- Multnomah County government’s largest employee union has demanded that County Chair Ted Wheeler apologize to its members and rescind pay raises for two of his top staff after other County employees agreed to budget-balancing salary freezes. As first reported at wweek.com, Becky Steward, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 88, told Wheeler in an Aug. 3 email the salary increases send “a negative message to all county employees who tightened their belts.” Wheeler refused to rescind the $8,000 increase for chief of staff Tom Rinehart and the $10,000 increase for chief operating officer Jana McLellan, saying they were negotiated last year before others agreed to a freeze.
- Oy pay! A prisoner at Inverness Jail is suing Multnomah County Sheriff Bob Skipper because guards allegedly won’t allow him to wear a yarmulke. Bradley David Maier, who’s being held by the U.S. Marshal Service pending sentencing for bank fraud, filed suit Aug. 4 in federal court seeking $100,000 for “pain and mistreatment” for allegedly being denied his Jewish headwear. The suit also seeks medical treatment for Maier’s hernia. County attorney Agnes Sowle declined comment.
- Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder will run for Metro Council President David Bragdon’s seat next May, since term limits prevent Bragdon from running again. Burkholder doesn’t have to give up his seat to run. But if he wins, who might run to replace him? Three potential candidates are expressing interest: Katy Brooks, a Portlander who works for the Port of Vancouver as a community relations manager; Sattie Clark, who owns Eleek, a North Portland manufacturer of sustainable household items; and Brendan Finn, chief of staff to Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman. Meanwhile, Finn’s boss, who is up for re-election next spring, says he has no plans to give up his City Hall seat. “If you asked me today,” Saltzman says, “yes, I’m running.”
- Last week, Murmurs reported that Jonathan Poisner is leaving his job as executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters after 12 years (we incorrectly reported Poisner’s age. He is 43). This week, we can report Poisner’s replacement at the 3,800-member OLCV will be Jon Isaacs, a well-connected former adviser to U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Democrats statewide.
- Kudos to The Bend Bulletin for unearthing an inconvenient truth about one of the “environmentalists” fighting a casino proposed for the Columbia River Gorge. The paper reports that ex-Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus, a headliner on the list of enviros opposed to a gambling hall in Cascade Locks, is paid by the Gallatin Public Affairs to lobby for the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde. That’s worth noting because the Grande Ronde tribes oppose a casino closer to Portland than their own Spirit Mountain Casino in Polk County. A Gallatin rep tells the Bulletin the failure to disclose was an ldquo;oversight.”
- Murmurs didn’t know Skyline Boulevard resident Reed Gleason kept a small herd of oryx on his 3.8-acre property until one of the horned African antelope species escaped last week into Forest Park. Gleason says he’s raised eight of the animals in the West Hills for 12 years. Nosy, the oryx on the run, scared some hikers on the Wildwood Trail before he returned home in time for his grain dinner.
Read more daily scuttlebutt about a hate-crime investigation
in the Beaumont neighborhood and an update on a killing at the Rosenbaum Plaza apartment complex.