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Portlanders detail mayoral legacy

Portlanders respond to this question: She's not running in 2004, but Vera Katz has been Portland's mayor for more than a decade. What will you remember about Katz's administration?

Rachel Gerber, a Portland legal secretary who lives in Beaverton: 'Light-rail development and a ride with the good times will leave Mayor Katz's administration with a positive glow. Treatment of businesses, obsession with the baseball boondoggle and a tendency toward autocratic decision-making will detract from that luster.'ÊÊÊ

Richard Ellmyer, a neighborhood activist who lives in the Portsmouth neighborhood: 'Katz dismissed North Portland livability by fighting for an amphitheater at Portland International Raceway. She encouraged the Housing Authority of Portland and the Portland Development Commission to follow a covert public housing policy of concentrating low-income clients into a few select areas, especially in North Portland's Portsmouth neighborhood.'

Michelle Detwiler, an energy industry specialist who lives in Northeast Portland: 'In the negative column, her unfortunate alienation of the city's business community. In the positive column, the wonderful amenity that the Eastbank Esplanade turned out to be, despite the overwhelming negative reaction to it initially.'

Harvey Fink, a downtown Portland business consultant who lives in Vancouver, Wash.: 'The killing of businesses downtown. The civil disobedience Ñ and the emasculation of the police force. The impression of Portland as Moscow on the Willamette. The exodus of businesses and people out of Portland.'

Chuck Jones, a certified financial planner who lives in the John's Landing area: 'A strange group of socialist activist sympathizers that feel they 'deserve' the Oregon quality of life and that they can have that life regardless of the economic viability of the city.'Ê

Misti Wittenberg, a business executive who lives in Northwest Portland: 'I will remember companies leaving Portland in droves due to Katz's antibusiness attitude Ñ yet she consistently accommodated the comforts of protesters Ñ and her refusal to cooperate with the FBI after 9-11, which made the national news.'

Do you have opinions on Portland issues? The Tribune is seeking new members for its Color Commentary panel. Twice a month, panelists offer short opinions via e-mail on city topics ranging from dogs in the parks to major league baseball to strategies for helping homeless youths. Interested in joining the panel? Contact Dave Kern at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .