July 25th, 2008 | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, City Hall

What Sam Adams Really Wanted to Know Today

     
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Mayor-elect Sam Adams took time out from his busy week (in the last 48 hours alone, he revived talk of a fee on these, shelved talk of this fee and of course attended this) to listen to two ex-mayors impart the lessons they learned during their tenures.

Former mayors Bud Clark and Vera Katz gave advice to Adams in their scheduled remarks at the City Club of Portland on everything from police to urban renewal (more on that in next week's paper), but just as interesting were the questions Adams put to them during a Q&A session.

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His questions: What were the biggest things they failed to accomplish, what was the greatest toll on their personal lives when they were mayor and what advice they'd have for him to avoid that toll?

Clark said his biggest undone goal was community policing. He said the time required on the job put a lot of stress on a marriage — part of the reason he didn't run for a third term. And he said he got away from it all by riding his bike on a Friday or Saturday (probably not a problem for Adams).

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Katz listed affordable housing and the city's failure to distinguish itself from the rest of the region when it came to her biggest political disappointments. She was less direct than Clark in answering the personal question but said she tried to do too many things at once, and advised Adams—who was her infamously busy chief of staff for more than a decade—to relax and take weekends off.

After his last 48 hours, sounds like good advice.
 
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