UPDATE, Thursday, April 23, 12:54pm: It's understood that Adams' office is going to push for a three to four month extension of the sit/lie law, something Commissioner Fish's office is on board with, while the LUBA issues and funding for the Resource Access Center are worked out.
ORIGINAL POST: In a surprising move Mayor Sam Adams is rumored to be pushing city council to renew the controversial sit/lie ordinance next week, even though he doesn't have the required three votes for a council majority on the issue.
This week's newslede reports on a blooming squabble between the city and the Portland Business Alliance, which has been the driving force behind the controversial law since its inception: City Commissioner Amanda Fritz has human rights concerns about the ordinance, while City Commissioners Randy Leonard and Nick Fish are also considering voting against it because of a group called the Friends of Urban Renewal, which has effectively scuppered funding for Fish's $45.9m Resource Access Center for the homeless in Old Town.
Portland Spirit tour boat owners Wayne Kingsley and Dan Yates sit on the board of the Portland Business Alliance, but also happen to be members of the Friends of Urban Renewal, which has appealed the city's plans to expand the River District to pay for projects like the Resource Access Center. Leonard wants the PBA to get Kingsley and Yates to drop their urban renewal complaints before he'll vote "yes" to renew the sit/lie.
Nevertheless: Adams' staffer Warren Jimenez told anti sit/lie advocates yesterday (Tuesday) that the mayor plans to file a council resolution to renew of the law tomorrow, for discussion at next Wednesday's council session on April 29, the Mercury has learned. Adams' office is reportedly still deciding if it will renew the ordinance long term or for a shorter term that can be revisited in a few months.
Next week's council session could now be very bruising indeed for Mayor Adams: It has emerged this afternoon that Adams may have delayed the vote on the demolition of Memorial Coliseum scheduled for today until next week, because he was nervous about losing the crucial third vote of Commissioner Dan Saltzman.
Saltzman told the Mercury this afternoon: "I told Sam today actually that I think we need more time to deal with all the issues around the Rose Quarter and urban renewal and the demolition of the Coliseum."
"I have a certain nostalgia for the Coliseum," Saltzman continued. "I could get myself to seeing it go, but not without the process at this point. People may be saying that all the process has been done on this issue, but people don't really notice these issues until a certain point in time."
Saltzman had even been proposing a 120 day time-out on the rushed deal.
As for the sit/lie law? Saltzman says he has "never been planning to be the one leading the charge" on its renewal. "If there's three votes, there's three votes," he said, philosophically.
Adams may want to get that phrase tattooed somewhere before next Wednesday.