In the midst of reporting on Randy Leonard's alleged power grab last week I made a public records request to Commissioner Nick Fish's office—I wanted to know what kind of pressure Fish, the swing vote, was under from developers to vote one way or the other on Leonard's proposal. The request turned up a letter from big time developer Joe Weston to Fish that makes for interesting reading, if you're interested in what's going through the minds of some of the city's power brokers at this point in time.
"It appears that the Mayor and the majority of the City Council has taken the position we know what is best for the city, and the citizens of Portland and they should have limited input, in other words, no need for public full open disclosure and discussions," Weston writes (underlining his).
He then slams Mayor Sam Adams' efforts to renovate PGE park "with limited public input." "The fact is the city has never recouped the last renovation costs when Marshall Clickman and Mr.Gardner, a former city finance manager, sold the city by Bill of Goods," Weston writes.
Weston says Adams' efforts to push through a convention center hotel by appointing a task force are disingenuous: "You, as an attorney, are aware of this by listening to expert witnesses, one day the witness expert can support an issue for the plaintiff and then a few weeks later the same individual supports the defendant on basically the same issue but a different case," Weston writes.
"Lets (sic) be honest, the City of Portland is in the state of flux, not knowing the status of the current Mayor," Weston continues. "The Attorney General will be issuing his report soon, but no matter what the findings are, I am doubtful that the Mayor will step down, a recall petition will be circulated, and an affirmative vote of the people will more than likely call for a new Mayor."
On Leonard's attempts at permit consolidation, Weston wrote: "What's the hurry? Lets (sic) wait and see if we are going to have a new Mayor and what assignments will be given to the various commissioners, for we may have decision makers that prioritize the need of change different than the present leadership."
Fish ultimately brokered a compromise solution on Leonard's alleged power grab that will be reviewed next year. Weston is yet to return a call for comment. Download the letter as a pdf here.