Unsurprisingly keen interest in the future of Commissioner Steve Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales' proposed new "transportation user fee" has forced city officials to relocate one of two town halls on the fee scheduled for next week.
Instead of meeting to talk about the non-residential portion of the proposed fee at Venture Portland's headquarters next Tuesday, the Bureau of Transportation has obtained a much larger meeting at the Oregon Convention Center. Venture Portland, an umbrella group for neighborhood business districts, had made some sense as the host. On paper. But critics of the proposed fee quickly complained that space at Venture Portland would be limited.
Hence today's announcement that the meeting was being moved:
• Town Hall on Business and Non-Residential Fee: 8 to 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 24, at Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom 255, 777 NE MLK
• Town Hall on Residential Fee: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 25, at Kaiser Permanente’s Town Hall, 3704 N Interstate
That's a generous move. Although—in looking at the time the meeting's scheduled to start, 8 AM? On a weekday?—is it fair to wonder if that gesture will go for naught? That maybe it's such an unfriendly start time for owners of small businesses, wage slaves, and families on summer break... that a lot of people who might want to show up won't be able to show up?