There's no thrill like snooping through the mayor's public complaint line.
After I had a great time sorting through 10 months' worth of rants and ravings in the fall for an article called Take Your City and Shove It, I thought we should file a public records request every four months for new voicemails and post the best.
So here's the funniest and finest voicemails from the city's public advocate line from the past four months. The city's actual transcription of voicemails ran 41 pages, so be aware that these have not been edited much for typos.
Here we go!
Friday, September 17, 2010, 1:19 p.m., Larry
If Sam Adams is flying a Mexican flag over the City of Portland, I consider it treason! He has no right to do that. He does not own the City and he does not own the Peopleʼs right to have the flag up there of some other foreign country. People are dying in Afghanistan for our freedoms in the United States. And, what about the Pledge of Allegiance where it says, “indivisible?” He is dividing us by flying a different flag. If he's doing that, it's criminal; and I cannot tolerate that at all.
Friday, September 17, 2010, 1:20 p.m., unidentified female
Thank you, I would like you to share this with Mayor Adams. I do not want you to send it to his person that's in charge of bicycles and other screw ups of the transportation system here locally; but please share this with Mayor Adams: So - we're going to spend another 4 to 6 thousand dollars on these green bike things. You know, you're just plain crazy. Why spend $600,000,000 on bicycle lanes, etcetera, etcetera? More recently, the City spent all of a million dollars for that new domestic violence thing out on 102nd and Burnside, or wherever it is. That doesn't cover shelter, so you've still got women and children who donʼt have shelter from domestic violence because all you could donate was a million dollars? And, yet you just spent a million dollars to put in these stupid bicycle-shaped decals on the streets in Portland? Are you people like crazy? Bicyclists didn't need decals on the surface of the streets to know that they need to ride on one side of the street, up one side and down the other on the right-hand side. Please get your priorities straight. We don't need green boxes; we need LUNCH boxes for kids. We don't need more crap for bicyclists. That's a very, very small majority [sic] of the people in the City of Portland. Your priorities are haywire and you're spending money inappropriately and haywire.
Friday, September 17, 2010, 5:06 p.m., Jason
Mayor Adams: I'm a citizen of Portland and I'm also a professional DMX rider. I just wanted to let you know that restricting my gun rights will not restrict the behavior of criminals. To obtain a gun in Oregon, you have to go through a State Police background check. It's very hard to obtain a gun if you have been a criminal in the State of Oregon, so I don't know why your restrictions from here on out would even be effective against the gangs that are having problems in the area of Portland.
Friday, September 24, 2010, 3:32 p.m., unidentified male
Yeah, Sam: If you could get your transportation engineers out of their bike corrals for about two minutes and get their butts down on Sandy Boulevard and synchronize the lights, then perhaps 300 cars would not be stopping at every stop light wasting gas with all of this oil being imported from some other foreign world. It's not green or anything else thatʼs your little buzz words there. It's always fun to stop at every stoplight, Sam, so we can spew pollution out into your City. Good luck.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 3:46 p.m., Simon
Hi: I just want to say that I want the Mayor to stop these stupid marathons that are going on every weekends. I have to work on weekends and it slows me down going to work. I go to work on the Max and they have people running across the streets across the Max tracks and I get 15 or 20 minutes late. I want that to end. Let them run around the river or run out in the country, but not in the downtown blocking the traffic and keeping people from getting to work. End those marathons - and those bicycle marathons.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 11:47 a.m., Rosemary
[Rosemary says it was nice to see Mayor Adams in Pearl Starbucks today. She had a completely horrible lunch experience at the Loaves and Fishes at 18th and Irving. She was bothered by the transients there and where a gay man a group of men launched a verbal attack about Mayor Adams. Too much violence and sexual vileness. She won't go back to that Loaves and Fishes].
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 11:48 a.m., Richard
I have a family member in Emanuel Hospital. I'm out taking my daily stroll, crossing the street, with a walk sign, and the traffic going across stopped, except for your bicyclists friends, Sam; your bicyclist FRIENDS, SAM! You're a self-centered egotist, just like Obama. You're just a lot of hot air, smoke and mirrors. I'm somebody that's 60+ years old has hired and fired people and signed pay checks. Has Obama? Have you? Get out of politics! Get out of politics! You're messing up other people's lives in a great place to live. This isn't a great place because of you; so don't get big-headed and fat-headed about it. Get a life, Sam. Get real, and quit being so self- centered and egotistical, because you are of no earthly good.
Thursday, September 30, 2o10, 2:34 p.m., Rosemary
[Rosemaryʼs at Lovejoy Court. She is concerned about a tree that needs trimming from time to time to keep transients from going behind them.]
Friday, October 8, 2010, 12:19 p.m., unidentified female
Hi, there: You know that statue they put on a building? I think the building's defunct now; but it's a lady - a great big statue. I don't know why they put it on that street. You can't even see that statue now for the trees; and I sure as heck don't think you should take the trees out. I think they should have put that statue by the river where everybody could see it - on a big pedestal; and I think they should MOVE the statue to the river - now. Also, you know, we could save a lot of electricity if we could hang our clothes up outside.
Friday, October 15, 2010, 9:25 a.m., Mitch
Hello, Mayor Adams: I'm a 23-year-old college graduate. I just moved back from New York City to my hometown of Portland. I'm reading through the Mercury this week, the story's titled "Take this City and Shove It." I think there's a lot that's wrong and you can't control a lot of stuff. But, there's one thing that I'm very concerned with and that's Oregonʼs 10% unemployment rate. I've been looking for a job ever since Iʼve got back - and I still don't have one. I have qualifications. I have the right attitude. I have great working skills. It could be busser or waiter or a person answering the phone; I don't know. Could you PLEASE help fix the unemployment rate? Yeah, thank you very much. Also, I have a killin' jazz combo, if you need any music at Portland events. I'm a local rock artist in Portland. I play all over town. But, I also do jazz stuff, as well. Give me a call. Please give me a JOB!
Friday, October 15, 2010, 3:35 p.m., Kelly
I don't need a call back. The reason I'm calling, I work downtown across from Pioneer Courthouse Square, and I just wanted to make a comment to you to see if something could be done about the aggressive signature gatherers. I walk every single day, and as you're walking around Pioneer Courthouse Square they are aggressively in your face - and it's every single day on every single corner. I dread these walks that I have to do to catch my bus. But, I just wanted to see if this is something you could look into. Thank you. Bye.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 9:35 a.m., Connie
Hello: I am just really distraught about this Chasse thing. I cannot believe these officers are still there. I mean, is it against the law to pee in your pants? I never knew that. I mean, why would they attack him for peeing his pants? I didn't even know that they did that for that.. And then, also, why is there no comment line for the Police Department. I talked to the lady there and she goes, “We don't have a comment line.” And, Iʼm like, “This is a huge city. Why isn't there a comment line for the Police Department?” Anyway, they probably wouldn't listen anyway.
Thursday, October 28, 2010, 9:27 a.m., unidentified female
Mayor Adams: While coming home from what was the beginning of the Blazers season, at the corner of Broadway and Williams, I saw so many people on bikes almost get hit and people in cars almost get in wrecks because those bike lights — green, yellow, red lights — nobody knows what they mean. They think if they see a green light they’re supposed to go — and turn right onto Williams. I almost saw two bike riders get clobbered and then bike riders blew through those lights.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 8:34 a.m., John Gorham
Hi: Iʼm an owner of two restaurants in Northeast Portland (Toro Bravo and Safety and Sons). I own a house in the same neighborhood on Rodney and Going. I'm just calling and concerned of whatʼs going on in Northeast Portland and some of the crime and, you know, just want to voice my voice out to the Mayor. What I see in comparison to the other neighborhoods in Portland is just a lack of almost like attention to these neighborhoods. I've seen a man gunned down in the street in front of my house and my house broken into in the last 30 days. Toro Bravo has been broken into at least five or six times, and Tasty and Sons was totally vandalized about four or five weeks ago. So, what we see is, like I said, it seems like an utter breakdown what's going on over here. I wanted to bring this attention to Portland. I employ close to 70 people now in this neighborhood; and I have serious thoughts of leaving Portland and packing up and taking my businesses elsewhere, because, I mean, how much does a man take of this kind of a behavior in a community. We donate tens of thousands of dollars to the schools. My daughter's in the Portland Schools system, and I love Portland; but, I'm concerned for my family and my businesses. I'd love to hear something back from your offices and just reassure me that you guys got this. Thanks.
Monday, November 15, 2010, 11:36 a.m., unidentified female
Yes: I just wanted to register my complaint related to the $30 charge for the leaf pickup. I've just spent about 6 hours yesterday and today raking those leaves into the street, so I think weʼre about even as far as the 30 bucks goes. And, also, I just want to say that Sam Adams will hopefully not be Mayor. I voted for him the first time. There are three people in my household, and none of us will vote for Sam Adams again. Thanks. Bye.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 2:01 p.m., unidentified female
Hi: I just heard about the firing of that policeman. Would you please tell the Mayor that he has a lot of guts? It took a lot of whatever; and I think he made the right decision.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 9:03 a.m. Rosemary
[Rosemary's been listening to a helicopter hovering over her neighborhood on NW Broadway between Couch and Burnside, and wants to know whether there's anything the Mayor can do].
Thursday, November 18, 2010, 9:02 a.m., Caterina, Corvallis, Oregon.
Hi: I think I called one other time after one of the officer shootings of someone in Portland, and I wasn't very happy. But, I just wanted to call and tell you from my heart that it took an incredible amount of courage, I think, to be one of the first people probably in America that is standing up for life and for looking at this question of police brutality. When I was little you would call the police and if you needed anything you would trust them. The more I think about what you did the last few days the more respect I have for you; because I know you really had to take on a lot of people, including the police unions, by taking that stand. I'm very grateful to you for breaking through that barrier. So, thank you. I wish you every good thing, okay? Bye.
Monday, November 22, 2010, 9:53 a.m., Jeff
Hello, This is a message for Sam. Hey, Sam: my leaves are still packed in from of my house; and, according to the schedule you're at least one day late. If you guys can't handle being on time, you should get an intern in charge - uh, never mind. Don't get an intern. That's crazy - crazy talk. Bye.
Monday, November 29, 2010, 9:51 a.m., Chet Needy, Louisville, KY
Yes, and thank you for taking my call. I'm very appreciative. I'm really worried about this terrorist who tried to kill your women and children at this Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon — this Muslim terrorist. Also, did you know that Portland, Oregon, in June 2005, holds the distinction of being the first city in the United States to pull out of the Justice Department’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Let me tell you something about these terrorists, Portland, Oregon: In Kentucky we can trust them as far as we can throw them. We don’t turn our backs on these terrorists — or none of these Middle Easterns. If you don’t think they want to kill you, you’re pretty damn weak. Don’t you trust them! This is your wakeup call, Portland!
Monday, November 29, 2010, 10:04 a.m., unidentified female
Yes, Mr. Adams: Please don’t cave into the FBI. This was a deliberate act to make, I believe, to make Portland look bad because of some people here doing something about police brutality; but, then again maybe others things; but, don’t cave into these people. This was a deliberate event on Friday evening. Blessings to you, and peace. Don’t give evil energy. This was deliberate by the FBI and others to make Portland look bad. Anyway, blessings and peace, in spite of everything. Thank you. Goodbye.
Monday, November 29, 2010, 3:52 p.m., Cathy
Hi, this is for the Mayor: We've had a lot of excitement in Portland over Thanksgiving weekend, and now we’re reconsidering whether we should hook back up with the FBI and their terrorism program. I, myself, do not think we should. The real help to stop this comes from the communities where the terrorist springs from, and not by the FBI profiling people of Muslim faith. So, I hope that while having contact with the FBI terrorism is a good thing for talking when we want to talk, I do not think they should be just walking into a city with open arms; because I don’t think that’s the way it should go. I thank you; and I hope you had a good Thanksgiving — even with all the excitement. Bye, bye.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 12:14 p.m., unidentified female
Yes: I am calling because I am outraged that we're the only city in the United States that is not working with the FBI. I was down there with my grandchildren at the holiday tree lighting. This is ridiculous. I had no idea that we were not involved with the FBI. If this bomber had gotten hold of somebody that wasn’t with the FBI, myself and my grandchildren might have been blown up. I am a liberal; but I do not believe in this. I'd rather give up my civil liberties, just like I do not mind being patted down at the airport if it’s going to stop us from being killed. But, screw you.
Thursday, December 2, 2010, 10:11 a.m., unidentified male
Hey, Sam Adams: Eat shit and die, you terrorist loving, illegal immigrant loving, far left, liberal lunatic! Go fuck yourself and you and all your little buddies - your little liberal pals on the City Council. Fuck every one of you son-of-a-bitches!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 8:56 a.m., Patricia
Yes, I would like a call back, because, you know, this city is just going . . . .Keep Portland Weird, I've lived here my whole life. When did Portland turn weird? I just got my $350 water bill that’s due before Christmas. Now I get my $30 leaf bill that’s due before Christmas. And, now I’m one of those poor people that lives in St. Johns, which you’re always talking about; and I’ve got this new bike boulevard on Central. You can put all this money into that, but you can’t pay to have these leaves cleaned up. I have yet to see ONE person on this bike street that’s not a METH head riding on their BIKE looking to rip someone off. So, yeah, you can give me a call back so we can discuss this; because - let me tell you - I am FURIOUS. And, you have a very good day. Thank you.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010, 8:41 a.m., unidentified male
On October 26th I was at the Stadium Fred Meyer at 20th and West Burnside. There is a crosswalk which is unmarked and extremely dangerous. The City needs to close that crosswalk immediately. I thank the good lord that I'm in one piece. I'm extremely careful and I foolishly entered the crosswalk at night and was struck by a car. Fortunately, since I'm overweight, I have a lot of padding, and all I got was some bruises which have now healed.
Monday, January 3, 2011, 4:40 p.m., Caroline
I live in the Lloyd District and I'm on a couple committees for the Mayor. Thank you very much. I appreciate representing my neighborhood on the committee. You know, it's upsetting to hear that the police have shot yet another person. I realize this person was quote-unquote “homeless,” but I bet you anything these days that homeless and mentally ill are one and the same. So, hearing that they tried to use a tazer, the first thing I think is, in this weather if somebody’s wearing 7 million layers, a tazer is not going to have much affect — or I don’t know, anyway. It’s just really upsetting to know that that level of force is required for someone who’s mentally ill and it couldn’t include a conversation or a series of conversations. It’s a ridiculous over-use of public authority to shoot people because they’re homeless or mentally ill. Can we do something about this, please; something far less severe?? Thank you very much. Bye.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011, 12:22 p.m., unidentified male
I just want to say, congratulations. At this rate, the Portland Police will single-handedly get rid or our homeless problem. What a great thing! Portland Police officers murdered another homeless person. Where are we up to now, three in the last couple of weeks? This is a great thing, Sam. The only thing that will make it even better is if it was a black man, and then of course they would get even more points, don’t they, murdering black people — murdering homeless people. Portland cops: you should be PROUD of yourselves.
Monday, January, 10, 2011, 9:32 a.m., Dede
Bon jour, Mr. Sam Adams: Honestly, did I meet you in the hot tub at 24-Hour Fitness in the Pearl District and you made reference to the hot tub being really hot when it was actually tepid? Please, may we meet for a brew at the pub of your choice, because you are one cool dude, and honestly I couldn't keep my eyes off of you. Please, would you just call me back regardless? Have a great life. Au revoir!
Thursday, January 20, 2011, 2:20 p.m., unidentified male
Hey: I was watching the news on Channel 2, and the City built almost a half-million dollar house to show people how to conserve water? Couldn’t they have the community college make a video and put it on line or on public television to show you how to do it? How much is it going to cost a year to maintain this house now that nobody lives in? Come on, you guys can do better than spending money that way. Come on, man; you’re breaking us! Bye.