If you've never seen five members of city council tiptoe around the word "ejaculation," you've never seen true—albeit intensely uncomfortable—hilarity. Bodily functions are not typically fodder for serious policy discussions, and yet that is precisely the predicament City Commissioner Dan Saltzman put the council in last Wednesday, November 29.
As I wrote about two weeks ago—with an enthusiasm that was more than a little juvenile—Saltzman put forward a new set of rules for conduct in the city's parks. One of those new rules: no ejaculating on park property. The rules could have skated through with little discussion, but more than one commissioner got tripped up on the "E word," leading to lots of weird stammers and silences.
"It was the most awkward, uncomfortable discussion I've ever heard at city hall," one staffer said. And that is saying a lot.
Amid concerns that the rules go a little too far, council agreed to postpone further discussion until after the holidays. That delay will give Commissioner Randy Leonard a chance to write up an amendment to the rules that would ban smoking in all city parks. Saltzman only wanted to ban smoking at Pioneer Courthouse Square and on park playgrounds—Leonard wants to see an end to butts in every part of every park. Bad news for smokers, but if ejaculation gets banned, at least it'll cut down on the need for post-coital drags.
Contrary to city hall reporting done by a newspaper headquartered in Clackamas, Commissioner Erik Sten is not leaving his post early to take a position at a housing agency.
"There's nothing in the works," Sten said. "In fact, I've been really enjoying council work these past couple of months, as you might imagine. To be fair, though, if someone was planning on moving on and wasn't ready to announce it, they probably wouldn't be forthcoming. But I would not straight up lie to you..."
Despite the rumor being given the description of "water-cooler buzz," no one at city hall that I spoke to had heard anything about it.
At long last, Commissioner Sam Adams has unveiled his plans for the "Couplet," which will turn W Burnside and NW Couch into paired one-way streets. Coupled with the couplet is a streetcar that would extend to NW 19th.
The strongest opposition so far: the wealthy powerbrokers who live in a highrise condo building called "The Henry." Despite many of them having successful careers in planning and development, when it comes to planning and developing on their own street, it's all "not in my backyard."
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