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Monday, March 4, 2013

Mayor Char-Lie's first fix

At least, the first one he's been busted for: sweet, sweet zoning goodies for the California sharpies building the Mystery Train to Milwaukie:

Stacy and Witbeck Inc., the construction firm that built most of the region's MAX and streetcar routes, has doubled down on its latest project by buying 3.25 acres along the Portland-to-Milwaukie MAX line for development....

Stacy and Witbeck is benefiting from connections to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. The company president met with Hales in January, leading the new mayor to order city employees to accelerate land-use planning tied to the MAX line.

That could speed up a zoning change likely to increase the value of the property, which Stacy and Witbeck bought in 2011 for $3.16 million. The land is currently zoned for industrial and commercial uses....

Stacy and Witbeck donated $25,000 to Hales' mayoral campaign, equal to his largest cash contribution. Company executives also gave him more than $8,000, according to campaign filings, with Bollier giving $6,600.

Hales said the contributions in no way prompted him to accelerate planning. In fact, he said, he thinks the new zoning should have been in place before construction on the MAX line began. He added: "In a free economy, people are free to exploit their opportunities."...

Hales said thoughtful planning and potential zoning changes could benefit not only Stacy and Witbeck but Portlanders.

"Sometimes," Hales said, "their self-interest and the public interest align."

Uh huh. What a tool.

Comments (16)

Stacy and Witbeck bought the property in May and December 2011, according to Multnomah County property records, paying $2.6 million to Eastern Western Corp. and $560,000 to I & A Corp.Michael McGinley, president of Eastern Western, said he decided to sell after learning that TriMet needed half of his company's property for the MAX line. "It'd be difficult to develop" the rest, he said. Stacy and Witbeck subsequently sold two parcels to TriMet for $604,100, according to property records.

That looks just as fishy, IMHO.

What's ironic is that the PMLR is simply today's version of the Mount Hood Freeway, just that this time it didn't get stopped.

And what exactly is this "public interest" - giving away land, and then giving away tax breaks, so that PPS can be the laughingstock of Oregon's education system?

Or cramming more people in, while the majority of them will continue to use roads - causing McLoughlin Boulevard to be the laughingstock of highway capacity planners?

Or, reducing the availability of industrial land that is adjacent to a mainline railroad - replacing $20/hour manufacturing jobs with $8/hour barista jobs?

But it'll look pretty...just like that recently restored wetland and those trees do on McLoughlin Boulevard. You know, the same wetland that was bulldozed over for MAX, and the trees that are being cut down.

What we have here in Portland, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a corporatocracy with a "green" sugar coating wrapped in "sustainable" packaging. The finest advertising agency in the world couldn't have pulled this off any better.

Either the Mayor can't see the obvious conflict of interest, or is a complete jack-ass liar.

Hmmm - an ignorant fool or a deceitful tool. Gee it's hard to make up my mind, which one I find the most distasteful.

When the Pearl area was rezoned from industrial and commercial/industrial, CoP and Bureaucrats (including Hales as city commissioner) guaranteed to keep the near eastside as an industrial sanctuary to compensate for the Pearl's loss. It was to remain as an incubator of small industry, businesses.

Hales push for rezoning in the near eastside is totally contrary to city policy. But so what? We apparently have no policies. The rest of us don't understand the big picture.

"their self-interest and the public interest align." Or is that misspelled and should read "line" as in one's pockets.

Stopping the Mount Hood Freeway was one of the really dumb things done in the name of....guess who.

Fox in hen house time. . . . again!

Who better knows the layout of the house than one who has been in it?

Four more years!

Hehe, glad you picked up on this!

Lee,Hales push for rezoning in the near eastside is totally contrary to city policy. But so what? We apparently have no policies. . .

In my opinion, that house of planning, is like a house of cards for Charlie. A game of playing with our land and land use rules, what fun for the smart growther and disastrous for those who don't want our livability "played" away.

"In the PDX economy, my people are free to exploit their opportunities."

Fixed that for him.

"In a free economy, people are free to exploit their opportunities."...

That comment free to exploit coming from Hales is scary!

How about this for a fixing?
In a free economy I am free to exploit . . .

Is that Jimmy Hoffa running the Char LIE Detector?

This picture is hilarious! I think to be in politics in Portland you must first study the workings of politics in Chicago. You could look at Hales' perspective along the following: Sometimes the interest of the Mafia align with that of the CIA, and everybody wins? This Hales deal, to me, is much more egregious than Sam Adams' romp in the City Hall bathroom, or even Clinton's Monica moment. But I doubt if we get a recall of Hales, especially with "her-face-hit-my-closed-fist" Mr. Smith next in line to take over the City Hall circus.

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