Char-Lie plays blue notes on streetcars, "urban renewal"
Make no mistake, Portland mayoral candidate Char-Lie Hales is a tool of real estate developers -- always has been. He's the pet politician of Homer Williams and Dike Dames, the condo pushers who have taken Portland taxpayers for one bad ride after another. They've pumped a lot of money into the Hales campaign -- so much so that old Homer was up on the platform with Hales on election night in the primary. And old Dame is so hot to give Hales bucks that he's arranged to have contributions made by some of his inanimate objects.
So you can bet that Mayor Hales will be tasked with getting more cr-apartments built for Williams, Dame, and their ilk, even if that means running a dopey streetcar to the "Foothills" section of Lake Oswego, which those two are currently drooling over. There's a Portland sewage treatment plant down there that will also have to be moved or radically changed, and you can count on a Hales administration to get that done as well. If Greg Macpherson becomes mayor in L.O., the condo cranes will probably move in right after the inauguration ceremony.
But look at what Char-Lie said last night in response to a question about the streetcar:
I do not support streetcar expansion until the operating dollars are identified. Right now, the city needs to focus on providing basic services in every part of the city, especially those that have been ignored. Adequate public transportation is one of those basic services, and I will push for getting our bus system back in line with service demands, particularly for working people outside the downtown core.
Our city's approach to urban renewal needs to change. I'd encourage your consideration of a detailed white paper on this subject that you can find on my website. I believe that urban renewal districts can and should continue, but with a more narrow purpose and a limited time frame. And, we should be wary of creating new districts until we've retired some of the existing ones.
It's important to note that urban renewal siphons money away from basic services. By enabling some URAs to expire, we can free up the potential to use the tool where it is more needed and maximize the potential of local general fund revenue streams.
The Portland Development Commission should continue in the direction it's been moving: working at the neighborhood level - with local residents - to help create opportunities for job growth, economic development and access to capital.
Basic services, no more streetcars, better bus service, go slow on "urban renewal areas," PDC with a modest role... That's candidate Char-Lie. Will it be Mayor Char-Lie? We seriously doubt it.
You have to listen carefully, people. The weasel words fly every time Hales flaps his lips:
"I do not support streetcar expansion until..."
"we should be wary of creating new districts until..."
"we can free up the potential to use the tool..."
Portland taxpayers had better invest in some new fine-toothed combs, because come January, they're going to need them to sort through the pronouncements of the Oregon Voter from Camas.