying millions for the central plant that loses money.

Angry people need to join and expand the Clackistan rebellion.
The best thing that can happen in the short term, November, is a crushing defeat of the Beaverton plan, victory for the Clackamas citizen initiative measure and crushing defeat of the politicians sham competing measure.

Then re-group and go after the racket everywhere and every way it operates and with added defeats of politicians at the 2012 ballot box.

But we know, after the audit, that they do not respect the Charter and violate it at will. We do not appear to have anyone willing to represent the people and bring action against them for this. There is no way to get them out short of voting for someone like Gary Johnson, former governor of NM, who just said no and shut corruption down. Rather than raising living costs for ordinary people, Gary Johnson lowered them. We need to find candidates who can do this.

LucsAdvo, I have no problem with private companies having the option to pay their departing employees to keep silent about any questionable actions they may have seen during their time with a company, but this should not be happening in the public sector. Governments need to be open and transparent so that citizens can hold elected officials accountable, if necessary. Severance agreements that contain "do not disparage" clauses prevent people who might be willing to expose wrongdoing after they've left an agency from doing so. The fact that the money to make severance agreements comes from taxpayers makes this practice even more repugnant.

So a long time ago you made your money off of crime and resource exploitation. Then you sent your kids to medical, law and business schools.

Then you placed your kids in key government and business positions. Once there, you created a series of scams to siphon off public assets, one of which is named Urban Renewal.

But like all scams, they don't last forever because eventually the frog gets boiled.

So as the rats start leaving the ship, you cut off their tongues- no need to scare the unboiled into jumping out of the scam.

...My God, what has gone so terribly wrong in Portland?...

Portland may become the poster child for how a city goes down while in the process, a few benefit greatly!

We do have what in my opinion is perhaps a last opportunity and believe me the insiders will do everything they can to stay in control - that is three open seats, Mayor and two council seats, three votes needed to at least try and straighten out a myriad of problems that have Jack asking what has gone so terribly wrong?
We cannot let the insiders control this election this time. We know who the insider candidates are, don't we?

Ickabod - If they are asked by authorities and they keep their mouths shut, it's perjury. If they know something but were not involved and fail to speak up, you could construe that as accessory after the fact. Hush money really is an enticement for criminal offenses in my book.

Hush hush, am afraid there has been far too much hush hush around pdx!
How much has "hush hush" cost us when added up throughout the years?

"the two promised to "not disparage or make derogatory comments" about the agency."

Even if the truth is disparaging?

How rich.

Yes Ben,
Rich - richly costing us to keep the truth from us?

God this is pathetic.

I'm starting to think the guillotine is the only answer to this mess.

As a former PDC employee, I can only tell you that this is the tip of the iceberg. Ms. Reina was in way over her head, had poor skills and was promoted to the highest level of her incompetence. Because so many HR folks left before her (a veritable revolving door), she was about the only poor schmuck remaining to be promoted to do management's bidding.

Paying off employees to buy their silence as they depart is the norm at PDC.

It was the worst career experience of my life, and the work environment was so abusive. There was so much misappropriation of funds, and earned 'trust' of the public or its resources. Money was spent inappropriately for years, with lots of blatant cronyism. For all of the successful projects over the years as well as how PDC has put its stamp on the city, significant money was spent wastefully. Glad to be gone.

Oops. That was supposed to be: "And PDC had NO earned trust of the public or its resources."

Fraud, waste and abuse...
But they mean so well....

Re: "We know who the insider candidates are, don't we?"


"'Name me someone that's not a parasite and I'll go out and say a prayer for him'"

A successful parasite does not kill its host.

I'm getting to the point in regards to "hush money", where I'd contribute to a "tell all whistle-blower money" fund. It would be better than contributing to the candidates that we get and the continuation of the norm.

I wonder if the Bike Nazis care about these shennanigans?

Or maybe anything that annoys Bojack is good fun for them ("the enemy of my enemy is my friend")?

Clearly, light rail tracks are a known hazard to the biking community. And the BILLIONS spend on light rail and condo subsidies would go a long way towards building climate controlled bike paths surrounded by anti-car barriers all over Multnomah County.

My uncaffeinated brain wonders whether Detroit had a development council and what role it played in the destruction of that fine city.

Gardiner Menefree,
No names at this point, but perhaps a prayer from many for those who may be considering to enter.
We simply need good people who are not politicians, but would give a few years of good service for our community.
Daunting it is, to step into an arena that has been way off course, the question is whether it is too late and humpty dumpty cannot be put back together again?
I believe this city is at crossroads, some may think I am too optimistic, and that it is too late, but what are those of us who have witnessed the downward spiral to do?
Other than throw up our hands and get out of Dodge.

Severence packages at PDC are pretty normal for high level employees who are forced to leave. PDC executives don't have the slightest clue on how to manage people. That means they don't know how to document poor performance so they have justification when they fire someone. They set staff up to be fall guys/gals. They put people in way over their heads and then blame the employee when they struggle without having any support whatsoever. They write a big check to get someone out of their hair rather than learning how to effectively manage. All in all, they as an entity demonstrate complete ineptitude. But, there are some individuals at PDC that are brilliant and some of the hardest working people I know. Most of them leave and don't get the benefit of a severence package.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
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Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
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Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
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Del Ri, Claret 2012
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Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
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Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
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Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
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J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
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Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
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Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
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Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
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Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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