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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Fireman Randy for Mayor!

A while back on the Nick Fish Sunday sunrise talk show, the host half-kiddingly asked Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard what he would do if he was assigned the troubled Water Bureau by Mayor Tom Potter. Said Randy: "Then I'll have to run for mayor."

And lo, it has come to pass. (Via b!X -- now you see him, now you don't.)

Comments (13)

I already sent Randy an e-mail to ask him who he had torked off, but he's gone until July 5th. I can't imagine why he got the "punishment bureau".

Maybe he can straighten it out!

Ironic that the five white guys in charge of the City, fire three top administrators, two of which have minority sounding last names. That ought to blow their EEO numbers.

The "come to pass" link is bad. I get a "HTTP 404: Binary article "84114" does not exist." message. This is as of 4:41pm 6/22.

They moved it, but I found it again. Thanks for the alert.


Tom Potter is my guest this week on Outlook Portland with Nick Fish,Sunday, 6:30-7:00 am, on Portland's WB (Channel 3 on Comcast).

I asked Tom Potter whether he intends to run for reelection, whether he has confidence in his police chief, and whether Erik Sten will be the next head of PDC.

We also talked about civil unions and charter review.

He had many interesting things to say.

Please set your TIVO!



PS Governor Kulongoski is my guest July 3. Among other things, he explains his position on the City's effort to buy PGE.

Seems to me that, incredible as it may be, there is a schema underlying Potter's assignments, and that Leonard getting the Water Bureau is a part of that schema.

I noticed a couple of months ago, about the time that Sten and Potter started talking about the city taking over PGE, that the city had begun proclaiming itself as, by printing on water bills, that they were the "City of Portland Utilities", and they also were requesting that they wanted checks for water bills to be made payable to, "City of Portland Utilities". The reason I took notice is that I've been paying water bills to the city since 1973, and, hitherto April, 2005, they had always wanted the bill made out to "Portland Water Bureau." So this was a big change. And the timing of it made it curious.

So now the city is preening itself in front of the mirror as, a utility provider. And, yep, and it's plural too, i.e. "utilities." As in more than one. As if the city just has this vast array of utilities that it operates, and your little old water bill is just for one of them.

Gee. I wonder what other utilities the city had in mind.

The assignment to Leonard of the Bureau of Hydroelectric Power, and as having "liaison responsibilities" over the Portland Utility Review Board, in addition to the Water Bureau gives us a clue. Leonard is overseeing the utilities. He's the Utilities (plural) Commissioner.

And if anybody got shunted off into oblivion, it's Saltzman. Take a look at his assignments. I'd say that he's being repaid for opposing the terror fighting commandos Potter and Leonard over the FBI task force issue.


Not so fast.

Saltzman looks like a big winner to me.

Parks, kids and the environment.

Not a bad portfolio for a politically moderate incumbent up for re-election.

Hard to figure how this amounts to political "oblivion."

I noticed the same thing Jaybird did when I received my last water bill. Remit to "City of Portland Utilities". Sent a cold chill up my spine. Interesting also that, while still running the cobbled together Severn-Trent water billing system, they could make the remit to address change on the bill, but still cannot calculate or provide the stormwater disconnect discounts as promised.

Hard to figure how this amounts to political "oblivion."

As pointed out elsewhere (I can't recall where at the moment), the political risk for Saltzman, who faces re-election soon, is that Parks has the potential to be an albatross, given the tensions between its popularity and general budgetary problems.

Hard to figure how this amounts to political "oblivion."

Maybe "oblivion" is a bit too strong. And I suppose that what's seen as a substantive and high-power assignment is all in the eye of the beholder.

Besides, former city commisioner Charles Jordan parlayed his term of parks oversight into a full-blown career in city parks administration, both here and in Texas, as I recall.

Well, let's overlook the obvious.
Somehow Potter felt Fireman Randy was not as qualified as Sten the great to handle the fire bureau.
Is it that Randy would be too union and not enough management oriented?
I have no idea but perhaps someone else does.

Erik Sten is on special assignment. His assignment is Portland's acquisition of PGE. The commissioner in charge of the fire bureau probably has very little to do, except clang a bell during a photo op from time to time. This will allow him to focus on that mission.

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