Though it appeared that Commissioner Randy Leonard wanted to tape Mayor Potter's mouth shut for trying to thwart his proposed tape ban with an alternative resolution, duct-tape wielding parade watchers are safe for now.
The council agreed today without voting to send the resolution back to Leonard's office where he and Rose Festival Executive Director Jeff Curtis will co-chair a committee that will decide the proper action to take before a measure is adopted.
The ordinance, which would have prohibited painting, taping or marking public property for the purposes of reserving space has exposed a rift in Portland as to how parade spectators ought to be able to mark their territory. No laws regulating behavior are currently on the books, but spectators are allowed to tape off sections along the parade route up to two days in advance. Echoing the sentiments of many Portlanders, Leonard says this must stop. “The tradition…is for families to wake up early and stake out a spot.”
Trade groups, such as the Portland Oregon Visitors Association and the Portland Business Alliance oppose a ban, and in true Potter fashion, the mayor's counter resolution favored community feedback to action. Leonard's original comments, which were aimed at residents of Vancouver and Gresham, prompted public outcry from taping supporters. According too reining Rogue of the Week Leonard
he's received ten times as many communications on taping as any other issue during his tenure as commissioner.
To add fuel to the fire, the Portland Mercury editorial team went as far as to organize a duct tape removal crawl Friday evening. According to Portland Mercury Editor William Steven Humphrey, who testified in favor of the ban before City Council, the group removed more than 400 pounds of tape and garbage the night before the parade. Leonard and Curtis have set a six-month timetable to find a solution.