Oh my god oh my god oh my god! We're all going to DIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
Okay, fine. Maybe not immediately. I mean, we're all going to die eventually, but you can't help but get a little paranoid from all of city council's recent gloom and doom. It's like the Grim Reaper—or Condi Rice in those patent leather dominatrix boots—has been writing the council agendas, and it's starting to freak me out.
For instance, during Wednesday, July 25's afternoon agenda, city council was expected to discuss an item called "Adopt Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Incident Annex to the Basic Emergency Operations Plan." Eeeep!
And it only gets worse from there. The first line in the resolution reads, "WHEREAS, the Portland Urban Area possesses numerous features and facilities identified as potential terrorist targets." Christ! What? Where? Is it the tram? Powell's City of Books? Voodoo Doughnut? The Zoobombers' bike rack?
At any rate, the resolution is aimed at creating a coordinated plan between city bureaus in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive "incident." Since city bureaus have a little bit of a reputation for being isolated and not working together, this plan will head off any weird territorial disputes in the case of an incident. (Mayor Tom Potter should be kicking himself for not thinking of this argument during the "strong mayor" campaign.)
It's all a lead up to the "Top Officials" (TOPOFF) exercise planned for this October, in which a simulated terrorist attack—a dirty bomb—will go down here in Portland, and leaders from all levels of government, plus groups like the Red Cross, will pretend to respond to the pretend catastrophe.
But, if we're all going to pretend to die, at least city council is going out in an uproariously characteristic way—by celebrating the hell out of itself. By Wednesday morning, the mayor and all the commissioners will have been awarded as "Blue Works businesses" for "their leadership in waste-reduction, recycling and sustainable purchasing practices." (Seriously?) Hopefully, an emergency responder will be on hand to triage the commissioners' wrists from the violently gratuitous, self-congratulatory backslapping that is guaranteed to happen.
Something else council can slap its back for: Finally holding evening sessions, so that community members who work during the day can witness firsthand what happens in the hallowed halls of city government. They've been holding them once a month on Wednes—oh, wait, no they haven't. The last evening session council held was in February; the rest have been canceled, including one last Wednesday.