Hey city council! I just found a copy of Robert's Rules of Order on Amazon.com for as little as $4.99 (or used for as little as $0.01). I'm not going to buy it for you or anything, but I would fully support a portion of my tax dollars contributing to its purchase. That way, the next time Mayor Potter gets too shweeepy and forgets what he's doing, someone can plop open the official procedural manual and get the council meeting back on its feet.
Not to pick on the mayor (just kidding, this is totally meant to pick on the mayor), but last week, during the presentation of a report to fix the city's Fire and Police Disability and Retirement (FPDR) program, Potter banged the gavel to adjourn the meeting—before council voted to accept the report. He managed to reconvene the session 30 seconds later, but when roll was called, none of the commissioners were sure what they were responding to.
Turns out, they were voting to accept the report. Commissioner Sam Adams, though, voted "Here."
"That's a safe vote," Erik Sten quipped.
Ha ha ha! What a riot! After someone poked Potter with a stick enough times to rouse him from his slumber, council passed the report unanimously. (Within the next month, Commissioner Dan Saltzman is expected to introduce a resolution that will push the city to adopt the findings of the report and create a new FPDR system, with an initiative going to the voters in November. Zzzzzz. No wonder Potter is so snoozy!)
Speaking of changes, Adams' good government policy analyst, Mary Jo Markle, who helped draft the city's hot new lobbying regulations, is taking a three-month leave of absence at the end of the month to help with post-Katrina reconstruction in Mississippi. Here's hoping all the unsolicited anti-gay, anti-immigrant phone calls that roll into Adams' office have prepared her for the culture shock. Did you know Mississippi still flies the Confederate flag?
At any rate, when Adams announced Markle's departure during a council meeting last Thursday, he inadvertently called her relief mission a "vacation." Commissioner Randy Leonard, weirdly, took exception to the accidental trivialization, saying, "I actually appreciate what she's going to be doing for our fellow citizens."
Oh snap! Someone wake up Potter to tell these guys to get along!
Anyhoo, have you checked out Blog Town, PDX yet? It's just like this column, only with more words and on a daily basis—AKA exactly what you've been looking for: portlandmercury.com/blogtown.
Send me tips on how to avoid cyberstalkers to firstname.lastname@example.org or via AIM at smooremercury