Next time there's a federal holiday in the middle of the week, try this line on your boss: "You know, we're taking off Wednesday anyway, which makes the rest of the week kind of pointless, so let's just take off the whole week."
Let me know how that turns out, but I imagine your employer will laugh him/herself into a seizure while kicking your ass back to your cubicle. Unless, of course, your job title is "city commissioner" and your employer is every shrugging, inattentive taxpayer in Portland, in which case, hey, enjoy your week off.
Such was the case this week. The Wednesday council session was canceled due to Fourth of July, and there won't be enough council members around to hold a Thursday session. Perhaps we should change Portland's slogan to "The City That Works (Unless, You Know, There's A Holiday, and We Were Really Hoping to Spend Some Time at the Coast, and It'd Be Really Great if We Could Avoid the Weekend Crowds, and, Besides, We Can Totally Wait Another Week to Hand Out All Those Tax Abatements to Developers)."
In unrelated news! Last Friday, June 29, while the city was fawning over its new messiah, Greg Oden, Mayor Tom Potter was discovering firsthand that his honeymoon with the city might be over. Less than two weeks after Riley Research Associates released a survey showing that Potter's approval is just above 50 percent, his appearance at a Pioneer Courthouse Square rally celebrating Oden elicited a chorus of boos.
Perhaps the crowd was just impatient, and wanted to see Oden, not Mayor Potter. Or perhaps it was his decision to not bail out the Trail Blazers that caused the boos. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the crowd had grown weary of "visioning" and task forces and a general lack of leadership.
In other unrelated news! Last week, while Randy Leonard was out vacationing in Rome, his six-month term as city council president expired. The rest of council is technically required to elect a new council president, but since this is Portland, and everything we do is so goddamn nice, the council members are all on a rotating schedule. That way, there are no internal conflicts—no politics.
This time, the title fell to Sam Adams, who greeted it by saying, "I'm deeply humbled by this ever-rotating, honorific title."
The position may sound like it's as insubstantial as it is ceremonial but, on the contrary, when the mayor is gone, the council president gets to hold the gavel and do things like, uhhh, talk to the press if the police do something stupid.
And if the mayor is unavailable, Adams can now step in as the target for a chorus of boos.