Reading between the lines, or just plain reading them as written, it wasn't hard to see Commissioner Amanda Fritz's plain frustration at Mayor Charlie Hales' request she pull back tomorrow's planned vote on a city letter okaying Right 2 Dream Too's move to a city lot in the Pearl.
“Although no viable sites have been suggested by the opponents since the hearing," she wrote, a bit acidly "the Mayor has asked for further delay."
But in an interview this afternoon, Fritz was far more blunt about her feelings—getting into specifics about the state of negotiations between R2DToo leaders and a group of Pearl interests led by Homer Williams and Dike Dame.
“They haven't put anything reasonable on the table in two weeks,” she told me. “That's frustrating.”
Fritz helpfully went into some detail when pressed for specifics about what an "unreasonable" location offer might look like.
She said some of the offered sites were buildings in industrial areas—where, she says, the city’s zoning code doesn’t allow shelters. She also mentioned an outdoor spot far from downtown and its cluster of social services providers—another deal-breaker for Right 2 Dream Too—and a building that’s already been rented.
“We’re not going to do anything that isn't in compliance with the zoning code,” Fritz says—a notable stance, given that opponents of her preferred site, the lot beneath the Broadway Bridge's Lovejoy ramp, have accused Fritz and the Bureau of Development Services of taking shortcuts in interpreting the zoning code they say doesn't allow for camping.
That sounds like less than ringing endorsement of the Hales' plan to let people talk things out. The Oregonian today has reported Hales saying it's "50-50" on whether the city will still push ahead with the Lovejoy site, but declining to give any specifics on the state of negotiations.
His spokeswoman, however, was far more bullish when we spoke this afternoon.
"All the sides are working very well together," KC Cowan told me. "We were astounded at how much they'd accomplished in less than a week. It was amazing."
Cowan also revealed a detail even Fritz had to admit was at least "encouraging."