The Candidates Speak 

On how Chief Foxworth handled the James Jahar Perez shooting...

Tom Potter: "I'm very pleased with what the Mayor and Chief did in terms of requesting the public inquest. An independent investigation is well founded, and Foxworth handled himself exceedingly well. If I was mayor, I'd try to support him, running interference with the Police Union, so the Chief can do what he needs to do."

Phil Busse: "Foxworth has shown an amazing amount of integrity and leadership here. A humane step that should've happened in the Kendra James shooting. There's obviously a concern about liability on the city's behalf--it's an unfortunate economic reality--but for him to go forward to the family and friends and show compassion... there's no admission of guilt, and it's the right move to make. The mayor should follow suit."

James Posey: "For years we've needed a representative group of black people on the police force. The people who've done the most in terms of calming the situation are some of the black officers. That's what's making a difference. The mayor may be sympathetic, but she really hasn't connected with the community the way she should."

On how to help

local small business...

Phil Busse: "Rather than focusing on attracting large businesses, we should retain the businesses that provide good quality of life. Quite a number of my top 100 ideas refer specifically to how to help small businesses; how to take away some of the restrictions, how to roll back some of the fines and fees... I think city hall sometimes looks at small businesses the way a vulture looks at its prey."

Tom Potter: "We need to look at our business community, and see what we can retain in the way of small businesses and jobs, and how we can attract other business to Portland. We've got a lot of people who are interested in starting their own business, but the city doesn't do a good job of working with them."

James Posey: "I am a small business person. I own a deli down on MLK... and it's been a real struggle for me; one reason is because the city treats small business like big business. They think you are able to spend the same amount of time and money. The reality is they have no idea what a small businessperson is going through."

On addressing the sewage overflow problem... After the repair will we be paying above average rates?

Phil Busse: "I think a flaw with city hall is that citizens aren't being educated about the benefits that could be coming from this. The mayor should be out there telling people the reason we're going forward [with repairs], the reason we're putting it in, and the reason we're paying more is to fix an environmental concern."

Tom Potter: "In the long term, I think we'll have to consider going to a separate system that bifurcates rainwater discharge from sewer discharge. That's gonna be costly. But it could be done over a period of years. Quite frankly, I think that because this wasn't addressed 50 years ago, there's no way we can get out from underneath the cost. We should try to ensure that 50 years from now, there's not a group sitting around this table discussing the same issue."

James Posey: "We need to tell the public what's really going on so they can understand what we're going through. This is a political issue people don't want to talk about, but they also don't want surprises."

On funding the arts...

James Posey: "It makes us all better to have the arts, but we've got people out there that still aren't able to eat, or get health care. So I'm supportive, but some of us don't have the basics, which makes it tough to enjoy the arts."

Phil Busse: "Lets take the example of Portland Center Stage taking over the old armory building. While I support city funding for the arts or backing loans, there's a few problems here. One is using dollars meant for low-income neighborhood development. I think if the city's willing to do a $10.5 million dollar backing of a loan for an arts organization, it should do a similar program for would-be minority entrepreneurs."

Jim Francesconi on all the above topics: "Cluck, cluck. Bawk! Bawk! Buh-KAWWW!"

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