COUNCIL RACE WIDENS
John Branam, Portland Public Schools' (PPS) development director, says he's "considering" a run at Commissioner Sam Adams' office, but only if Adams leaves his seat to run for mayor. Branam says he'll be making his decision within the next few weeks, coincidentally timed to occur after Mayor Tom Potter's expected announcement of his own future plans.
Raised in Corvallis, Branam got his law degree at University of Oregon, spent two years in South Africa with the Peace Corps, and has been at PPS for the last two years.
Branam says he'll "absolutely, no doubt about it" use Portland's public campaign funding program. "It's a great system that allows candidates to focus primarily on the issues," he says.
Meanwhile, the owner of SamForMayor.com has been found. It's a political consultant who wants to stay quiet, but is in no way connected to an Adams campaign. So much for that awesome theory. SCOTT MOORE
SKATEPARK LEADER LEAVES
Rod Wojtanik—Portland Parks and Recreation's skatepark guru—is leaving his role developing Portland's skatepark network to take a landscape architecture position with Metro, Skaters for Public Skateparks (SPS) reported on their website (skateportland.org) on August 21.
Wojtanik, who "knows more about skateboarding and its subculture than any non-skater we know," SPS writes, has overseen completion of three Portland skateparks since the city council approved a 19-skatepark master plan in 2005. Two more are in the works.
"I'm going to continue to be involved in those," Wojtanik tells the Mercury. He says that whoever takes over his position is "going to go home with the satisfaction daily that they helped address a true need in the city." AMY J. RUIZ