Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 3, 2012 5:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Is Portland the next art capital of America?. The next post in this blog is Blazers to season ticket holders: Trust us. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Magic Sam pulls another $7.3 million out of nowhere

This time, the Portland mayor's miraculous treasure find will go to the public schools. Even if this diversion of city funds is legal (and we wouldn't be at all sure of that), where does this guy find that kind of dough at the drop of a hat? It's always the mysterious "savings and efficiencies." Who is he kidding?

We'd like to see the public schools get the money they need, but this brand of shenanigans is outrageous. The finances of the City of Portland have become a bad game of three-card monte. Downright scary, is what it is.

Comments (28)

$7.3M / 50K ratepayers = $146 rate increase for the water bills.

Vote NO on any/every bond or tax measure. They have honeypots of money all over the place.

I concur, Steve.

Probably from Water and Sewer.

Portland has been bending over for this kind of shenanigans for years. Why is this any different? They even used the same tag line...
"It's for the..."

Let me guess, it can only be used for bike lanes and bioswales next to schools?

Attention, Sam, and the "major" mayoral candidates: The school system is NOT your responsibility. You do not have the power to keep teachers on the job. You cannot fix our school system.

If you really want to help the schools, there's a lot you can do to help the students. You can work harder to keep the streets safe and to reduce opportunities for kids to join gangs. You can create a better climate for business so the kids' parents can find work (or not get laid off), thus helping families to stay in their homes.

These things might be boring, but they're every bit as necessary as money for the schools.

I have a question why is it no one in Portland besides me ever calls for major league spending reform In portland public schools?pps has over 1,000 out of 5400 employees in the district with total compensation packages over 100,000 dollars a year.pps could very easily cut 10%to 20% of these people.why is it the city has money to bail out an incompetent school district who has no clue how to spend money properly but the city has no money to fix roads?pps don't need anymore money they need to reform their spending once and for all.there is no funding crisis in pps and never has been.I encourage all of you to look up pps general funds budget vs all funds budget numbers the last several heRs and you will see pps has receive a combined 100 to 130 million the last 5 school years and the total funds budget has increased Significantly every school year the last several years including the I-tax years too debunking the liberal media lies about school funding being down from 5 and 10 years ago.doonsebury never bothers to mention that either.

"why is it no one in Portland besides me ever calls for major league spending reform"

You think any politician wants to mess with the public employee unions and how they do things? Heck, they went on strike over 20 minutes of prep time and got every kid they could on the pickett line for TV exposure.

I concur since it seems we can layoff teachers and cut programs, but somehow need every last $100K/yr administrator.

Money for nothing, and the chicks are free.

Steve -

Coherence, logic and complete sentences are your friends. Focus.

First you tell us no politician wants to "mess with the public employee unions".

Next you tell us that the "$100K/yr administrator is the problem.

Ahhh, the administrators aren't in the PPS teachers union.

So what is it, the pols, the unions, the administrators?

The unfocused nature of your anger and dis satisfaction guarantees that your opposition to ? whatever ? will never be effective.

So typical of 90 - 95% of the voters in PDX.

So sad.

"Coherence, logic and complete sentences are your friends. Focus."

OK, Carole Smith says she needs to take $8M out of the budget. Apparently the only solution is cutting teachers. I mention admins as an option to cut since that would have less impact on the classroom benefits.

The previous poster asked why no one asks about spending. I think pubilc employee unions and their benefits are the trhird rail for any politician. The example of how much work they went thru over 20 min of prep time with the union is emblematic of expecting to make any change in spending habits and getting the union buy-in.

"So what is it, the pols, the unions, the administrators?"

Combo of all the above being ineffective in running the school system efficiently.

Come on, people! Adams isn't doing this for the schools or the children. He's doing this to keep the Portland image from getting bad press about the schools.

What about the Maintenance Bureau, when is downtown going to get rid of these Senior Managers that have run the place into the ground. They over spend, they cant balance a budget. Why do they have there crews working on unmaintained streets. If the other municilites forced them to resign, why in the world did they get hired here. Street systems lost there repavement money back in October. The new budget isnt til July 1st, common someone needs to get these two guys out before they do more damage. Maybe someone should call California Transportation and asked just why they forced him out. What about Clackamas County Water, I bet they both have interesting stories to tell. How can there field supervisors where 3/peice suits to work all the sudden, so they really dont do anything do they, but they still take over 80 thousand a year. Amazing.. Someone help Street systems

Does anyone know what kind of actual money the school system has in place?

Every government entity has a second set of books called the Comprehensive Financial Annual Reports (CAFRs).

The CAFR is all the money: total gross income, investment structure, and the selectively designated general purpose operating budget (which is the only item they ever mention when talking about money).

The CAFR can often be twice to three times the operating budget - so no wonder they can pull money out of nowhere.

I agree with the assessment that the City funds need to go to other areas. As an example, the street lights (on power poles) called cobras, were installed in the late 1970's and early '80's. They have a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years. There are around 45,000 of them in the City of Portland that need to be replaced real soon now. At about $700 each (for newer power saving technology units) that 7.5 million could start the replacement project and get them replaced in about 5 years time. But of course, the Citizens would not notice much, except that their street lights would continue to work. So it is not as sexy as giving it away to the schools. That is only one example. Repaving streets, and replacing traffic and information signs are others.

What Michelle said. They won't do it because it isn't shiny. It's interesting that the day after being visited by "marching Mayday" students at City Hall, Sam scores another financial miracle For The Children™.

PPS doesn't need our money; they need to ensure that a third of the students don't drop out.

Sam doesn't need to give them money, he needs to invest in safe streets and neighborhoods.

As an aside: comments on this site are usually interesting, enjoyable, and even insightful - but for some unknowable reason, many of the comments on this particular post are darned near incomprehensible.

Below is a link to a letter concerning the proposal for a new "Education Urban Renewal" area downtown that was sent by the Portland League of Women Voters.

The letter states that last year $28.9 million in taxes were diverted from Portland Public Schools for Urban Renewal projects statewide. Also includes these facts
Taxes were diverted away from basic services to Urban Renewal. The LWV details the loss of tax revenue:
Portland City Services: $34.4 million
Multnomah County Services: $24 million
Schools: $70 million statewide
(Portland Public Schools -­‐$28.9 million)

Supt. Carole Smith stated that the gap between current services and the anticipated budget for Portland Public Schools next year was $27.5 million. The City and County are also predicting major shortfalls.

Tim - PPS's CAFRs are available online here:

Mr. Grumpy:Come on, people! Adams isn't doing this for the schools or the children. He's doing this to keep the Portland image from getting bad press about the schools.

Have to keep on redoing, building and redoing, can't continue unless more are lured into our city and they won't be lured in if schools are getting bad press.

URA's folks, URA's. Sam is a cheerleader and fast tracker for more urban renewals and that as Anne has listed above is what takes money from schools.

Complete hypocrite, our Mayor, gives the store away for URA's and then to keep the schools, parents and teachers in line they get some that so they won't put up a big fuss? Calling this last one an educational urban renewal is really hypocritical.

The $70 million diverted from state schools, have these people pushing these urban renewals no shame?

I am surprised there hasn't been more outrage towards the behavior of Portland elected officials from around the state, or has there been and we don't hear about it?

Isn't there a state law that only allows so much acreage to be within an URA? Could legislators change that law to decrease what could be put in an URA? Where are these politicians who are supposed to represent the people?

Clinamen, in OR statutes 457.420 URAs of a municipality is limited to 15% of total assessed value and/or 15% of total land area of the municipality. Portland many times are close to those maximums and occasionally CoP/PDC mention these constraints as they are pushing it. This happened in the formation of SoWhat.

On the assessed value angle that is easily "manipulated" by the assessor of a municipality since the State takes the municipalities word on it unless there is some formal inquiry. I've never heard of an inquiry. I wonder if League of Women Voters knows where Portland stands.

It would be interesting to know how close Portland is on these maximums in regard to the proposed Education URA. Might be a learning moment.

Thanks K2

Looks like they have around $1.33 Billion in cash and investments:

Deposits with financial institutions include bank demand deposits, deposits in the Local Government Investment Pool, time certificates of deposit, and savings account deposits, as authorized by Oregon
statutes. Cash, cash equivalents and investments on June 30, 2011 are comprised of the following:

Oregon Local Government Investment Pool $50,423

Cash in demand deposits 50,744

Petty cash 5

Total cash and cash equivalents 101,172

U.S Government agency securities 11,916

Corporate commercial paper 9,297

Corporate notes 6,944

Total investments 28,157

Cash and cash equivalents held by fiscal agents 4,135

Total cash, cash equivalents and investments $ 133,464

Do you suppose these new morphed names such as Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and the Education Urban Renewal, might be a way of getting around already maximum acreage in URA's in our city? It would be interesting to find all this out before the fast tracking.

I saw a statement somewhere that 3rd grade reading levels predict local jail capacity demand a decade later. They definitely predict dropping out before HS graduation, in any case. The Black Panthers knew this! A primary goal in their program was to get every little kid fed and school-ready! How many years ago was that? It wasn't rocket science then, and it isn't rocket science now.

With year-by-year slashing of the "recreation" budgets that funded pre-school programs at community centers, after school programs at schools and summer park programs that help keep young kids on track, they've abandoned the legitimate city responsibilities that could really help. Make art, music, tumbling, pee-wee sports, swim, etc universally available for all Portland kids pre-K through 3rd grade, like they used to be, and you would make a huge dent in the problem, without straying from a valid and traditional Portland city government mission. All those things support school success. Even if all they do is get kids familiar with working in groups, they support school success. Simple taking turns and sharing in organized games fosters success. Learning to color and draw better fosters success. City of Portland is the actual officially responsible unit of government for those programs.

Token bags of cash skimmed from unrelated programs do not make up for the abandonment of those basic, legitimate missions. It is like the bad parent that flies in every couple of years, showers the kids with gifts and sweets for a week, then disappears again. "Just deal with it," indeed.

Where are Mildred Schwab and Charles Jordan when you need them? Who are these poseurs somebody put in their place?

With year-by-year slashing of the "recreation" budgets that funded pre-school programs at community centers, after school programs at schools and summer park programs that help keep young kids on track, they've abandoned the legitimate city responsibilities that could really help.

Instead our council pours money into unneeded projects. Fish should know better. I can't believe that he is planning to close community centers, restrooms, etc....well unfortunately, I can believe it after what I have witnessed.

If the tax dollars from the city are used for schools, how does that work under measure 50? The Shiloh decision told us that how property taxes are used (not collected) defines their category under M50. As such, it appears that these funds would apply to the educational funding cap and the schools would have to give up the money to the state school fund. Am I wrong here?

Thoughtful Goober M50 only applies to tax on real property. The City may well intend to use monies from one of its many other revenue streams. It's not at all clear yet which rock was hiding the money Sam found.

If you're interested in the budget of the CoP, or any other government or school district in Multnomah County for that matter, you really should should take a look at the annual report from my personal favorite government agency, the Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission. (Seriously, I love them. They do terrific work. I was very disappointed that Washington County managed to avoid the requirement to add a similar commission.)

A lot of talk about "sharing" the pain of the cuts by Carol Smith, but I know "non-reps" (no union, not upper echelon leaders) at the PPS HQ who make far less than $100k/year, haven't had a COLA in 3-4 years, haven't had a raise since they've worked there (some, 8 years), and now are being forced to take 10 unpaid "furlough" days. Their wages are less than they were when they started. Seems like sharing, but doesn't seem fair.

Also, who are the PPS flaks that only 2 years ago negotiated a pay raise with the teachers union? The cutting has been going on for nearly 20 years at PPS--didn't they see this coming? If not, why not? Malfeasance at best, incompetence at worst.

Finally, what about the non-salaried waste at PPS?


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009
Lello, Douro Tinto 2009
Quinson Fils, Cotes de Provence Rose 2011
Anindor, Pinot Gris 2010
Buenas Ondas, Syrah Rose 2010
Les Fiefs d'Anglars, Malbec 2009
14 Hands, Pinot Gris 2011
Conundrum 2012
Condes de Albarei, Albariño 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2007
Penelope Sanchez, Garnacha Syrah 2010
Canoe Ridge, Merlot 2007
Atalaya do Mar, Godello 2010
Vega Montan, Mencia
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2009

The Occasional Book

Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
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
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
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
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
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
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 119
At this date last year: 21
Total run 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

Clicky Web Analytics