Wednesday, January 25, 2006


It’s always different after the first people get fired, isn’t it? Suddenly good journalism and effective government are forgotten, and self-preservation kicks in. Merely covering your ass has been upgraded to digging a quick foxhole and hunkering down till the battle is over. And that’s the trouble with the tram. It won’t be over unless the project is stopped. Not explained away, not apologized for, but stopped. And even then it will go on in court, but at least it will be tucked away somewhere, not hanging there day after day, as the bad numbers accrue.
The numbers of people who lose their careers should also grow. If this is built I believe that every commissioner who voted for it will lose their jobs – maybe not soon but eventually. Any debate they’re in will consist of their opponent rising up, pointing at them and saying, “He thought the tram was a good idea.” The obituary on their political careers in Portland will start with one phrase: Voted for the Tram.
So what’s my estimate on how many will ultimately lose their jobs because of this? I’m going to go conservative here, even though we’re just getting started. How many people does a tram car hold? 79? I’m going to guess that between 7 and 9 big-time players in Portland will flick their career switch to “Off” over this thing. The process is only beginning.


At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The arial Tram has unfortunatly been managed poorly, it was not completly developed so the true cost could be established early in the design development phase.

With all of this it is still going to be a wonderful addition to our city. It will bring an exciting new transportation technology, it will allow all citizens access to a fun experience while doing a mundane commute or visit to a dr.

It is not the capacity of one car but the daily total that will help the auto conjestion on the hill.

Good luck to the new managers.
Go Tram.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Dear Michael,
Thanks for contributing but.....
An exciting new transportation technology? Maybe we could defend it with some catapults, too.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The firings remind me of the stolen chicken scene in Schindler's List, where Untersturmfuhrer Goeth paces before a work detail while dangling a dead chicken in his hand. He demands to know who stole the chicken. When no one responds, he shoots one of the workers at random. After waiting a few more moments, a little boy steps forward and points at the dead man.

Francesconi, Rhodes, Brown, and so on are now the chicken theives.


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