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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 14, 2012 7:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Life in city government. The next post in this blog is Linchpin alert! Another big loser for the PDC.. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another 128 jobs flee Sam Rand Portland

There's just too much bureaucrat nickel-and-diming going on in Portland, and so the Sealy Mattress folks are heading out to Lacey, Washington. That's a backward place without skateboard lanes; they probably don't even hand out food slop buckets.

We wonder whether the City of Portland even tried to get Sealy to stay. We have millions to shell out to hopeless losers like this company whenever there's a real estate development scam involved. But 128 old-fashioned factory jobs, in an established location, making an age-old product that people actually use? Let's face it, Portland's not interested. Go by streetcar, peeps. We've got a new youth hostel to build on Skid Row.

Comments (21)

Well, of course! The CoPortlandia doesn't want those icky manufacturing jobs here! Think of the trucks ! gasp! that use the roads to deliver stuff to produce the goods and then deliver the finished product.
This move will effect not only the employees and all the people who depend on the pay checks of those people, but some of the local suppliers too.
Portland has become "The Truman Show".

I suspect that most folks working in such old-tech professions as ‘mattress making’ would be car drivers anyway.

I tend to agree that all cities need to value making useful things jobs, and I also agree that cities should vastly prefer retention and support for existing businesses over whoring themselves out to attract the fad d'jour jobz of the supposedly creative class. And I have boundless contempt for the corrupt and venal SamRand twins.

But I wonder what you're asking for here. Given past giveaways to stupid business models and lost causes like the tram, SoWhat, and The Nines, etc etc etc, does that mean that every local business should make a run at city hall with their hand out, and city hall should pay out? If our goal is a city built on something other than Good Old American Know Who and grifter deals, it doesn't make sense to say that a Sealy should have jacked city hall (taxpayers) for some cash to influence them to stay.

Sincere question. What should CoP or Multnomah have done here? What if the business just made a business decision and didn't call the city or the county first? Should local governments rush in whenever a business decides to move and say "how much do you want to stay?"

"What should CoP and Multco have done"? Lower taxes, fees and costs for everybody. That will keep businesses here. The cost of doing business and living in this town is absurdly costly. People & business eventually vote with their feet. Best wishes, Sealy.

"cities should vastly prefer retention and support for existing businesses over whoring themselves out to attract the fad d'jour jobz"

I agree - But then again why does a guy like Petraeus mess around with trouble? I'd call it ADHD.

Chasing these creative jobs is so illusory. Companies get funded and then get sold six months later and move; creative types don't usually gather in large groups so you're not going to see a huge farm of workers; Plus, most creative jobs are driven by tech which eats its own young. In sum, walking away from good steady jobs is very stupid.

I talk to young 20 somethings ever once and awhile and they think the city of Portland is "hip", a happening place. I tell them in response: "wait to you grow up and then you'll say I am no longer interested in being 'hip.'" Especially under the Adams years, it's been treat grown-ups like juveniles (you are not worthy of a plastic bag or parking space) and treat juveniles like grown-ups (Occupiers you don't need a permit to take over city parks for several months on end, and who cares if Occupiers displace the grown-ups who had permits for the parks they take over).
But Portland city governance has a rather traditional history of being both corrupt and un-adult like.

The City has been forcing good companies like Columbia Sportswear out of town for decades. The polices, taxes, and just BS to start, move, maintain or run a business in this town are overwhelmingly difficult and expensive. Business owners are thwarted at every turn.
It is disgusting and heartbreaking to those of us who have lived here all of our lives.
"creative class", Bah! Loosers!... that's what I call 'em!

GA Seldes:
"What should CoP and Multco have done"?

Let's see, where to begin? Maybe with the THREE new property tax measures just passed, including the $35/person head tax "for the arts/children".

Mostly, the fees and regulations to just do business in Portlandia, the arrogance of city hall, and the attitudes towards these kinds of blue collar jobs.

In Lacey, they will have NO state income tax, lower property taxes, and a welcoming, business friendly environment.

It's not about handouts or cash incentives. Look around the rest of the country, or even the rest of the northwest. Portland has become a sad joke.

In a news release, Sealy also said the Portland plant's operations and logistics costs aren't competitive with the brand's sister plants.
"Ultimately the parties were not able to sufficiently address the service and cost issues in order to remain in Portland," Sealy said in its news release.

Couple of thoughts:

The union was given a chance to make concessions to keep the plant open, apparently none were made (or the ones that were made werent enough: did Sealy specifically say what was needed I wonder?)

The lack of income tax is indeed a big incentive.

Note that the union was given until 11/6 before an announcement was made. Strange date for a deadline, unless you didnt want news of a plant closure hitting the papers on say, november 1st... which would have been a logical deadline day... (end of month), instead of keeping a lid on it until the election was over.

just smells a little...

Cheers, It's Mike

For comparisons sake, I wonder how much it would cost to open a business, in Beaverton, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Gresham or Vancouver? How much to operate? All the cities that border Portland. Just curious.

Looks like it was the perfect storm of high business costs in PDX and union busting from the home office.

Lacey must have a good crop of desperate workers to fleece - if the company is lucky most will be "undocumented".

Pornland has made it clear.

The only jobs to be encouraged are those with a government agency, can telecommute or involve a brass pole and a stage.

Those workers were lower class anyway. They eat snacks from a 'roach coach' and probably drink Miller Light.

dont worry. someone will put in a doggy day care or a skate board park in that location.

But will they still vote in Oregon?

I'd be curious to know how many employees already lived on that side of the river. Why make concessions if most of them will get a 10% raise by living AND working in WA?

Other Steve: Oh, you mean like Mayor-elect Hales did for so many years?

As a past business owner in Portland, I can tell anyone that it's less money to operate in Washington or Clackamas Counties. And much less if you have a business outside of the Portland Metro area. In addition to a business tax, Portland has a Business Property Tax as well as a TriMet tax. And god forbid you fail to pay them on time, as the fines and late payment fees are high to say the least.
And the Multnomah County Tax Collection office has to be the most hostile place I've ever done business. You conduct all transactions through a bulletproof glass window.

Gil: The City Club studied the business environment in Portland 3 or 4 years ago and found that property taxes and water and sewer rates were all higher in Multnomah County than in Washington, Clackamas, or Clark County. The study also found that job growth in Multnomah County was lower than in the other three counties.

Lacey has been on an aggressive road building and sidewalk improvement program. They also have plenty of public parks and bike lanes. It's a lovely suburb of Olympia, and likely benefits from being home to many Capitol insiders.

Manufacturing, smafacturing. Who needs good old fashioned jobs where you actually show up at work and DO something? We need more jobs where 20-somethings show up around 10, 11 or so...drink a bunch of coffee, talk about great worldly projects, go on a two hour lunch, followed by some pool, then maybe attend a meeting or two, then at 4:00 go off to a bar until 10:00 or 11:00.

Sheesh, what are you thinking...actually showing up at 7:30 AM and know, something. Like, whatever, that's totally my parents way of thinking. Excuse me, I gotta go on Facebook and post that my company just got a bunch of money for coming up with this cool new idea of software that will revolutionize the social fabric of the Internet.


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