Hall Monitor 

Walk, Don't Run

It may have been the kind of week that makes other news outlets cry "meltdown," but it was a helluva time to be around Portland City Hall—if only to catch the flabbergasted looks of city staffers as they tried to keep on top of the news spilling out of every corner.

Spotted outside city hall last Wednesday: City Commissioner Sam Adams chatting with furriers Gregg and Linda Schumacher after their accusatory testimony about the weekly protests at their store. Adams says he was thanking them for their appearance, and encouraging them to join the mayor's mediation efforts. (Was he playing good cop to Commissioner Randy Leonard's bad cop?) After Adams walked away, the Schumachers climbed into an SUV that pulled up to cart them away. In case you missed the hearing, Linda Schumacher became possibly the first person in Portland history to use the term "effing whore" in council chambers.

Speaking of overpriced fur, the Foxworth affair caught several city staffers speechless—not necessarily because of the accusations, but because of the sheer tawdriness of the police chief's alleged emails. More than one insider predicted that he would resign within the week but, at press time, that has not happened. Or perhaps it's just premature.

In slightly more productive news, the Citizen Campaign Commission, which is charged with making recommendations to improve the Voter-Owned Elections (VOE) system, stuffed into a conference room last Monday night to interview four of the candidates—Michael Casper, Chris Iverson, Sharon Nasset, and Jay Boss Rubin—who failed in their attempt to qualify for city funds. Three of the candidates—Casper, Iverson, and Rubin—remained overwhelmingly positive about the system. But Nasset—an opponent of VOE from the beginning—somewhat defensively explained that public opposition to the program made it difficult for her to ask people for money.

The citizen commissioners, in an indirect way, reminded her that seeking public funds is entirely voluntary.

Meanwhile, on the fourth floor, Mayor Tom Potter finally flipped his calendar to 2003. Not to be outdone by every 14-year-old girl in the country, the mayor has finally created his very own blog called, I kid you not, "Mayor Potter's Perspective." His first post: Publicly smacking down James Hester, the head of the municipal employees union, who asked that Foxworth be suspended pending the human resources investigation. Now that is what I call open government.

Wanna talk city politics? Hit me up at smoore@portlandmercury.com or AIM smooremercury

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