City Commissioner Nick Fish: I Won't Stand For Using Water, Sewer Bills To Collect the Mayor's Street Fee

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News
If Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick are going to collect a $138-a-year street fee from Portland households, the most obvious place to charge residents is on their water and sewer bills.Hales said at today's press conference debuting the street fee that he and Novick were considering utility bills as a possible means of collection. "Another reason for the yearlong buildup here ...   More
 
Thursday, May 22, 2014 AARON MESH

Portland Street Fee Would Create Big Bills for Other Local Governments

UPDATE: Mayor Charlie Hales says city won't collect fee until July 2015

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News
Local government agencies are discovering the City of Portland plans to charge them what could be hundreds of thousands of dollars a year under Mayor Charlie Hales' proposed "street fee" plan.Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick have for months been showing citizens the structure of the fee, which would charge households up to $12 a month and businesses much more. They've been less vocal about ...   More
 
Thursday, May 15, 2014 AARON MESH

Mayor Charlie Hales Orders All Big Spending Changes Debated by City Council

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News
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales wants to reform city code to force debate on big-ticket contracts like the Bureau of Environmental Services office building that tripled in cost without City Council discussion.Hales sent a memo to all city bureau directors on Tuesday that orders all contract increases over $1 million to be immediately taken off the City Council's consent agenda, where items considered ...   More
 
Thursday, May 8, 2014 AARON MESH

Mayor Charlie Hales Says Crosswalk Funding Must Wait for Street Fee

Hales' budget does fund a study of light-rail to Tualatin

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News
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales released a proposed city budget Thursday largely free of the dramatic threats to sacred cows (and horses) that marked his last budgeting season. But Hales' proposals for the $423 million general-fund budget include one striking omission: He's not supplying the $1 million requested by City Commissioner Steve Novick to build crosswalks for pedestrian safety.Hales and Novick ...   More
 
Friday, May 2, 2014 AARON MESH

Streetcar Money Arrives Late in Water District Ballot Fight

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News
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has been working the after-hours phones and sending out mass emails trying to raise money to fight the ballot measure that would remove City Hall's control of water and sewer utilities.Those pleas have now netted donations from Hales' longtime allies in streetcar construction—including his former employer. HDR, Inc., the engineering company where Hales worked for a decade ...   More
 
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 AARON MESH

Trader Joe's Turns Down Mayor Charlie Hales' Offer for Revived Project on MLK Boulevard

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News
The plan to bring a Trader Joe's to Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is dead again.Representatives of the specialty grocer called Mayor Charlie Hales' office Friday to say they won't reconsider a proposal to build on a two-acre property owned by the Portland Development Commission.“I told them it was a shame because that section of Portland is vibrant and on the rise,” Hales said in a ...   More
 
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 AARON MESH

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

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News
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, Amanda Fritz and Steve Novick—for comments they made about a city investigation into his handling of a money transfer."Even more ...   More
 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 AARON MESH

"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.

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News
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 short answer: If Ballot Measure 26-156 passes, the rest of 2014 will be spent divvying up ownership of property and employees between the city and a new public water ...   More
 
Friday, April 18, 2014 AARON MESH

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

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News
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 mayor’s ...   More
 
Friday, April 11, 2014 AARON MESH

21 And Over

Homeless camp Right 2 Dream Too strikes out again in its effort to find a new location.


News Stories
Six weeks ago, the Portland City Council seemed ready to buy its way out of its most prominent homelessness problem.  The city agreed Feb. 17 to give $846,000 to the leaders of homeless camp    More
 
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 AARON MESH

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