This is an interesting move, I’m eager to hear the response from other council members. On one hand, I’m in favor of a strong single executive (like the Mayor) having the financial discretion abilities, simply because it is plainly obvious who is responsible if (or when) everything goes to shit. When you have a bureau running the financial show, the fault of who fucked it can (and always will) be obfuscated by politicians. So, there’s a real accountability trade off being presented here, and I tend to believe that it’s easier for The People to hold one person accountable than it is to hold one bureau accountable. What’s going to happen is that our city’s accounting will get all fucked by this bureau, Portlanders will rally outside the bureau’s offices, and the Council will demand that one or two of the heads of the bureau to be fired – the people will be temporarily appeased, and everything will quickly go back to the same level of fuckedness that it was before. This cycle of appeasement can continue infinitely until the city is bankrupt.

The flip side of this – and I don’t know if this was Fritz’s move, or what her real justification for all of this is – if Nolan is elected our budget is likely to be entirely fucked much harder than it is now, maybe Fritz is doing this to draw attention..? I don’t know. Mary Nolan’s husband, Mark Gardiner, has made his money financing huge public-private “Joint Sponorships.” In simple terms, he uses Tax money and Corporate money combined to build huge projects: PGE Park, South Water Front, the Airport MAX rail line – these are all his projects that he was directly involved in advocating for and financing – this is where he makes his money. If Mary Nolan comes to city council, we must expect her main intention and motivation will be to enrich herself via her husband’s company sucking the teat of Portland’s Budget. Corruption would be the rational and logical thing for her to do: she has every capacity to do it, and she has a history of it. It won’t be Mary running the show, it will be her husband pulling her strings. If Nolan were to work with the future mayor and play favors for financing, this city could have ten more boondoggles on the scale of the WES, South Water Front, Tram, and other projects and Mark and Mary laugh all the way to the bank. So, the flip side is that if this is moved to a bureau, it would possibly be harder for Nolan or future officials to corrupt our budget by trade favors and getting financing. Of course, there’s virtually no way that such a big change would happen by November.

In the end our best bet is just to keep everything the way it is now, and hope that Nolan doesn’t get elected, as I see Nolan as a bigger threat to our budget than the Mayor is. If only Fritz had enough ovaries to go negative on Nolan and take a big steaming shit on her husband’s squandering on tax payer dollars... Just remember: Joint sponsorships mean that You – the taxpayer – pays for it, and someone corporate million-dollar asshole gets to run it and keep the profits. This is Portland’s favorite type of corruption, and it’s rampant.

Here’s an alternative for Fritz: just create a City of Portland Bank, and have the PDC and developers borrow money from it, at interest, and allow the City to budget the assets for the Bank out of the general budget. This way the general budget is “hands off” to special interests and financial/developer moguls while still providing financing for the city’s needs.

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