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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

New office chief for Saltzman

Portland city commissioner Dan Saltzman announced this afternoon that his outgoing chief of staff, Jeff Cogen, will be replaced by Donald Rumsfeld. In a hastily called press conference, Saltzman, recently re-elected to a third four-year term on the City Council, said he believed the former defense secretary would be an effective advocate for several pending initiatives, including the privatization of the city's parks.

Saltzman's relationships with some of the city's east side neighborhoods have badly deteriorated in recent months amid charges that he has secretly negotiated to sell off of city property without adequate public process. But the commissioner said today he believes that Rumsfeld will move quickly to help patch matters up. "I spoke with Secretary Rumsfeld this morning, and he and his wife Joyce are very excited about moving to Portland," Saltzman told the media today. Since "they're too old to handle a yard," the Rumsfelds are purchasing a view unit in the John Ross Tower in the city's SoWhat district, he added.

"It's a major coup for Dan," noted one City Hall insider, who insisted on anonymity for fear of police retaliation. "They had a conference call the other day with Grimwade and Santner, and everybody agreed that this guy will fit right in, right away."

Cogen, known around City Hall as "Little Big Pipe," will be leaving Saltzman's employ shortly to join the Multnomah County commission. He defeated Lew Frederick for that position in yesterday's election. The official final tally was $153,226 to $41,809.

Comments (2)

Haliburton's already been awarded the no-bid contract to mow the lawn at the new park in SoWa. A bargain at $4.5 million a year, though that doesn't include the cost of security. Or lawn mowers. Or guys to mow the lawn.

Part of the new decentralized and privatized park maintenance program, eh, Frank?

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