The set-up

New City Council district office (artist's concept).

I see that the transition to Portland's new charter is limping along. Surprise! There are some issues.

For one thing, the new dozen City Council members, a.k.a. the world's worst book club, may not get the bloated staffs that the current commissioners have. According to Lefty Zee of OPB, the current plan calls for each of the new bobbleheads to get only one staffer, as compared to six or seven each under the current regime. The new mayor will get five, as opposed to the 17(!) stinking up the mayor's office today. Some say the new personnel levels are not enough.

Of course, there's also going to be a city manager, the only person doing real work on a daily basis, and Lord knows how many bureaucrats he or she will have sitting around devising new tortures for taxpayers.

The debate over staffing levels highlights how bad an idea it was to have 12 City Council members. We could have done with seven. And the districts don't need three representatives apiece. That was all to make it easier for Candace Avalos and some other unqualified nobodies to get a seat. There should have been seven districts with one council member each. But no. 

Look on the bright side: At least the overpaid pinheads on the council won't get to pad the payroll with too many of their nephews and in-laws.

Meanwhile, they're looking for spaces for satellite council offices out in the four new districts, and saying they can't get it done. Sophie, Child of the Weed, has the lowdown here. OMG, really? Office space vacancy is at an all-time high, especially in Portland. They can't find a spot to sit the rank-chosen? They must not be looking too hard, or else they're imposing ridiculous conditions.

It's starting to sound as though the powers that be don't really want there to be district offices. Which kind of defeats one of the purposes of electing council members by district.

If I were a landlord, I'd think twice about leasing to the city. What happens if a Rene Gonzalez type gets a council seat, and one hot summer night the anarchist kids show up with the Molotov cocktails?

Sauter asked what level of security was acceptable for elected officials in district offices. “Essentially, what do you want to leave these new entrants with? Do you want them to just have a card table at the Kenton Firehouse,” Sauter said on Tuesday, “or do you want them to have a facility that has the same level of security assuredness that you have downtown?”

I'm thinking the card table idea sounds pretty good. 

Anyway, fun and games abound with the charter changes, and there's still 10 months to go until the brand new day arrives. But then, just think, all of Portland's troubles will be over.


  1. This is, overall, a very sound take. However, with the "world's worst book club" dig, you have gone above and beyond. Respect.

  2. IIRC, Tom Potter would regularly set up "office hours" at random places throughout the city. Then again, people kinda liked Potter.

  3. Sadly, the bureaucrats in Portland’s city hall think that looking busy is good enough to fool the voters and the media. Which keeps them in their job.

    1. Sadly, they seem to be proven correct in that assessment, year after year.

  4. We had to "improve" on the Founders' vision, thinking we could do direct democracy better than those archaic Greeks. Repeal the Progressive "reforms" of the early 20th century, and Oregon will return to the dynamism of 1900.

  5. I'm seeing a trend with our public officials, where they really don't want to hear from the people, cause they know we are really pissed with their total malfeasance.

    Our 3rd Senator from NY, Ron Wyden has canceled all his town halls in Oregon because he's just too busy in DC. Gee I wonder if he just doesn't want to be asked about his absolute silence on the slaughter going on in occupied Palestine?


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