Thursday, April 27, 2006

From Donald Trump to “My Name Is Earl”: The Portland City Council


When Dan Saltzman flipped his vote on the tram he said he changed his mind because the city of Portland and OHSU were heading for a “messy divorce.” I think the question many Portlanders had was, “What were we doing getting married to OHSU, and if we were getting married to OHSU, where’s the pre-nup?” As we have since found out, there was no pre-nup.
What is it with all these partnerships anyway? The city council should be working in partnership with us - the voters. Wait, that’s the wrong term. Here’s a phrase you don’t hear from these guys that much: Government servants. What happened to serving the citizens of Portland, instead of running around playing Junior Donald Trumps with all these private businesses? Portland is being run like it’s a contest on “The Apprentice”: “Your next assignment is to renovate Civic Stadium!” “This next competition is to design and build a tram!”
The problem is they don’t have the expertise in these areas, and the taxpayers always take the hit when their schemes go haywire. They start out talking like Donald Trump but they end up sounding like the guy from “My Name Is Earl”: “Well, I gave $500 million to OHSU. I guess I can cross them off my list.”
Of course, Earl usually realizes that his actions have harmed someone else along the way, and he has even more to do: "Darn it, I sold out the citizens of Portland. There's a bunch more names I have to add to my list."

7 Comments:

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Torrid said...

Dan sold the City out when OHSU was ready to cave, no doubt. But it's a little absurd to assert that the City has no obligation or necessary concern for OHSU whatsoever. Plenty of citizens WORK there, for one thing. It performs a vital role in any community, for another.

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I agree and I'm glad I didn't assert that.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Torrid said...

sure sounds like it here:

What is it with all these partnerships anyway? The city council should be working in partnership with us - the voters. Wait, that’s the wrong term. Here’s a phrase you don’t hear from these guys that much: Government servants. What happened to serving the citizens of Portland, instead of running around playing Junior Donald Trumps with all these private businesses?

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Concerned obligation is one thing. This mishmash of responsibilities is another, especially when they didn't bother to agree on what happens if the rosy numbers were not accurate.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Frank Dufay said...

But it's a little absurd to assert that the City has no obligation...

So does this mean we have to build Trams for Kaiser, Providence...?

How about providing streets and sidewalks to long-established (and tax-paying) neighborhoods, rather than providing them subsidized or free to create new ones?

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Way to go, Frank.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Torrid said...

how does pointing out that the City has some obligatory concern for OHSU, mean that other hospitals need trams?

 

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