Mayor Charlie Hales Proposes Color-Coded Chart to Track Cost Increases on City Projects

Hales responds to damning city audit of sewer building.

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News
Responding to a damning city audit of a sewer office building that tripled in cost, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is proposing a public report to track cost increases on any contract or construction project that goes before City Council.The chart would be color-coded, like the terrorism alert system once used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. But the city's color palette would warn how much ...   More
 
Monday, October 27, 2014 AARON MESH

Neighborhood Coalition Says Airbnb Hosts Are Failing to Get New City Permits

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News
Nearly three months after Portland City Hall legalized short-term rentals like Airbnb, a coalition of neighborhood associations is complaining that the newly-legit room renters are ignoring the requirement that they obtain city permits.Southeast Uplift, a coalition representing 20 neighborhoods in inner Southeast Portland, sent a letter to the City Council on Oct. 14, warning that the city isn't being ...   More
 
Friday, October 24, 2014 AARON MESH

City Estimates Say Portland Could Net $5.8 Million a Year Taxing Legal Weed

UPDATE: Council ditches tax on medical weed, will try to raise $4 million a year.

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News
Portland officials estimate the city could raise $1.7 to $5.8 million a year by collecting a local sales tax on legal marijuana.Those figures emerge as Portland City Council is expected to vote today on a plan to levy a 10 percent sales tax on legal recreational weed. Mayor Charlie Hales' plan, first reported by WW in July, places Portland among dozens of Oregon cities hoping to pass a local tax before ...   More
 
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 AARON MESH

Portland City Council May Open the Door Slightly to Letting Voters Have Their Say on the Street Fee

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News
Portland City Council is nearing consensus on how to structure a street fee to raise $40 million for road repairs and safety projects. What they don't agree on: whether Portland voters will get a say.As Portland commissioners discuss the shape of the street fee this afternoon, WW has learned Mayor Charlie Hales is considering having two City Council votes in November: One would be on the fee itself, ...   More
 
Monday, October 13, 2014 AARON MESH

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese Will Retire in January

UPDATE: Mayor Charlie Hales names Larry O'Dea as next police chief, says he'll focus on diversity.

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News
Portland Police Chief Mike Reese is retiring in January, WW has learned, and Mayor Charlie Hales has selected Assistant Chief Larry O'Dea to as the next chief of the Portland Police Bureau. Hales' office confirmed Reese's retirement to WW this morning. The mayor will announce O'Dea's appointment as chief at a noon press conference in the Justice Center. "I thank Mike Reese for his leadership ...   More
 
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 AARON MESH

Effort to Recall Hales and Novick Comes Up Short on Signatures

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News
Portland's not that mad about the street fee.Organizers of an effort to recall Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick announced this morning they haven't gathered enough signatures to make the November ballot."Gathering 50,000 signatures just to get the question before the voters proved to be a higher bar than we expected," chief petitioner Ray Horton writes.Horton, a Tabor neighborhood ...   More
 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 AARON MESH

Sunken Treasure

Why is the city sitting on $32 million that could be used to lower water rates?


News Stories
It’s no secret Portland’s water rates keep going up and up and up.  Mayor Charlie Hales  promised to cut rates. (He hasn’t.) And voters this spring contemplated a ballot measur   More
 
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 AARON MESH

Hot Takes: Top 5 Comments of the Week, August 10-16

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Features
 We herewith collate—with minimal commentary—the most cogent, interesting, thoughtful or witty comments to have washed up on our virtual shores this week. Congratulations, commenters: You have won nothing but our esteem. 5. Charlie Hales said that racially charged violence in Ferguson, Mo., showed the need for his white-male-only diversity training at a resort. One reader agrees? ...   More
 
Saturday, August 16, 2014 by MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Airbnb Has Spent $24,000 Lobbying Portland City Council

Its new hotel taxes won't be earmarked for affordable housing.

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News
Airbnb's visit to Portland City Hall was very successful—but it wasn't cheap.As reported in this morning's Murmurs, Airbnb spent $19,782 from April through June lobbying City Hall to grant the city’s unprecedented seal of approval on the San Francisco startup’s short-term rental operations. That brings Airbnb's year-to-date lobbying expenses to $24,282—and that's not counting what it spent ...   More
 
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 Sami Edge and Aaron Mesh

It's Not Just Uber Trying to Break Into Portland—Lyft is Lobbying, Too

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News
Uber, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing startup that enlists drivers to use their own cars as de facto taxis, today re-ignited its drive to get its service legalized in Portland. The company's PR blitz includes hiring a truck to deliver ice cream to City Hall—and comes seven months after the city's taxi board rejected Uber's demands to change Portland's rules for town cars. As WW reported this ...   More
 
Friday, July 18, 2014 AARON MESH

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