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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 5, 2012 7:32 PM. The previous post in this blog was How to make sure nothing happens. The next post in this blog is I thought I heard somebody call my name. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Your tax dollars at work, cont'd

This kind of shinola from Portland City Hall has become completely insufferable. We are now paying city bureaucrats to sit around all day tending to a website that will help you "discover new businesses in your neighborhood, browse deals from local shops, and learn more about the stories behind the businesses you love." It's beyond bad policy. It's insane.

Comments (17)

"Presented by the eGovernment Team, City of Portland, OR"

Those are probably just made-up jobs for sycophants, er, I meant "supporters".

Hopefully, someday an adult will take control down there and get rid of the payroll wastage.

I doubt that anyone at City Halls anywhere know the difference between productivity and wastage. The general concept of what government is supposed to do has shifted from core services to anything anyone wants it to be.

Somebody, somewhere is getting an Apple gift card...barf.

Here's an app idea. Non city business flyers produced on city computers are auto deleted.

My guess is these kind of make work jobs are designed to accomplish multiple goals.

First, to provide transitional employment for well connected staffers, their friends, family, relatives and appointees needing uninterrupted PERS time between elected official's appointments.

Secondly, create a pool of functionaries ready to be plucked for special pet projects to be named later.

A side benefit is to suck up loose cash near year end to provide justification for why police, fire and roads have "INADEQUATE FUNDING DUE TO BUDGET CUTS..."
to make the voting populace more pliable.

I guess I was too late to add an idea:

A pothole tracker that would not only identify potholes by size and location, but estimate how much money is being wasted by the website that could be used to fill some of these suckers.

In an odd way, this is brilliant. That is, if the city can get anybody to use it. After all, why worry that the local toothless news outlets might actually wake up and note "Hey, this is ridiculous" when they can pump propaganda and blatant endorsements for CoP benefactors directly to everyone in the area? What amazes me is that this sort of make-work program isn't already a lot more common, but then I suspect we'll see this done in more cities with the mantra "Well, Portland does it this way!"

The concept of a "Zero Based Budget" really scares these people. I used to think it would skim 20% off the city payroll. I'm now thinking it's closer to 30%.

Memo to City Hall: No, you are not the Chamber of Commerce. Let them promote business. Get back to public safety, street maintenance...you know, the stuff you neglect and hate to do because it isn't sexy and fun.

Thank you.

This site could cut out the middleman, eg the Oregonian. No need to subscribe to the paper, which just regurgitates press releases anyways, just go here and read them hot off the press, er, public information officer!

Tim-

Great idea. But Sam won't approve the app unless it includes a geo-locating feature for finding underage boys.

A website dedicated to getting city information out more efficiently via mobile devices.

Yep. Shinola. Wasteful. Outrageous.

Wow you folks really are stuck in the 1980s. Go look at a number of the already (freely contributed) apps, like the one that allows you to quickly recover city health inspections for a restaurant you are considering.

What exactly is wrong with this? Or is the mantra here: complain first, investigate later?

Ed, there's a HUGE difference between apps such as the ones you're citing, that actually apply to city business, and most of the gibberish on that site. At the very least, most of it could qualify as producing a conflict of interest, especially when you have no idea WHY these businesses were listed as choice by the city. Was money exchanged, were certain urges tickled, or is it because the review was written by an intern so thrilled to get freebies from a Portland business that s/he forgot to check on legal or ethical lapses? As it is, this reads like one of those free magazines that pretends that its blurbs are objective journalism, and not a legitimate city resource.

Bulls**t on an app is still bulls**t.

Does anyone out there actually think "hmm, where should I shop today?" and then go to a city website to get suggestions. Talk about #thingsthatwillneverhappen

TTR I don't believe you actually looked at the site. It advertises local businesses "shop local" on the front page but there is no content that I can find about that.

Instead almost all the apps have to do with city data that already exists but far as I can see this makes the information easily accessible. Unified transit info, business licenses issued, road work/closures, police incidents, fire dispatches.

This is not new stuff. Here is a story on many cities doing the same thing to make themselves more transparent and efficient: http://mashable.com/2011/08/10/mobile-apps-cities/


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Miles run year to date: 259
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In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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