Saltzman socks it to you again -- but with conditions!
Yesterday's Portland City Council proceedings showed several of the city commissioners at their worst. Of course, the Sam Rand Twins sat around all day giving people the finger. But an equally bad performance was turned in by Dan "Legend" Saltzman, who once again is playing the issues both ways.
For example, he admits that there are serious problems with the plan to blow a bazillion dollars on a high-priced "sustainability center" that no business in its right mind would pay unsubsidized rent to occupy. But what does he do -- vote no? Don't be silly -- he votes yes, but with conditions, just as he did with the OHSU aerial tram, the police and firefighter pension debacle, and many other disastrous propositions over the years. He puts a bird on it, and then votes aye:
Saltzman said that while there’s much to be excited about in the Oregon Sustainability Center, several factors make him nervous. To that end, Saltzman introduced two amendments that the councilors unanimously approved. One amendment states that the city will be unwilling to move forward with the project without a guaranteed maximum price for construction costs. The other states that no costs associated with the design or construction of the OSC will come from future urban renewal money.
Wow, what courage.
The same thing happened with the federal immigration jail that's going to be built in the SoWhat District, next door to a grammar school. The City Council is almost certainly going to allow it, because it's already drafting up the meaningless "conditions" that will accompany the commissioners' approval (much to the delight of the Twins' developer pals):
[I]t is clear the Council is leaning toward approval.
But the city's blessing will only come if ICE agrees, in writing, to certain conditions for releasing detainees. Many residents who live near the proposed facility have expressed concerns about detainees released into the neighborhood with no way to leave the area. This summer a city hearings officer rejected the plan, agreeing with the neighbors who complained that releasing some detainees from the facility would pose an unreasonable safety risk....
Elizabeth Godfrey, with ICE, said most detainees that would be released won't be criminals.
"However, the few that are criminal aliens will not be subject to active and/or extraditable warrants and will have served their time and have the right to be in public and walk the streets of Portland," she said.
According to ICE, it will release about three detainees a week from the facility and they will be screened by ICE based on whether they pose a safety threat.
Right now it is not known whether ICE will pledge to Portland council members that it will agree to follow whatever restrictions council members come up with for releasing detainees at the site.
You can almost smell the Legend cologne wafting off the screen from that story. How a guy can make a long political career out of this sort of behavior defies explanation. It must be the megabucks in his trust fund.