Last week, I prematurely ended an experiment in which I planned to work out of city hall for an entire week. The idea was that if the Oregonian's city reporters get to have their own bureau inside the building, then I sure as shit should at least be able to camp out on a bench. But I ran into a problem I should have seen coming: For the vast majority of the day, city hall is dull as dirt. So I gave up.
But perhaps my timing was off. Next Wednesday, July 19, city hall will be taken over by certified titans of indiepop music, who are sure to shake the halls with that crazy rock 'n' roll the kids love so damned much.
In what has got to be a first for city government, the offices of Commissioner Sam Adams and Mayor Tom Potter have managed to score local hot-shit bands Quasi and the Minders for a free outdoor concert—on the front steps of city hall on SW 4th between Madison and Jefferson. The show begins at 5:30 pm and will wrap up at 8:30 pm, unless it gets shut down by the police. (That's a joke, see, because the mayor is the police commissioner. HAW!)
To be fair, though, city hall isn't all ZZZZZZs all the time. During last Wednesday's, July 5, morning council session, Commissioner Randy Leonard somehow stumbled into an awkward and uncomfortable bitchfest with the mayor, who'd just returned that morning from a week-long trip and seemed to be especially punchy. The catfight was over Leonard's proposal to force the Portland Development Commission (PDC) into an independent audit due to a land purchase deal that—on the surface, at least—stinks.
The mayor pointed out that PDC has already agreed to an audit, and called Leonard's resolution "inflammatory and derogatory," saying it "sends a message that we don't trust PDC." Leonard countered that PDC wants to choose their own auditor and what evidence the auditor would see, leading to an audit that would be "a waste of money."
The normally fiery Leonard seemed taken aback by the mayor's obstinate stance, stammering several times before offering, "I guess we'll have to agree to disagree."
Later, Leonard admitted he was caught off guard by the mayor's response—especially because he had worked with the mayor's office to change part of the draft resolution. Was Potter miffed because he sees PDC as "his" agency? Did he just miss his nap? Or does he really just need a good dose of (whooo!) rock 'n' roll?
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