Tuesday, November 20, 2012

One can only imagine what is he thinking?

I am not very familiar with the proposed West Hayden Island annexation except to know that it involves many issues - the least of which is the environmental aspect. The mayor - he has a new proposal - is in a controlled spin attempting to push the annexation through before Xmas. [Running out of time and facing criticism, Portland Mayor Sam Adams outlines schedule for West Hayden Island annexation].

From my read of the situation it seems that it is only the mayor and the Port of Portland that is ready to toss aside the concerns of the environment and of the local communities.   The mayor says his "new proposal will include updated finances and his "best thinking" on the controversial plan."

But he has had 4 years to screw the pouch - why doesn't he just move on? In the read of the Oregonian article - it is clear the mayor has - typical of Portland development efforts - tried the 'participation' trick whereby a citizen's committee is formed to mimic the city hall line.

Yet this committee appears to have recognized that they have been used.
"Unfortunately, it seems as though we are going to end up with the (the committee's) 'recommendations' being nothing more than letters from each ... member and a long list of straw poll votes on questions that are almost always undetailed, lacking context or relationships with other votes, and without cost figure(s)." [Committee member Chris Hathaway].
One wonders if the mayor's  new job will come about or be enhanced if he continues to push the Port's objective. It is easy to doubt this mayor's sincerity and creditably. But to give the mayor some credit - he seems to work better under direction and supervision. His time working for Mayor Katz is an example.
Otherwise he is a loose cannon without the ability to form cogent thoughts.

One can only hope - that is all Portlanders have at times - that the other council members who will be with us next year will turn a blind eye and deaf ears to the mayor and his proposal which conveniently enough hasn't been formulated for public review. He wouldn't want anyone to be informed.

An excellent perspective, albeit biased, is that of the Audubon Society of Portland.
"West Hayden Island is one of Portland's most important natural areas. Its 826 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, wetlands, meadows, floodplains and shallow water habitat near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers provide irreplaceable habitat for federally listed salmon and imperiled bird, bat and amphibian species.
It is an amazing place where you can see nesting bald eagles and rapidly disappearing species like pileated woodpeckers and western meadowlarks. It is located next to one of the largest manufactured-home, affordable-housing communities in Oregon.
However, the Port wants to take 300 acres and convert them to a marine industrial port facility that isn't needed and which will irrevocably harm the environment and the local community. The development will clear-cut the heart out of the wildlife area and leave behind fragmented, disturbed, edge habitat as well as significantly increased pollution, increased traffic congestion, and a permanently damaged local community."
Annexation - what is in it for Portlanders?

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