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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 6, 2012 7:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Wasting no time. The next post in this blog is Oh, no! Crypto!. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Portland parking meters: complete and utter chaos

The City of Portland's parking meter purchases -- said by federal prosecutors to be tainted by corruption -- get weirder and weirder. Now the bureaucrats can't seem to make up their minds about whether the city is obligated to buy another $1 million of the robotic bandits from the vendor who allegedly bribed the city's departed parking meter manager. Even the O can't buy what the City Hall types are telling it:

Transportation officials, however, have given conflicting responses on the situation. Dan Anderson, a spokesman, said Dec. 27 that the city had concerns that it may have to buy about 150 more machines.

"It doesn't matter if we want to. We have to find out if we're legally obligated," he said. "After that, it's to be determined."

Tom Miller, the Transportation Bureau director, said this week that he's been advised that "contractually, we're in," adding, "we think we're getting a good deal."...

Miller and Anderson previously told The Oregonian they would provide a list of options for putting those 150 machines to use, should the city buy them. Late Thursday, however, Anderson said via email that the city told Cale it will "discuss additional meter purchases ... at a later date."...

It's not clear why transportation officials suggested they would have to buy more. The 2010 City Council ordinance said pricing affected up to 1,500 machines and came with "a commitment from the city to purchase 500 machines each year over the next two years." But city procurement, transportation and legal officials all declined to talk in detail about the deal or cite a contract clause requiring Portland to buy the machines.

A review of Cale contracts by The Oregonian also did not find such a provision. In previous contracts, the word "minimum" was included; the latest version says only that it would "allow the city to purchase up to 1,500 additional pay stations."

There's still something funny going on with the parking meters, folks. Something quite funny.

Comments (22)

Isn't that like a client of Bernie Maddoff's saying they would have to buy more stock options from Bernie even though he is in jail, because they promised to buy more stock options?

If it were funny, wouldn't it be I that other blog?

"Tom Miller, the Transportation Bureau director, said this week that he's been advised that "contractually, we're in," adding, "we think we're getting a good deal."..."

Dear god, afer all the BS with Ellis McCoy and the kickbacks and fraud they still think they're obligated?

We have such geniuses spending our money these days.

So that is why they are going to start charging for parking in the inner eastside and along NW 23rd. They have to put the new meters someplace.

This phrase caught my eye: ...options for putting those 150 machines to use, should the city buy them...

Meaning that as it stands they don't even have a use for any new machines purchased?

Perhaps that's another reason why there's such pressure from CoP to meter NW 23rd Avenue, along with the usual one (protecting the developer's interests in the new parking garages).

OK, Mike, you got there first. I really need to refresh the page before I hit "send".

So we have a Transportation Bureau director that thinks we are "contractually" obligated to buy parking meters. The Bureau he manages received bribes from the contract(s). The parking meter provider provided the bribes. The city parking meter manager lied to the City Council(s) who signed the contracts. And Miller was Sam's Chief of Staff, the Transportation Bureau was Sam's Bureau, and he now says we are "contractually" obligated. Unbelievable.

His knowledge of contracts are minimal, especially in light of his so-called renting of a beach house from a developer friend at Cannon Beach, doing business with CoP, for an under-market price. And he's still not offered any proof of what he did rent it for, if any.

I think most things fishy along with political weirdness, silence, etc, can be traced back to this barrel that made international news back in 2009 but few paid much attention to around here...

Portland Climate Plan

Per the schedule, we should be seeing signs of an accelerated and aggressive destruction of Portland so that it can be rebuilt per the plan to "adjust" the behaviors and lifestyles of its residents.

It's a developer's dream-come-true and makes politicians look good because it's supposed to reverse climate change and save the planet for all.

I think every post about city hall should be illustrated by a brief video of bureaucrats running around bumping into each other like keystone cops, while the Benny Hill theme song plays.

Unfortunately, when all faith is lost in politicians, we get a vacuum that ultimately gets filled with a dictator.

Mr. Grumpy,
From the Portland Climate Plan (70 pages) you posted:

Actions to be completed before 2012
e. Partner with Metro to implement the
Household Activity Survey in 2010 and
beyond.

Intrusive? For those who favor some privacy left in life, watch out!

Independence of thought and choice will most likely be viewed negatively,
if not in lock step with the plan.

It's Jonestown, it's Rajneeshpuram again.

But this time it's being sold to those burdened with a guilty conscience for ever having a sloppy carbon footprint, for the sin of being alive.


Do they have contracting officers that would continue performance under this contract when there are allegations of fraud? I hope not.

If this were a federal contract they would be prohibited from doing so. Maybe bribes don't count...

But of course they have to take them, and use them. It's such a good deal! It would be wasteful (ie, unsustainable) to not take shipment on what was ordered. And it would be even more wasteful not to gain 150 more sources of revenue.

"It's Jonestown, it's Rajneeshpuram again."

It's a bit disappointing that you left out Nazi Germany.

There is a tacit agreement on this blog to never mention Der Dritte Reich. It's too easy and tends to inflame the discussion.

Mr. Grumpy:...But this time it's being sold to those burdened with a guilty conscience for ever having a sloppy carbon footprint, for the sin of being alive.

I have mentioned before that I believe propaganda is being used and especially to those in universities and schools to accept giving up quality of life issues “for the good of the planet.” Interesting as people are manipulated into behavior changes, and into accepting less and less, how that somehow just allows for a few others to be more extravagant than ever!!

Back to the parking meters...
Who was the Transportation Commissioner
when the contract on these meters first started?
What year did the new parking meters first get implemented
and was it with this same company?

The parking meters suck. With the old-fashioned meters, you could exit your vehicle, drop a couple quarters into the machine, twist, and be on your way in 10-15 seconds. Now, you must walk several car lengths (or farther, if the machine on your side of the block is disabled), push several buttons, insert a credit card, then wait for the credit card verfication and ticket printing. Then you have to walk all the way back to your car and place it inside the vehicle. It requires 50-180 seconds, assuming the cellular phone call doesn't require a redial on the credit verification.

The "modern" parking meters may have reduced the City's operating costs, but they have forced the public to endure an extra minute or two (in the rain!) just to run a quick errand that (increasingly) may be accomplished in the suburbs (or via computer) free of charge.

No more impulse visits to the quirky card shop or leisurely strolls through the Pioneer Place. Not when it's so much easier to shop someplace else.

How much does the city pay to transact a $2.00 debit/credit transaction. How many hours of maintenance does each machine require? Are the operating costs any lower than the old-fashioned meters?

Remember boys and girls, "Cars are evil!" anything that will change behavior to make using a car less desirable is good. Now repeat after me class, "Cars are EVIL!" .

Looks like the Feds need to broaden the scope of the investigation.
It's fairly obvious that not all the persons involved with the corruption have been found.

The City of Portland went gaga over starting work on the Milwaukie MAX bridge, even though Clackamas County "entered into a contractual agreement" to pay for part of the line, an agreement which voters may prohibit from the county fulfilling.

TriMet is talking about suing Clackamas County.

Portland controls TriMet. Portland wants more light rail and damned be the residents who don't want to pay for it...light rail is good and you WILL SUBMIT.

It's about damn time Portland gets a taste of its own medicine. Let Sam Adams and the rest of the dumbheaded City Council pay for these parking meters out of their own salaries. Your idiot employee, who reported to Sam Adams, got the city into the mess. Stop your bitching and whining about it, pay for the damn meters...and while you're at it, cut your Sustainability Center and your payment to Multnomah County for its bridge, to pay for the meters and the $5 million road maintenance backlog.


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