Comments

1
Why July31st? Doesn't the city's fiscal or quarter end June 30th?
2
Matt, you and other members of the public were not allowed into this meeting because it was a staff meeting. So what if a commissioner was there - there was no Council quorum. It was a boss talking to his employees.

Should all staff meetings in city agencies be open to the public? Should commissioners be on the record at all times? That's essentially what you are asking for. Absolutely nothing would get done in this city under those circumstances.
3
@GLV

Judging by the way things go in the city there are plenty of people here that would be completely happy with nothing ever getting done.
4
I don't feel too bad for you, Matt. I know I would prefer to be laid off without the Mercury in the room.

So what percentage of BDS staff is this? Seems like a lot of them....
5
Also, in light of the scale of these layoffs, I'm not sure Leonard taking 2 weeks unpaid is really proportionate to the pain in the Bureau. I would either do something more major (a month or two unpaid) or nothing at all. 2 weeks is token.
6
But Amy gets to stay, right??? While tenured, in the field and experienced staff (with families and qualifications!) get hacked and tossed to the side. So Sam gets to 'pad' his staff - while the real workforce - that gets things done, gets axed?
It's been 6 months people, how long are we going to allow this? I'm sure Goldschmidt was much more loved and respected than Adams - But my my, a gay pedophile beats a straight one - hands down. When is The Law going to be upheld?
7
Had the meeting bee in the loo, Matt, you would have been more than welcome!
8
Matt, why did you have to make this story about yourself, and your feelings being hurt for not being let in?
9
I think thy city suddenly deciding to lay off 150 people (or however many more it was than they were already going to lay off) merits some press coverage. They really should have figured out a way to do it a little more transparently while still respecting employee privacy. If no new information was being presented, then perhaps he should have met with people individually or in small groups.

And two weeks without pay? I guess that will cut a bit into the raise he accepted, but otherwise its not much of a gesture. Plus, its nice to have a job and all, but somehow I don't know if running Leonard's front desk is going to be much of a concession prize for someone with a PhD in public planning
10
"someone with a PhD in public planning"

I like BDS too, but let's not get carried away.
11
Well, maybe a bachelor's in community development from PSU. Either way, screening calls for Randy Leonard has got to be more of a punishment than a reward at this point.
12
atomic: The two weeks without pay is equal to 4 percent of Leonard's salary, he told me.
13
Matt, weren't you too busy crying about another low point in our nation's sad economic times to insist that you be personally present for the termination of 150 livelihoods?

Maybe you should insist that whenever a public employee is fired, press should be a required presence, you heartless fucking parasite.

Here's yet another newsflash: just because we have an arguable right to some things doesn't mean we are required to exercise that right in an unthinking (or callously uncaring) manner.

I'm glad you could add "witnessed scuffle with obnoxious alternative weekly sub-journalist" to the checklist of one of the worst days of these peoples' lives.
14
What GLV said. Nothing about this meeting required public or press access -- legally or ethically.
15
Firstly, you flatter yourself with the self-applied use of the word "press". What more information could you possibly have received at this meeting that you weren't already aware of? Reasons why? You knew that. How many lay-offs? You knew that too. The only thing that you didn't know, was how bummed out these people were going to look when they finally heard what they already knew was coming. That's not news. That's ambulance chasing, dude.
16
maybe to see if the ex union guy, city council member actually looks people in the eye when he fires them after taking a pay raise?
I like Randy, but come on.
Randy, I know you watch this kind of stuff on the Merc, what is your thought? is it justifiable to take a pay raise when you know you are going to have to cut jobs?
17
Well, it looks like I've really won this one in the court of public opinion. Seriously, thanks for the comments questioning the merit of reporting on the meeting—they're well taken and I'll think on them. But I do still feel justified in having showed—after having been contacted by some BDS employees who wanted the Commissioner held accountable for his remarks. I was more interested in watching Leonard break the news to the employees than in documenting how "bummed out" they all were. Just because something is sensitive, doesn't mean it doesn't warrant public scrutiny. And that's not completely an argument made because I've had my personal feelings hurt. I was genuinely surprised to be told I couldn't cover the meeting.
18
A lot of you dumbfucks wouldn't even know about the lay-offs if Matt hadn't told you...And now you're angry at Matt for informing you? Dude, I can't read the comments anymore.
19
Thanks for reporting on this, I understand the value of a headline and a tagline to get people to read your work. Tpeople's lives have been fractured and Leonard thinks he can walk away from this with 3% pay raise and 2 more weeks of vacation (furlough = not going to work) Thanks for at least trying to keep this hypocrisy open.
Hey Randy, I challenge you to use your “furlough” for something meaningful like community service, make some real sacrifice, enough lip service.
20
For clarification: Leonard is going to work through the 2 weeks of unpaid time, he says.
21
Matt: I was not being hyperbolic. I realize that he does indeed come out about 1.3% poorer than his original pre-raise salary. However that's just this year. If I'm not mistaken, city commissioners serve 4 years, and Leonard was recently reelected. So unless he decides to take 2 weeks without pay each year for the next 3 years, he's going to come out ahead.

I'm putting this one in the "good at distraction" pile.
22
How many people are losing their jobs at PSU? Has this story broke yet?
23
All public bodies in oregon are subject to the open meetings law. And the press ALWAYS has a right to be there, except for during labor NEGOTIATION sessions.

leonard has broken the law by not allowing you in, matt. Ask the lawyers.



192.660 Executive sessions permitted on certain matters; procedures; news media representatives' attendance; limits.

Nothing contained in ORS 192.610 to 192.690 shall be construed to prevent the governing body of a public body from holding executive session during a regular, special or emergency meeting, after the presiding officer has identified the authorization under ORS 192.610 to 192.690 for the holding of such executive session. Executive session may be held:
To consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent. The exception contained in this paragraph does not apply to:
The filling of a vacancy in an elective office.
The filling of a vacancy on any public committee, commission or other advisory group.
The consideration of general employment policies.
The employment of the chief executive officer, other public officers, employees and staff members of any public body unless the vacancy in that office has been advertised, regularized procedures for hiring have been adopted by the public body and there has been opportunity for public input into the employment of such an officer. However, the standards, criteria and policy directives to be used in hiring chief executive officers shall be adopted by the governing body in meetings open to the public in which there has been opportunity for public comment.
To consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, unless such public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent requests an open hearing.
To consider matters pertaining to the function of the medical staff of a public hospital licensed pursuant to ORS 441.015 to 441.063, 441.085, 441.087 and 441.990 (3) including, but not limited to, all clinical committees, executive, credentials, utilization review, peer review committees and all other matters relating to medical competency in the hospital.
(the following is 1d, cut and paste lost all the enumerations)
1d. To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to carry on labor negotiations.
To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to negotiate real property transactions.
To consider records that are exempt by law from public inspection.
To consider preliminary negotiations involving matters of trade or commerce in which the governing body is in competition with governing bodies in other states or nations.
To consult with counsel concerning the legal rights and duties of a public body with regard to current litigation or litigation likely to be filed.
To review and evaluate, pursuant to standards, criteria and policy directives adopted by the governing body, the employment-related performance of the chief executive officer of any public body, a public officer, employee or staff member unless the person whose performance is being reviewed and evaluated requests an open hearing. The standards, criteria and policy directives to be used in evaluating chief executive officers shall be adopted by the governing body in meetings open to the public in which there has been opportunity for public comment. An executive session for purposes of evaluating a chief executive officer or other officer, employee or staff member shall not include a general evaluation of an agency goal, objective or operation or any directive to personnel concerning agency goals, objectives, operations or programs.
To carry on negotiations under ORS chapter 293 with private persons or businesses regarding proposed acquisition, exchange or liquidation of public investments.
Labor negotiations shall be conducted in executive session unless either side of the negotiators requests open meetings. Labor negotiations conducted in executive session are not subject to the notification requirements of ORS 192.640.

******Representatives of the news media shall be allowed to attend executive sessions other than those held under subsection (1)(d)****** of this section relating to labor negotiations or executive session held pursuant to ORS 332.061 (2) but the governing body may require that specified information subject of the executive session be undisclosed.
No executive session may be held for the purpose of taking any final action or making any final decision
24
Here's the full link to the glorious law, which is a real pain in the rear end for small non-profits trying to get anything done with any measure of discretion.

But I guess other public bodies just ignore it.

http://www.open-oregon.com/New_Pages/192-6…
25
We need to find someone with time to just follow Leonard into every meeting he has and take notes.

Writing is the best revenge, every time.
26
The meeting did in fact violation the state's Sunshine Laws from every applicable rule I've read, however Leonard has never been one who felt that the law applied to him. Just place a call to the attorney general's office downstate and file a formal complaint. The attorney general is obligated to investigate.
27
There is absolutely no non-politically, self-serving motive for Randy barring press from this meeting. That was a bad move.

Other side of the coin: I don't agree with Leonard on his (major) policy decisions, but I can still recognize that it takes big fucking steely balls to stand in front of that many people you're firing and allow them to ask you for an explanation. That is pretty impressive; not quite "George shooting Lenny" balls, but close. It almost obscures the fact that he took a pay raise and tries to give it a make-over by taking two weeks without pay.

Nevertheless. I'm impressed. What he did there had to be goddamned hard. I'm surprised, in the face of such a decision, that inviting the press in was even an issue.



28
Then Will, your civic education, at least, is lacking.
29
In fact, Will, I wonder, if you were born in an earlier age, if you would have been an impressionable tool of steely-balled people like Stalin, Hitler, J. Edgar Hoover, etc etc, or if you would have exercised your own steely balls and been a subversive in opposition to their regimes.

Just an idle question of the universe.

Go see "the lives of others". Great movie.
30
"All public bodies in oregon All public bodies in oregon are subject to the open meetings law."

Does one commissioner constitute City Council? No. Look up the word "quorum."
31
GLV,

Yes, it's true, just because Leonard is a hefty man doesn't mean that he alone is a governing body.

But the intent of the law is:

192.620 Policy. The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions were made. It is the intent of ORS 192.610 to 192.690 that decisions of governing bodies be arrived at openly. [1973 c.172 §1]

Was the decision to lay off scores of people arrived at openly by a quorum of City Council?

I think not.

In which case, throwing a journalist out of the Q and A on how and why the decision was made, seems like more of the same lack of transparency.

Maybe technically not illeagal, because Leonard wasn't meeting with any other council members to deliberate, but certainly against the intent of the law.





32
@gonetorio I don't think you read my comment. Try again. Just because I'm impressed that he was willing to own up personally for firing those people doesn't mean I support ANYTHING the guy does.
33
That bureau has essentially been gutted. I empathize for those who lost their jobs, but am extremely concerned with how we can run a city efficiently without a full staff to to oversee essential functions. We are losing programs that all other major cities have and people expect. We have a financial problem in the city, but removing needed programs is not the way to go. What are you doing Randy?

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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