Pound the normal people harder

Here we are, a city positively covered with crap graffiti, and one of our leading lights in government steps up to the microphone to address the problem. What's her answer? More cops? Stricter penalties for the taggers?

No. Of course not.

Her answer is to make life worse for the victims of the vandalism by making it easier for the city to hound them into cleaning up the mess.

City Commissioner Carmen Rubio plans to introduce an amendment to Portland city code this week making it easier to compel negligent private property owners to clean graffiti off their buildings.... Rubio’s change would let graffiti enforcers go to a code hearings officer instead of a judge, streamlining the enforcement process.

Sure, and your "hearings officer" will be some 20-something passive-aggressive know-nothing fresh out of Portland State planning class, or an arrogant lifer from the city attorney's office who couldn't care less what your problem is. It's the Portland Way®. Due process around here is limited.

For people like Chainsaw Rubio, the answer to every problem is to take it out on the regular Joes and Janes who are just trying to live. Not enough money to spend on "street diets" and bike toys? More vicious parking enforcement. Too much graffiti? Make the property owners pay up faster.

I'm looking around Portland, and the biggest offenders who do nothing to clean up the spray-paint blight on their property are government entities. I-5, I-405, the Vista Tunnel, the list goes on, all an absolute disgrace. But you are to do as they say, not as they do.

“I don’t need to tell Portlanders that the amount of graffiti throughout our city has increased exponentially over the last few years,” Rubio said in a statement. 

Correct! What you do need to tell them, Ms. Rubio, is what you have done to stop it. And that is, nothing. In fact, your performance as a city commissioner has made the problem worse.


  1. So cancel culture on social media is now being applied to actual persons- play ball or we will force you to comply. I fear this is just the start.

    1. The City Attorney’s Office is not part of the Code Hearings Office. Sincerely, an Arrogant City Attorney’s Office Lifer.

    2. And there isn't a revolving door between the two? PS, please quit your job.

    3. City hearings officers are part of the City Auditors office. I don’t think there has been a hearings officer in at least the last 30 years that has come from or gone to the City Attorneys office. If you can find an example, I will stand corrected.

    4. I stand corrected on one point. The Hearings Office apparently is not under the City Auditor, although I believe it used to be and should be. It appears to be located in the Office of Management and Finance, which is not a good location to avoid politicization.

    5. Well, they all have the same snot-nosed attitude, so there's that. Thanks for taking the time out to argue. Now you can go back to hiding documents from the public.

  2. Here is another example of screwing over landlords:

    I totally stole a house. A nice one! It’s grand larceny, unless it’s a house in Portland. Then it’s a civil matter, not even a crime.


  3. No kidding!
    Property tax can be used progressively

    1. Property tax & zoning can be used progressively so as to discourage people/slumlords from hanging onto unimproved & vacant properties.

      There’re plenty of single vacant lots undeveloped, graffiti, potholes, gravel roads (I’m ok with some) while developer weasels want to wreck communities and make us pay to welcome them.

      Writing tickets / punishing average people even more to knock down their places / lein or get ahold of them cheaper to build more apartment bunkers is the net effect.

      As HOAs came into being in suburban sprawl instead of progressive taxation or the municipality taking responsibility for upkeep and public safety, slower moving and larger city bureaucracies are now mimicking that in effect.

      Or writing tickets for traffic in smaller sundown towns in the ex confederacy/south rather than raise taxes and get the feds/rest of us to put up for the rest like the most disgusting governors in places like MS.

      Some vine maple / surfaces not so visible by hideous corporate advertising & blending into plants / green space can go a long way toward removing/dis-incentivizing the accessible surfaces to tag.

      The answer is never constructive from city hall and their ‘buy low, sell high, whatever happens thereafter isn’t out problem’ corporate developer paymasters…

  4. Does this mean they're going to start fining ODOT and PBOT for not cleaning highway / freeway graffiti? Does TriMet get the fines for transit right-of-way?


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