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Overheard

Excerpts from an April 16 presentation at the City Club of Portland featuring the four leading candidates for mayor:

'It is run perhaps too much like a business, with deals behind closed doors and plans behind closed doors.'

Ñ Phil Busse, responding to critics who say government should be operated more like a bottom-line business

'Over the years, the Portland Development Commission and all these programs have taken federal dollars on the pretense that they're going to serve low-income communities, and they have not. They have actually been just another subsidy for the rich and powerful in the city. And it's unfortunate that that's happened because the very people in those communities are blamed for their lack of ability to get themselves out of poverty. And it's a shame that they have taken federal dollars and misused it. I would probably get rid of PDC based on that alone.'

Ñ James Posey

'I oppose that because I think that we should be looking for local businesses to be put in those kinds of facilities and not national chain, big-box stores. I support the efforts to locate those in the suburbs, but not in the city of Portland.'

Ñ Tom Potter, asked about PDC's plan to entice a Home Depot to the central east side

'We also, frankly, need more help from the federal government, whose priorities are not right, and we need some investments again in basic infrastructure because our citizens cannot afford this and neither can our businesses.'

Ñ Jim Francesconi, on the impending jump in water bills to pay for system improvements