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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Char-Lie shows his hand

The new mayor of Portland has proven himself in his first quarter of governance to be a better mayor than his predecessor. But let's be honest, that isn't saying much. There are few politicians we can think of who would have been worse, although Hales's deranged opponent in the general election certainly fits that bill.

The promise of reasonably adult leadership at City Hall is just that, however -- a hope for the future. The mayor hasn't revealed much of an agenda during the three months he's had to mop up for the irresponsible Sam Rand Twins. And so he hasn't really shown us any reliable indication that he's going to stop the city's downhill plunge into fiscal ruin and a permanently damaged quality of life.

Indeed, yesterday Mayor Char-Lie made some remarks that indicate that after a suitable pause to try to gain the public's confidence, he'll be right back to stoking the real estate development machine that has put the city in such a deep hole over the last 25 years. The kids at the Merc picked up on Hales's comments in this piece, which is actually worth putting on some rubber gloves and going over there to read. It has to do with yesterday's "awkward moment," in which the City Council threw another $800,000 down the rat hole known as the eastside streetcar:

"This is a success story," [Hales] said, touting the "American-made" streetcar-manufacturing industry that local company Oregon Iron Works is building from scratch. "It's a requirement [for federal grants] and it's a risk. And that's the reason we have to be vigilant and do careful oversight even while we're innovating."

He also quoted Machiavelli, saying any new system earns the "enmity and opposition of those who don't benefit" while receiving the "lukewarm support" from those that do.

We've pointed out for a long time that Hales is never to be trusted, and that he is owned by Homer Williams and other developers. The streetcar is the ultimate illustration of what the mayor is about. We predict that within a year, those true colors will emerge in greater relief, and it will be clear that the city's disheartening slide, which commenced with Vera Katz, is still very much in progress.

Remember what old Char-Lie was doing less than two years ago:

And never forget this.

We pray that Hales and Novick will turn the city around, but we direct our prayers to Saint Jude, patron saint of hopeless cases.

Comments (6)

I agree that Hales may be better than his predecessor. However, the polite might say that this is still a Hobson's Choice. I'd say that "this is taste-testing dog sh*t."

I'm pretty sure Hales way back when admitted that the Eastside MAX had not spurred development as intended, but was still worthwhile.

Charlie showed his hand before the election.
6 B.
6 C.

If Charlie Hales wants to prove that he's a changed man and is all about cost-efficiencies, he should man up, ditch his city owned Prius (that had to be sent to the body shop after Sam Adams wrecked it a time or two), and ride a TriMet bus.

Yup. Not MAX. Not a Streetcar. But a bus. Every day. To work. To home. To his appointments.

After all, all city employees get a TriMet pass, so it would save the city thousands on his motor pool expense. Plus it'd let him be connected with a good cross-section of the city on a daily basis and actually understand the needs of ordinary citizens.

Of course, it'll never fly. But it would be nice...

What TTR said.

and lets put all City inspectors on bicycles

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