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"No Clear Answers" About How City Property Would End Up in a Water District's Hands, Internal City Hall Memo Says

Measure backer says City Attorney's memo is wrong.


As Portland City Hall braces itself for a May vote that could strip its authority over its water and sewer bureaus, the city's lawyers are scrambling to understand what the ballot measure could mean for Portland property and finances.

The sh...   More
Friday, April 18, 2014 by AARON MESH

Portland Streetcar Audit Says City Violated State Law


A new city audit of Portland Streetcar says City Hall is breaking state law in how it allows the streetcar's private operator to control public money. City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade also says the city has never made a strategic plan to fit the streetcar into its larger transportation spending, since creating the streetcar system in 1995.

"The City’s decisions have ...   More
Thursday, April 17, 2014 by AARON MESH

Both Sides of Portland Water Fight Pick Up $20,000 Checks

New water district donors include Andrew Miller and CH2M Hill


The war over the future government of Portland's water supply is getting even more money.

Both sides of the campaign on Ballot Measure 26-156, which would remove Portland's water and environmental services bureaus from City Hall control, reported $20,000 contributions today.

And both sides also got money from allies sure to inflame the other side.

The "yes" camp...   More
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by AARON MESH

Former Portland Finance Chief Jack D. Graham Will Sue City for Racial Discrimination


The City of Portland's former finance chief, Jack D. Graham, has filed notice of his intent to sue the city for racial discrimination and defamation.

The tort claim filed by Graham this afternoon says Graham intends to individually sue three city commissioners—Nick Fish, Ama...   More
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by AARON MESH

Francesconi Watches Welders, Promises Jobs in First TV Spot


Jim Francesconi is taking his jobs pitch to television.

The former city commissioner, running to for Multnomah County Chair, has made job creation the central issue of his campaign against Deborah Kafoury. (They are competing to replace Marissa Madrigal, who stepped in after her former boss, then-Chair Jeff Cogen, resigned in September.)

On Friday, Francesconi released...   More
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by AARON MESH

City Memo Says Water District Threatens Tens of Millions in Financial Agreements


The water and sewer bills Portlanders pay do more than cover the cost of city utilities. Every year, the City of Portland’s Water and Environmental Services bureaus divert millions of dollars into the city's budget to cover the cost of services and to help pay for the operations of other departments.Money from utility bills into is fanned out into places as far-reaching as the m...   More
Friday, April 11, 2014 by AARON MESH

Survey Shows Cracks in Public Support for $12-a-Month Street Fee

UPDATE: Adding businesses to fee system could raise $52 million a year.


A phone survey ordered by City Commissioner Steve Novick shows weak support for an $8-a-month or $12-a-month “street maintenance and safety” fee, with as many as 50 percent of voters opposed...   More
Thursday, April 10, 2014 by AARON MESH

Multnomah County Cuts Sonia Manhas' Job and Office from the Health Department Budget


Multnomah County is erasing all traces of Sonia Manhas, the health department employee who had an affair with county chair Jeff Cogen.
They both quit, under duress, after Cogen admitted to the affair last summer.
Many of the questions that dogged Cogen ...   More
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by AARON MESH

Water District Backers Complain Another Hales Staffer Campaigned Against Them Using City Time


The backers of a May ballot initiative to wrest control of Portland utilities from City Hall are accusing a second staffer in Mayor Charlie Hales' office of undermining them on the public dime.  

Kent Craford and Floy Jones, co-petitioners on    More
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by AARON MESH

Singing the Blues

A Portland choir group’s financial records are missing, and its ex-boss isn’t talking.

News Stories
Oregon Repertory Singers has launched an investigation of its former executive director after learning that virtually all of the arts organization’s financial records have disappeared. The org   More
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 NIGEL JAQUISS , AARON MESH

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