This Week in the Mercury


Friday, January 2, 2009

All Change At City Hall

Posted by Matt Davis on Fri, Jan 2, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Well, this is a turn up for the books: The night before a boy goes on vacation, his boss resigns to take a job with the mayor. Now I'm back in Portland, and Amy Ruiz isn't here to watchdog city hall any more, I thought I'd take a trip down there myself this morning to see if there were any jobs going what was going on. Things are certainly different, now.
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As local blogger Jack Bogdanski noted the other day, the departure of Ruiz, and of another local columnist from another local newspaper, and of yet another local reporter from another local newspaper, might suggest there's a sense, if not that "nobody's watching," certainly, that those who used to be watching have found themselves doing other things in the new year. Like earning. Money. From the people they used to watch. But how much, exactly? Well, there's no word, as yet, from Sam Adams' new communications chief Wade Nkrumah as to how much exactly Ruiz is earning, and it's not to be found on the city's website, either...but it appears at least that she's doing alright for cupcakes on day one:
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Good luck, Amy!

Adams' staff, Ruiz included, spent this morning touring the building, introducing themselves to the four other city commissioners and their staff. I stopped in on Amanda Fritz's office—where Adams' office used to be, and found five staffers unpacking boxes. Randy Leonard was nowhere to be found, while Dan Saltzman's office had the usual sense of anarchy one has come to expect from the new police commissioner: Staffers all whacked out on drugs, The Wipers' Over The Edge playing at full volume from a rusty needle, rusty needles, you get the idea.

Kidding. Saltzman's office was dull, and he was out at a meeting. Although I was pleased to see Tom Potter's former public advocate, Jeremy Van Keuren, filling a chair down there to help Saltzman with some of the transitioning of the police bureau responsibilities. He's always been a pleasure to work with. I mean for. I mean, with. With.

Nick Fish told me there's no "secret sauna" in the basement of city hall where all the decisions really get made, although I've got to be honest, it felt like he was protesting a little too much...

And that was it for my first morning as city hall watchdog. Woof. Woof. Let's do the tally:

JOBS ACCEPTED: None.
SAUNAS ENTERED INTO WITH COMMISSIONERS TO DISCUSS HOW THEY REALLY VOTE: Less than one.
COMMISSIONERS CAUGHT IN FLAGRANTI DELICTO WITH UNDERAGE LOVERS: Zero.
BUNGS TAKEN: Nada. Honest. Seriously. Trust me.

But it's early days.

Coming up: Amanda Fritz's inauguration, tomorrow, 6pm (gathering starts at 5:45pm), Multnomah Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway. There's a rumor about "lemon bars" being available. Then, on Monday, it's Mayor Sam Adams' official swearing-in ceremony, at noon, Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver St. There's also a party at city hall Monday from 5-7pm Monday, to celebrate Adams' inauguration, and guess what? You're invited!

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