Dysfunction at the junction

I see the Portland City Council spent four hours today dancing around the question whether to renew the contract for the failed "joint office of homeless services," which is run by Multnomah County with the juice of tens of millions of city taxpayer dollars each year.

You talk about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. For the City Council members, the big issues worth spending half the day on were how many people the city gets to put on some toothless advisory committee, whether the city can opt out of the new three-year deal after one year, and if so, how much continuing incompetence on the part of the county would have to be proved for the city to quit the deal at that point. Blah blah blah blah blah.

“We are all concerned about tents and tarps … How, when and to whom they get distributed matters, and based on that data and looking at available shelter beds is how we build that policy,” said commissioner and mayoral candidate Carmen Rubio.

Did she just actually say anything? I must have missed it.

But let's get real for a moment. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in human relations to figure out that the city-county homeless response has been nothing but a bad marriage for many years now. What the city is trying to clean up, the county is making worse

It's time for a divorce. If the county chair, Jessica Chevy Vega, wants to keep handing out tents and needles to the addicts, and making sure that there are never any meaningful consequences for open-air drug use, well... there's apparently no stopping her. The only sensible thing for City Hall to do is to stop handing her money to do more of it. Not three years from now. Not one year from now. Now.

When KGW asked Vega Pederson's office for a comment on Thursday's city council discussion, they sent the following joint statement from both the chair and [Mayor Dud] Wheeler, saying:

“This new intergovernmental agreement is the roadmap that creates the Homelessness Response System we need. It establishes clear goals, strengthens coordination, identifies accountable parties and is inclusive of a broad set of community partners. Our governments have stayed engaged, at the table and are ready to complete these final steps to put in motion a new governance structure and implement the Homelessness Response Action Plan — together.”

Wow. "Establishes clear goals, strengthens coordination, identifies accountable parties and is inclusive of a broad set of community partners." When does that start getting the bum doo off the sidewalks? In what decade?

Meanwhile, for those who partake, here's a new drinking game: Take a shot every time some worthless Portland politician says "at the table." But don't plan to be sober, ever again. 


  1. Tax paying citizens as well be in roughly the same debauched condition as the recipients of the tarps and tents.

  2. There seems to be some intense intents in tents going on here...

  3. Good news, the masks are finally off their arrogant noses. Bad news, the blinders are still on.

  4. In a number of smaller cities, Recall elections have been successful this year and last year. Why not show JVP the door?

  5. Term-limited doctor/lawyer/commissioner Sharon Meiran has been on fire on Twitter/X on these issues...

  6. Didn't the massive increase in homelessness on the streets start around the inception of Measure 110, with some covid sprinkled in? Three and a half years ago? Goals, responses and accountability should have been set then. But, hey, when you have staff taking months or longer to identify potential outdoor shelter spaces, and the kids working at the city had no idea that Johnson Creek flooded . . . Will be interesting if the new city administrators will hold the kids working at the city accountable.

    1. Look at the two in the lower right of the photo. That's about the level of experience the city bureaucracy has now. Fresh out of the Portland State reality detachment bubble and eager to tell us all how to live.

    2. And brain dead!

  7. It's all right here: https://www.multco.us/elections/information-initiative-referendum-and-recall-petitions#recall

    that's tough sledding to get ~55K in 90 days. But if the Schnitzer army is willing to buy billboards, they might as well burn some money trying this. Given her last "approval" ratings, I give it a nonzero chance.

  8. Don’t forget they also give out crack pipes which double for smoking meth so don’t say that they aren’t trying to save money. The foil and the straps to tie off your arms for injection come with the goody bags too.


Post a Comment

The platform used for this blog is awfully wonky when it comes to comments. It may work for you, it may not. It's a Google thing, and beyond my control. Apologies if you can't get through. You can email me a comment at jackbogsblog@comcast.net, and if it's appropriate, I can post it here for you.