The Portland City Council this morning formally approved contributing $100 million to the $330 million rebuild of the crumbling Sellwood Bridge—putting what appeared to be, at least on the surface, a smiling, shining stamp of approval on a deal worked out last week between Adams and Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen.
How ebullient were commissioners? Let's just say they were so full of praise, especially for Adams, that it was almost over the top. Maybe even defensive. It was almost as if they thought a show of unity around their besieged mayor might help the city save a little face—especially after the public spat led federal and state lawmakers to question their own plans to invest in the bridge.
In Hall Monitor this week (already out in some newsstands this afternoon; I'll link when it goes online) I talk about, among other things, US Representative Earl Blumenauer's role in crafting the compromise. Meanwhile, the O's Anna Griffin, in a stinging column today, says a chagrined Amanda Fritz, Dan Saltzman
n and Nick Fish also had a hand in prodding the mayor's office to act.
Watch an (edited) video of the proceedings and read more about what was said after the jump.
There were a few hints, in their remarks from the dais, about they really felt. Fritz, for example, started out glowingly, thanking Adams heartily and saying that his very vocal claims of rescuing the deal were "very fitting, since your office did the yeoman's work on this."
And then she showed her cards a little: "But contrary to what has been written in the press, we in this building are committed to working collaboratively."
Fish also thanked Adams, "for bringing this home." Saltzman, though, seemed the most unsentimental in his praise, parsing his words to maximum effect by saying, "It's good to see this agreement unambiguously nailed down." (Leonard was out this morning, but previously gushed over the deal in his blog.)
Not that Adams needed any help tooting his horn. After all, as he said, he "was the fist regional leader to make a financial commitment to the Sellwood Bridge project." Even if that commitment appeared somewhat in doubt until last week's summit.
Oh, and conspicuously absent from what should have been a milestone vote for the bridge? A delegation from the county.