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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oregonian Joins City Hall Parlor Game on Fate of Mayoral Aide

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Never forget!
  • Never forget!
Even before Mayor Sam Adams announced last summer that he wouldn't be seeking re-election—with many people (not us! whoops!) assuming he wouldn't—some political observers have played a passive parlor game on where his top staffers would land. (That exercise, it should be said, pales before the guessing game on who Charlie Hales and Steve Novick will hire for their staffs—and how Hales, the mayor-elect, might reshuffle bureau assignments.)

In a post two weeks ago about the latest shakeup in Adams' inner circle, in which Amy Ruiz was named the mayor's soon-to-be fourth chief of staff, we got in on the lesser of the guessing games. I pointed out that a recent job posting for a public affairs manager/deputy director in the transportation bureau (which Adams oversees) seemed to have Ruiz's "name on it."

This morning the Oregonian went beyond the guessing game and all but handed the job to Ruiz—although the paper's lede is about the only thing that backs up the assertion.

Amy Ruiz, a Portland reporter-turned-top-mayoral-aide, is in line to become public affairs manager in Portland's Bureau of Transportation, City Hall Watch has learned.

Rumors about Ruiz landing in PBOT have been around for months. PBOT is run by Tom Miller, Adams' first chief of staff in city hall and the guy who first plucked Ruiz from the Portland Mercury. And I've been hearing a lot more about from various city sources ever since the job went up.

It's not hard to see—even if it might look like a plum reward gig for someone who's been a fierce Adams defender—why it fits a former reporter and editor who's spent four years doing high-profile management work in the city's most scrutinized political office.

But in reality? I'm told it's nowhere near as done a deal as the daily is making it. I've reached out to Ruiz for a confirmation or denial of either sentiment, but have yet to hear back.

Don't get me wrong: I would be completely unsurprised if it did happen. But it's also worth mentioning that Ruiz's would-be boss, Miller, is the subject of a parlor game all his own: whether Hales will fire him during the few months early next year when he's planning to take control of all the city bureaus.

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