Mayor Charlie Hales is Probably Not Going Undercover as a Homeless Man

"That was a topic discussed. And nothing more."

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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales met for nearly three hours Tuesday with protesters against police violence. His office then released a written list of the "action items" Hales could start tackling as he continues to meet monthly with protesters for the next six months.One of those action items stood out like a sore thumb: "Go undercover as a homeless person, 'Undercover Boss' style."Could this actually ...   More
 
Friday, December 12, 2014 AARON MESH

The City of Portland Sues Uber

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Portland city officials aren't taking Uber's invasion lying down. Instead, they're taking the ride-sharing company to court.Portland officials today filed an injunctive lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court, asking a judge to order the company to stop operating until City Hall grants Uber permission."If Uber thinks there should be no maximum price on what they charge Portlanders, they should make ...   More
 
Monday, December 8, 2014 AARON MESH

Portland City Hall Preparing to Compel Airbnb Safety Inspections

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Portland city officials say they will finally crack down on Airbnb hosts who don’t get safety inspections. WW reported last month that only 4 percent of Airbnb hosts in Portland had bothered to seek a city permit to operate. Getting a permit requires paying a $180 fee, agreeing to operate under new city rules and passing a safety inspection. Portland Revenue Bureau director Thomas Lannom has ...   More
 
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 AARON MESH

New Poll Says Portlanders Want to Vote on the Street Fee

Hales' spokesman: "We could have saved them a whole lot of money and told them that."

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A poll coordinated by the Portland Business Alliance shows 77 percent of Portlanders want to vote on the street fee.Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick have fiercely opposed sending their $46 million proposal to voters, saying the public supports funding road repairs but can't agree on what kind of tax to pay. The PBA and petroleum lobbyist Paul Romain have both said they are likely ...   More
 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 AARON MESH

Petroleum Lobbyist Rejects Meeting with Mayor Charlie Hales Over Street Fee

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In the past two weeks, the rift between Portland City Hall and the business lobby over a $46 million street fee has grown increasingly antagonistic, as the two sides prepare for a ballot battle. Mayor Charlie Hales and petroleum lobbyist Paul Romain aren't just separated over how the fee should be structured, or whether it should be sent to voters. They can't even agree to meet. Hales' spokesman Dana ...   More
 
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 AARON MESH

Three Portland Police Officers Posted "I Am Darren Wilson" Status Updates

Chief Mike Reese orders "inflammatory" images removed.

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Three Portland Police Bureau officers are facing internal review—and berated by Mayor Charlie Hales' office—after posting Facebook status updates showing their PPB badges emblazoned with the slogan, "I am Darren Wilson."Officers Rich Storm, Rob Blanck and Kris Barber all changed their Facebook profile pictures over the weekend to an image of an official Portland Police badge wrapped diagonally ...   More
 
Monday, November 24, 2014 MILLER RESOR

Portland Will Pay $65,800 a Year to Hire a Legal Weed Regulator

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What does $65,800 buy in the legal-weed market? Right now, a little more than 7 pounds of pot in Washington state. Legal-marijuana prices haven’t yet been set in Oregon, but the same money will pay the annual salary of Portland’s first government weed regulator. As first reported in Wednesday's Murmurs, Portland City Council on Nov. 12 approved a recreational-marijuana staff position, reporting ...   More
 
Thursday, November 20, 2014 AARON MESH

Hales and Novick Try to Thwart Public Vote on Street Fee

Portland officials want to make referral more difficult by breaking fee into two votes.

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Documents filed at Portland City Hall today show Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick are trying to prevent a public vote on their $46 million street fee proposal by forcing opponents to gather signatures twice.Hales and Novick have filed two ordinances with the council clerk's office: one for the business fee, and another for the residential income tax. That means City Council ...   More
 
Friday, November 14, 2014 by Aaron Mesh

Petroleum Lobbyist: Portland Street Fee's Income Tax Requires a Public Vote

UPDATE: Paul Romain says his clients are planning to send the street fee to voters.

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The head of the state's gasoline lobby says he believes Portland Mayor Charlie Hales' latest iteration of the "street fee" is required by the city charter to be sent to voters.Paul Romain, the lobbyist for the Oregon Fuels Association, tells WW that city rules require sending new taxes to a public vote—and the new proposal, a steeply graded income tax, falls under those requirements."If it's an income ...   More
 
Monday, November 10, 2014 AARON MESH

Hales and Novick Reveal Street Fee Structure Ahead of Dec. 3 Vote

UPDATE: Now called the "Portland Street Fund," it's deductible from federal income taxes.

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UPDATE, 11: 30 am: Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick this morning debuted a $46 million annual "Portland street fund" proposal anchored by an income tax, heavily weighted toward making rich people pay for street paving.Perhaps the most interesting new revelation about the city's proposal: The fee is deductible from state and federal income taxes."No one likes taxes," Hales said at ...   More
 
Monday, November 10, 2014 AARON MESH

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