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January 11th, 2012 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Working at the Water Bureau: More Dangerous Than the Fire Bureau

murmurs_brady_3810BRADY - IMAGE: Steel Brooks
  • Mayoral candidate Eileen Brady continues her torrid fundraising—she’s brought in $486,000 to Charlie Hales’ $294,000 and Jefferson Smith’s $171,000. But Brady returned two contributions this week—$500 from former U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Portland) and $250 from Packwood’s wife, political strategist Elaine Franklin. Franklin told WW that Brady called her in December and asked for a campaign contribution. After Brady received the contributions, the mayoral candidate called Franklin back and said she had a change of heart. Here’s where the stories diverge: Franklin told WW that Brady said she couldn’t accept the contributions because she has a policy of not taking money from former or current elected officials. “That’s what she told me,” Franklin says. “I just took her at her word.” Brady has a different story. Her campaign consultant, Jon Isaacs, says that Brady told Franklin nothing of the sort: “That’s just plain wrong. Eileen did not say that,” Isaacs says. Instead, he says, Brady simply decided she did not want Packwood’s money. “This was an isolated decision about an unsolicited contribution from Bob Packwood,” says Isaacs. (Packwood resigned from the Senate in 1995 amid allegations of sexual harassment.)
  • Professional baseball is one step closer to returning to the metro area. The Milwaukie City Council voted 3-2 Monday night to proceed to a second phase of study of locating a minor league ballbark on Oregon Route 99E just south of the Portland border. In the next phase, the city will hire an economist to evaluate the idea, and 360 Architecture, which has designed ballparks around the country, will complete a preliminary design for budget purposes. Councilors hope to have answers by mid-April. “Most folks we’ve talked to in town are supportive, provided the project pencils out,” says Council member Greg Chaimov.
  • City of Portland bureaus—not counting the police—have claimed $191,000 this fiscal year under an $18 million-a-year state program that subsidizes wage and equipment costs for employees injured on the job and assigned to “temporary transitional work” or skills classes. A document by the city’s Risk Management Division shows three bureaus have benefited most from the Oregon Employer-at-Injury Program since July: the Water Bureau, with $60,000 in claims (or $92 per bureau employee); the Bureau of Transportation, with $50,000 (or $64 per employee); and the parks bureau, with $30,000 (or $26 per employee, excluding seasonal workers). The fire bureau—which places workers at risk of injury—had just $9,800 in claims, or $12 per employee. A Water Bureau spokesperson did not respond to a message.
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