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PDOT head asks how PR measures up

Sources Say

Should top city-paid managers be concerned with generating good public relations for the politicians who head their agencies?

In an e-mail obtained by Sources Say, Sue Keil, the city's transportation director, in January asked her top managers to list the agency's achievements for the previous year - including 'examples of positive media opportunities we have provided for Sam.'

Keil's boss, Commissioner Sam Adams, is running for mayor and is notorious for generating more press than anyone on the City Council.

Using public resources for political gain is hardly unheard-of - especially in Portland's increasingly politicized form of government. But rarely is it discussed so explicitly.

Keil told Sources Say the information was for a 'self-review' she was putting together in hopes of getting a raise from Adams. But, she said, 'he hadn't asked for this stuff; this was me asking.'

Adams, for his part, said: 'I didn't have any prior knowledge of this. … It's not a question that I ask of my bureau heads as part of their evaluation.'

Some don't need to scan the want ads

If you got your job from 'Hurricane' Vicki or 'Tropical Calm' Tom, you're probably looking for a job right now. And some folks already have succeeded.

An appointee of former Portland Public Schools Superintendent Vicki Phillips, Barbara Adams, the district's chief of schools has been hired as chief academic officer of Boston Public Schools and will start next month at a salary of $160,000 - a $20,000 raise.

Meanwhile, Mayor Tom Potter's point person on creating the city's controversial day-labor hiring site also has found a new job.

Kevin Easton, Potter's policy manager for business and the arts, has been hired as executive director of the Portland-based Equity Foundation, a group that combats prejudice against sexual and gender minorities.

Session didn't pack much campaign punch

If political prowess is measured by legislative output, the special session in Salem was not kind to the seven lawmakers running for statewide offices.

House Speaker Jeff Merkley, D-Portland, running for U.S. Senate,can claim the session went relatively smoothly under his stewardship. But the speaker failed in his quest to salvage remnants of a Senate subprime lending reform bill.

Sen. Ben Westlund, D-Tumalo, prime sponsor of that bill, seemed keen to use it to advance his campaign for state treasurer. But Westlund was skunked in his own chamber, despite Senate Democrats' commanding majority.

Rep. Greg Macpherson, D-Lake Oswego, running in the Democratic primary for attorney general, may have taken the most advantage of the special session. He worked on a stiffer criminal sentencing ballot measure, to appear on the November ballot as a more flexible, cheaper alternative to one by Kevin Mannix.

- Tribune staff

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