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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Portland city ombudsman quits -- will anybody notice?

Michael Mills, the City of Portland ombudsman, is leaving City Hall and taking a job at a real estate development firm, Portland State University. Mills is one of the investigators whose positions were recently changed to "at will," meaning that the city auditor could fire them for just about any reason under the sun. We didn't hear of a single thing that Mills did in his 17 years as an ombudsman on the city payroll (the first eight with Mayor Vera), but apparently he's good at reading the writing on the wall.

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If you want to know what Michael Mills was doing all these years, here's an example of the crap that I received two years ago in an email from Michael Mills, acting in his official capacity as ombudsman.

"I understand how the governing process can often be frustrating and at times appear to defy logic. In the balancing of interests there are both victories and setbacks. I find that when the results are not what I had hoped for, I look forward to another day and the next issue. This helps keep me going."

"investigates residents' complaints about city services, makes recommendations on how to improve city programs"

17 years at what maybe 80-100k for salary and benefits ($1.3-1.7 million total)---truly the city that works us over once again.

Mills lost me when he did nothing about this, even though Clackamas and Washington Counties made a successful case to him to remove the owner information for addresses in their counties.

1993: "Michael Mills, dispute resolution coordinator for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, will serve as ombudsman. Before working for the state, he served as ombudsman for the municipality of Anchorage, and was an elected city council member in North Bonneville, Wash. His starting salary will be $35,016."

2009: Total compensation: $128,407. [According to GovDocs]

That averages out to a 7.5% increase per year, every year, for 18 years.

I gotta get an Ombudsman job ...

Talk about "leaving early to avoid the rush".

I gotta get an Ombudsman job ...

Indeed, who knew you could make a whole career out of ombudsmaning . . . or ombudsing . . . er, ombudsmanship . . .(?)

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