Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Randy Leonard voted this morning to give Merritt Paulson's company the green light to perform limited construction work
at PGE Park -- even without a final financial agreement in place.
Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish voted no, with Fish noting that there are 81 issues still in dispute between the city and Paulson.
The 3-2 split had to do with whether approving the emergency resolution now -- weeks before the city expects to reach a legally binding operating agreement with Paulson -- would give the city more
leverage in the final days of negotiation with Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers and Beavers. Those voting yes thought the move would give the city more leverage.
The city's agreement with Paulson was supposed to have been reached in October but has been delayed by disagreement over many of the terms. Despite the delays, Paulson's company is trying to maintain a construction timeline to bring Major League Soccer to Portland in 2011 while also accommodating the 2010 Beavers baseball season.