Tom Miller, who racked up plenty of frequent flier miles as Mayor Sam Adams' chief of staff, is continuing his globe-trotting ways as the new director of Portland's perennially cash-strapped Bureau of Transportation.
Miller, whose promotion in January came with a 50 percent raise, is in Rotterdam this week on personal vacation until Friday. Then he flies to Spain on PBOT's dime for Greenlight Greater Portland's "Best Practices Trip 2011."
A spokeswoman for the transportation department says Miller's flight to Rotterdam in The Netherlands was part of the travel plan for the best-practices conference; Miller left earlier to incorporate his vacation. The transportation bureau will pay for the flight, the conference and Miller's time in Spain, a trip that is expected to cost more than $5,000. (Update at 1:45 pm: The spokeswoman for the bureau originally gave WW an incorrect figure for the price of the trip. It will cost about $5,000.)
Greenlight Greater Portland describes the April 2-9 conference—"Madrid, Barcelona ... Ole!"—this way:
During the week we will:
Meet with government, academic, business, civic and diplomatic official to hear their perspective on the evolution of these two historic cities and the challenges they see ahead.
Study the public policies these regions have enacted to encourage sustainable development and ensure livable, culturally open, integrated communities.
Examine how historically industrial-based centers are transitioning and positioning themselves as innovative hot spots, designed to lure young and talented workers, new business investment and tourism.
Visit the world Iberdrola Renewable Energies Operation Center (CORE) in Toledo, the former capital of Spain.
Tour historic, cultural, high-tech and other business districts to get a sense of what it's like to work and live in these urban centers.
Before moving to the transportation bureau, Miller oversaw two dozen employees in the mayor's office and earned about $100,000 a year. He now directs more than 700 employees and collects an annual salary of $150,000.
Miller replaces Sue Keil, who doesn't officially retire for several more weeks.