April 19th, 2010 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Environment

Read The Letter: Greenbrier CEO Slams City's River Plan

gunderson barge

The Greenbrier Companies' Gunderson subsidiary is one of the largest employers on Portland's industrial waterfront. The Lake Oswego-based outfit builds railcars and barges on 63 acres along the Willamette River, and Greenbrier CEO Bill Furman has been critical of the City of Portland's River Plan.

In this April 15 letter [PDF] to Mayor Sam Adams after City Council approved part of the river plan, Furman said the city's approach is all wrong. Here's a sampling:
I am appalled you have decided to push through today the present ill-advised Portland River Plan. In its present form it is not only inconsistent with Oregon Statute, but as you must know quite well, represents but another level of unnecessary regulation and bureaucracy on an already burdened waterfront business community. Moreover, it is little other than a thinly disguised tax on family wage jobs and industries at a time when the Portland Business Journal notes that Portland has has lost over 37,000 jobs in the last year.

In contrast to criticism from Furman and others who operate businesses along the Willamette that the plan burdens them with unnecessary regulation and costs, environmentalists have pushed the city to live up to the River Renaissance former Mayor Vera Katz proposed a decade ago when Adams was her chief of staff.

(Photo above of Gunderson barge launch courtesy of argonautics.com)
 
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