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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 5, 2012 8:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Reader poll: Who will win the White House?. The next post in this blog is The Greeks had no word for it. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, November 5, 2012

City starting to admit water bureau mission creep is illegal

City Hall announced it on Friday afternoon so that you wouldn't talk about it, but there's big news in the lawsuit challenging illegal expenditures by the Portland water bureau under the direction of Fireman Randy. It appears that the city is going to "voluntarily" pay back the bureau from other general funds for expenditures incurred for setting up the Rose Festival headquarters building, which has been one of the subjects of the lawsuit. A new resolution to go before the City Council this week specifically refers to the suit, states that the council disagrees with it, but then reverses the expenditures and transfers the property, formerly the site of McCall's Restaurant, back to the parks bureau, from which the water folks acquired it in February 2009. (We questioned the move back when it was happening.)

This is major. And it is not the end of the litigation. It challenges many other expenditures, and it's not clear that all of the abuse has yet been uncovered.

There's an important lesson to be learned here. The City Council and bureaucrats in Portland are extremely arrogant people who abuse power. The Fireman, who walks around these days with his middle finger continuously extended to all the world, illustrated his attitude perfectly on Friday:

Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard oversees the Water Bureau and has been the fiercest defender of the Rose Festival building. "We're not backtracking on what we've accomplished," he said. "To satisfy the city attorney's office, they've suggested an alternative way to fund a project I wanted to get done. And I'm fine with that because the project's done."

We love you too, sweetheart.

Portland government officials do not listen to criticism. The only thing they understand is litigation. This one is getting their attention. Let it be a continuing lesson.

There are probably a dozen more lawsuits like this one that need to be brought, in many areas of city government operations, with a new outrage cropping up seemingly several times a year. Portland badly needs a good government league that will bring that kind of litigation as it's needed. And no, like you, we are not volunteering.

Will water rates go down as a result of the repayment? We doubt it. Because the council is also going to pass another ordinance this week, fattening one of its sweetheart consultant contracts with the ever-hungry CH2M Hill firm. The city will be throwing about $2 million more to that company for more work to replace the city's existing reservoirs with underground tanks. The contract started out at $8.5 million; it's now going up to $12.3 million, and counting. That's about a 45% increase so far.

The Hill crowd includes some of the same experts who helped federal officials write the rules that require the tanks, and now they cash in on the backs of little old ladies taking a bath in Portland. Meanwhile, other cities are getting excused by the feds from building tanks, but Portland really wants to build them and will do whatever it takes to get the multi-millions to the politicians' friends. We're happy that a little bit of justice is being done this week, but the overall picture is still disgusting. Portland needs new blood in the water bureau in the worst way. Let's hope Char-Lie puts Nurse Amanda in charge, if she makes it through tomorrow.

Comments (12)

Ever have one of those days when you figure that city government is nothing but a live rendition of "The Producers"? I'm waiting for Sam Adams to exclaim "The whole second act is terrible! They're LOSING the WAR!"

56 days

The Ballad of Sam and Randy

We both lie silently still
In the dead of the night
Although we both lie in our own beds
We feel oh so close inside

Was it something Sam said or something I did?
Did our words not come out right?
We wanted a slush fund
for a neon rose
but I guess that's why they say

Every rose has its thorn
Just like every election night has its dawn
Just like raiding the water bill was wrong, so wrong
Every neon rose has its thorn

Yeah it does

If I thought Portland could be cleaned up in the aftermath of the mis-management hyper activity of Sam Adams and Randy Leonard, I would be willing to stay and fight. But with Hales it looks highly unlikely. Sam Adams last act of funding and putting on the ballot the Arts tax (26-146) was the straw that broke the camels back for me. Here you have a new type of tax (only marginally removed from being an unconstitutional head tax, if not actually a head tax), which the City after years of abusing the water and sewer bill for pet projects, is the new slush fund to be raised with each new ginned up crisis. Hike the tax from $35 to $100 because the police need more safety training say, after some high profile police shooting with the usual political theatre.
I can tell you over the past two years I have put in countless hours fighting an out-of-control School District and now an always out-of-control Portland City Hall. It's much more fun and rewarding spending time watching Ben Rothlesberger (Steelers quarterback) dual Eli Manning (Giants quarterback) than trying to turn back the out-of-control Portland city governance. Plus, to really successfully fight back, you need a lot of bucks. The water law suit is founded by local industry, seeing continually escalating water and sewer costs; after years of cost insensitivity by former union boss, the Fireman. But even before the Fireman, the water and sewer bill were treated as a cash cow for other city endeavors. Heck, even Bud Clark hoisted a city franchise fee on the water bill inorder to fund street repair. But in subsequent years, this franchise fee got diverted to other city hall inspired pipe dreams.

The good news is these guys have screwed over the city so much that people are finally waking up.

Of course it will probably take the whole ship to crash and burn before people actually get out of their bed and do something.

People are not waking up, they are more statist and incompetent than ever. The children growing up in the past 20 years have seen the greatest amount of indoctrination and miseducation about government's role in society; basically hand-outs for everyone. Portland is filled with government workers, and now their children who have never offered their services on the market will blindly defend every stolen and wasted dollar. Think about how terrible the PDX school product is, and now these students are voters here, they honestly know nothing else but government.

This is why there's only 1 party in Portland with no dissent, no accountability, and no discussion.

Portland needs new blood in the water bureau in the worst way. Let's hope Char-Lie puts Nurse Amanda in charge, if she makes it through tomorrow.

It is not new blood, it is old blood recycled,
except perhaps for Novick, the jury is out.

It appears as if the scamming Sam-Rand duo are pleading “no contest” to the charge so they don’t have to admit any wrong doing. It also appears that scamming the ratepayers is not dead. The budget for the new water storage tanks seems to be mushrooming just like the OHSU Tram did, only this time underground. Leave it up to the twins to be fiscally irresponsible with ratepayer and taxpayer dollars.

Hear hear to putting the water bureau in Amanda Fritz's portfolio. Having talked to/testified to all the sitting commissioners about the bureau late in the 2000s, she's the only one I have confidence in to recognize the important issues.

for Novick, the jury is out.

Admiral Randy's hand-picked successor -- certainly not to be trusted with the water bureau.

What Portland needs is partisan elections. There needs to be an "out" party to hold the "ins" feet to the fire. Now we have an amorphous elite who get away with murder.

Not so sure about Amanda either. Having said that, I was not for Nolan.

I have difficulty here because they are both for fluoride. Amanda did vote for fluoride, how can we be so sure of her position on keeping our good Bull Run water clear of toxins and the negativity of fluoride?

In my opinion, she has only done bits and pieces here on our water throughout the years, hardly enough to go along with the statement to have confidence in her with our water bureau. She has been viewed as the good one, however, she has been too much of a go along rather than the fighter we needed, no wonder we are losing. Nolan would be a fighter, however, I am afraid not on our side, so there we are.


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

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
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: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
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

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