Mayor Sam Adams has probably sat through more routine City Council sessions in the past 15 years than about any other Portlander.
As chief of staff to Mayor Vera Katz for more than 10 years; a city commissioner for four years, and now mayor, Adams is perhaps the city's leading expert on the arcane procedures that govern council meetings.
One that worked in his favor today is the requirement that citizens wanting to make a general comment during time set aside at the meeting for those comments must sign up a week in advance and specify what they want to talk about.
Because nobody thought a week ago to sign up for general comment today, four Adams critics were left trying to shoehorn their unhappiness with the mayor into the comment period for an unrelated matter, nominations for a police citizen review committee.
Stephanie Pierce, who introduced herself as an artist and graduate of Georgetown Law School, made the best attempt to link her feelings about Adams to the police citizen review committee: putting people approved by Adams in the position of reviewing police behavior, Pierce told the council would be like "the fox guarding the henhouse."
When she saw that Adams wasn't going to put up with off-topic remarks, Pierce got right to the point.
"I don't feel you were fairly elected," she said to Adams, who confessed
last week to lying in 2007 when asked if he'd had sex with teenager Beau Breedlove. A smattering of those in the audience clapped, which brought a firm but polite repsonse from the mayor.
"City Council long ago decided that the correct way to show your support for something somebody says is to wave your hands silently," Adams told the audience while demonstrating that hands gesture.
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