Hales stands back but puts 2 cents forward

Hanging out at the opening ceremony of the Portland streetcar extension to South Waterfront, former city Commissioner Charlie Hales said that he definitely has ruled out a mayoral bid in 2008 - but a lack of leadership at City Hall sure has made it a tough call.

Specifically, Hales thinks that the health of downtown has been neglected in recent years and that Mayor Tom Potter hasn't performed well in reacting to the controversial in-custody death of James Phillip Chasse Jr.

'I think the conduct of the Portland Police Bureau needs serious reform, and I'm not seeing that happening right now,' Hales said.

Move along now, there's nothing to see

Mark Rosenbaum, chairman of the Portland Development Commission, can't understand why anyone thinks he and the other PDC commissioners are fighting with the City Council over affordable housing.

Some local bloggers have declared the two groups are practically at war over the council's requirement that 30 percent of all urban renewal dollars be spent on affordable housing, beginning this fiscal year.

Although he says the board and council have differed on some details, Rosenbaum believes both groups will soon approve complementary policy statements saying the 30 percent requirement will be a five-year average applied in every urban renewal area administered by the PDC, except for industrial and expiring ones.

'There should be happy faces all around,' Rosenbaum said of the upcoming vote, which he said will result in an additional $20 million for affordable housing projects next year.

- Tribune staff

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