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Friday, February 1, 2013

Sold out, in more ways than one

What pomposity. Farquaad Cogen will give a "state of the county address" to the City Club today. A packed house is expected. He's told the O in advance what he's going to say, and so they dutifullly -- and exclusively! -- report it.

Breaking news: He's going to hire an as-yet-unnamed contractor for about a quarter-million to come to town and teach some government employees "mental illness first aid." It's actually a wonderful metaphor for the state of mental health in Portland. We've got an army of ill people roaming the streets with the equivalent of severed carotid arteries, and we're handing out Band-Aids. And a no-bid deal, no doubt.

The laugh lines in the story are plentiful:

"Budgets are tight, but one role of leadership is to prioritize decisions. This is going to be a priority for us."

Now, there's a spit-take line if we ever heard one. What hypocrisy. What Cogen won't mention to the adoring City Club faithful is how he's sold out the county, and lots of others, by going along with the city's ridiculous "education urban renewal" district. He gets a new building out of it for his personnel department, and the rest of you school kids and sick poor people will get less services as a result.

He hopes to find the money to continue the program into the future...

No kidding. Isn't that every Portland politician's platform these days? "He hopes to find money." Us too. We definitely, fondly, fervently hope to find money.

Anyway, the Cogue will be sure to sprinkle in some gun control stuff for the City Club sheep to bleat their approval at. Background checks -- that will solve everything. Ginny Burdick will save us.

And of course, sitting in the front row for the whole speech will be Former Mayor Creepy himself, probably with some twenty-something-year-old know-nothings in tow, about to give the City Club directors the same nervous breakdown he gave the city for the last four years. Adams, City Club, Cogen -- ewww. Just ewww.

Comments (3)

My career was in public mental health in an enlightened county at a time of decent funding. The mentally ill can be stabilized and lead meaningful lives with the correct "wraparound" services. Current services in Multnomah county are woefully inadequate and the vast majority of mentally ill people have become a police responsibility and are "treated" in jail.
This is an incredibly costly and inhumane way to deal with a societal problem. It is ridiculous to "train" law enforcement beyond the basics. The money should be spent on professional mental health resources.

Speaking from second hand experience, more often than being treated in jail they are "treated" in the back of a squad car for hours until they're calm enough to release back on the street.

Thank you for your comment.
Many of us somehow know this, but to hear from someone who has had a career in this field is important.

I have been so disappointed in our Multnomah County, not surprised knowing that Jeff Cogen comes out of the city office, Saltzman's office.
If any of you have heard in the news recently, we have a radon problem in our area, Multnomah County should be on top of this issue and be advocating for open reservoirs so the radon can dissipate in the air rather than come into our homes with water/showering etc. Multnomah County should be on top of the garbage issue as well.

In my opinion, not only are they not taking care of mental needs, but are not taking care of important physical healthy needs for our community.
The new building Cogen went along with on that URA is an unacceptable priority.
When will we learn to stop supporting some of the familiar names, going from city to county from city to Metro, from county to City to Congress to . . .continuing revolving doors??

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