| DINGFELDER: Candidate for Metro president? |
IMAGE: Thomas Cobb
- Metro Council President David Bragdon’s final term ends next year, and there’s a swirl of potential successors for the $114,000-a-year position. Councilor Rex Burkholder says he wants to succeed Bragdon but has made no official announcement. An opponent may be Bob Stacey, who announced last week that he will retire this summer as director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. “I do intend to do something else,” Stacey says. “I haven’t had time to decide what yet.” Meanwhile, Metro Councilor Robert Liberty tells Murmurs he has decided not to run. Another possible contender, state Sen. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland), says people have approached her about running but she’s too busy with the Legislature to consider the race right now.
- Proponents of recalling Mayor Sam Adams will gather at 6 pm Thursday, May 14, at Nick’s Coney Island (3746 SE Hawthorne Blvd.). Recall spokesman Jasun Wurster says his group needs volunteers to collect the required 32,183 signatures within the 90-calendar-day limit starting July 1. But the last man to successfully gather signatures for a city ballot measure is skeptical. Salem lobbyist and statewide ballot measure veteran Mark Nelson, who gathered 24,510 signatures in 2001 that led the city to abandon a street tax, says Wurster may be underestimating his task. “I think it’s going to be really tough, ” Nelson says. “And I think it will cost $3 to $4 a signature.”
- Not everyone is happy about the upcoming reopening of the new transit mall downtown. Erickson Realty, which owns Unitus Plaza at 1300 SW 6th Ave., is suing the City of Portland and TriMet for blocking access to a commercial parking lot in the building. The $760,000 lawsuit filed April 30 in Multnomah County Circuit Court claims that customers have been blocked from entering the parking lot from Southwest 5th Avenue since March 1, and will continue to be blocked permanently because the mall keeps the adjacent lane on that street for public transport only, with no right turns allowed. TriMet and the city both have a policy against commenting on litigation.
- City Commissioner Dan Saltzman has set a goal of visiting every one of Portland’s elementary schools in the coming months. He has no specific deadline for accomplishing that task, but he’s off to a quick start. Since April, Saltzman’s visited about a dozen schools from Duniway Elementary School in Eastmoreland to James John Elementary in St. Johns, according to his weekly calendar. The 90-minute visits are designed to give students a chance to ask the commissioner questions. Here’s a suggestions from Murmurs for the little rugrats: Mr. Saltzman, why aren’t you at City Hall?
- Still smarting that George Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000 but won the presidency by winning the Electoral College? Well, the Oregon Legislature may be open to scrapping the odd way America picks a president. House Bill 2588 would give Oregon’s seven electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most actual votes nationwide in 2012 instead of who wins the most actual votes in Oregon. The bill would only tie Oregon to that commitment if other states combining to total 270 electoral votes make the same pledge. Five states totaling 61 electoral votes have already OK’d the compact, with Washington the most recent to sign on. Oregon’s bill has passed the House 39-19 and is in the state Senate. Gov. Ted Kulongoski hasn’t had a chance to look at the bill, according to a spokesman.