June 22nd, 2011 | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: City Hall, Cops and Courts, Politics, Multnomah County

Mayor Sam Adams' Delay Prompts Multnomah County Sheriff to Close the File on River Patrol Plan (Updated With Adams' Response)

lede_Adams.wideaMayor Sam Adams

After waiting more than three months to hear back from Mayor Sam Adams about Adams' own plan to have Portland take over river-patrol duties, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton on Tuesday sent Adams a stinging letter calling the matter "closed."

"Unfortunately, even after numerous attempts by my staff to contact your office over the last three months, we have been unable to further the inquiry or come to a resolution on any of our questions," Staton wrote in the letter (PDF) obtained by WW in a public-records request.

"I know you appreciate the need for expedience when serving the public trust—and with no additional information with which to proceed—I must now consider this matter closed," Staton wrote.

Adams took the sheriff's office by surprise in February when he proposed taking over patrolling rivers from Multnomah County during the mayor's annual State of the City speech.

Critics saw it as another example of Adams' hastily proposed policy changes. The State Marine Board and the sheriff's deputies union were quick to pan the proposal.

According to Staton's letter, he and Adams sat down on March 17 to discuss the plan, and Staton's office prepared a "short list of questions." Adams agreed to respond "within a couple of weeks," according to Staton's letter.

"It is unfortunate that we were not able to find areas to collaborate on this issue, but I certainly welcome future opportunities to work with your office," Staton's letter concludes.

But in a written response to Staton (PDF), Adams seeks to keep his River Patrol proposal alive. He cites pending state budget cuts to county social services as a reason for the city to take over river duties.

"We share with you the deep concern about the current mental health care crisis in our city and recognize that the money Multnomah County will save by transferring River Patrol to the city could be directly applied to much-needed additional mental health services," Adams writes.

"As a result," Adams writes, "in the coming weeks, I would like to schedule a meeting with you to discuss how we advance this issue."

 
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