Mayor struggles to keep Leonard in line

In Portland the mayor has the power to take bureaus away from the commissioners who oversee them, and some City Hall observers have wondered whether Mayor Tom Potter would ever use it to rein in his more boisterous colleagues.

Well, according to Commissioner Randy Leonard, Potter tried in a closed-door meeting last summer: 'The mayor implied strongly that if I kept pushing I was going to lose my bureaus.'

The punchline? Potter's beef was Leonard's criticism of how the Portland Development Commission offered a developer the city-owned Southwest Third Avenue and Oak Street property for free - and now, the PDC's own documents show that Leonard was right all along.

Last Thursday, The Oregonian's Scott Learn disclosed that the PDC let the developer essentially ghostwrite the appraisal that allowed the land giveaway, apparently to avoid paying better-than-market wages under the state prevailing wage law.

Sockeye to me, baby

Jay Hutchins and Doreen Roozee are like proud parents this week, since their 10-year-old nonpartisan public affairs magazine has been reborn with a new, punchier name: Sockeye.

The editors of the publication formerly known as Oregon's Future say the old name was always too hard for people to remember. Even the announcer at last Friday's City Club forum put the apostrophe in two different places as she unveiled the new name.

By contrast, 'nobody gets Sockeye wrong, and everybody likes to say it,' said Roozee, noting that some of the rejected names during their agonizing six-month quest included Cascade Lookout and Oregon Viewpoints.

'We were sitting around the office one day and I said, 'I want to work for a magazine called Sockeye,'' Hutchins said.

'A lot of older board members said it looks too young and hip,' Roozee said. 'We said that (describes) the people who are going to make a difference.'

Pay no attention to that man on the rope

A couple of weeks ago Sources Say heard there might be an opening in the group participating in the upcoming Portland Aerial Tram 'rescue' exercise - and thought, What better way to challenge our fear of heights than to be lowered on a rope from a silver egg hanging 16 stories from the ground?

Sadly, in the end, the idea of lowering a reporter during the tram's Media Day was nixed (after all, can you get any lower than just being a reporter?) and so was the idea of having any other people lowered besides Commissioner Sam Adams.

The explanation from a fire bureau employee? Get this: 'OHSU has asked that the Media Day event focus on the positive aspects of the tram and not 'rescue' scenarios.' Yeah, that'll happen.

- Tribune staff

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