The Oregonian is demonstrating some value in the hiring of Beth Slovic. Even though this may not turn into any scandal - I like the fact that someone is digging. The transportation director rents a developer's beach cottage at $100 per day is a decent story. And $100 seems to be an extra special value. Is there a friendship here?
Superficially it is hard to argue that the rental was in some way a conflict of interest. But it starts to smell that way when it is this transportation director and he can't remember the price he paid. It was the developer that stated the price.
I said this "transportation director" because of his previous relationship with the mayor. It is difficult to believe that because he is now at the transportation bureau he has no influence in the mayor's office. Remember too that this mayor has a great affinity for the transportation bureau.
I will point out too that in those projects that involve the developer Maslin - the transportation department is often at the table. That is especially true with the East Burnside project. There may be no rat - but there is a slight smell that shouldn't be ignored.