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Sources Say • Portland Plan losing ground?


Portland's next mayor isn't sure the city is prepared to enact the ambitious Portland Plan.

Mayor Sam Adams will present the plan, designed to guide city growth during the next 25 years, to the public on April 18. The City Council is expected to consider it soon afterward.

But the three major candidates running to succeed Adams all have questioned whether the correct steps are being taken to make sure the plan moves forward in a timely manner.

Speaking at a forum on historic preservation and urban design on March 21, Eileen Brady, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith all said they support the plan, which is intended to improve livability, equity and the economy. But all three also said city leaders then need to rapidly wrap up work on the comprehensive land-use plan that will implement it, and narrow the hundreds of "action items" into a relatively small number of specific plans that can be completed within the next few years.

"We're in danger of citizen fatigue," said Hales, noting that the Portland Plan had its roots in Mayor Tom Potter's lengthy visioning process.

Hales called on the city to complete the so-called comp plan in one year instead of the two the city has scheduled.

Fritz joins the establishment

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz is stressing her independence in her re-election campaign. But a recent campaign press release makes it clear she has gone from being a political outsider to a insider.

Monday's release noted that Fritz has been endorsed by all five members of the Multnomah County commission and two members of the City Council, Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman.

"Elected leaders who have worked with me know that I am an independent leader who sticks with my principles, and also someone who collaborates and communicates well to get results for Portland and Multnomah County," Fritz wrote.

A number of current and former elected officials have also endorsed state Rep. Mary Nolan, Fritz's major opponent. They include former Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein and former Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey.

Changes on the campaign trail

In other campaign-related news, Hales added veteran campaign consultant Liz Kaufman to his team last week. Campaign manager Jessica Moskovitz says Kaufman is the "new boss" but has not replaced anyone.

Kaufman has worked on numerous local campaigns, including those for Portland Public Schools, the Multnomah County Library and the Oregon Historical Society.

Rail vote a foregone conclusion?

Will anyone fight the ballot measures requiring a public vote on light-rail project funding?

One such measure already has qualified for the Sept. 18 special election ballot in Clackamas County. Another is circulating in Milwaukie, and at least four others are in the works in Washington County cities.

The Clackamas County measure has received contributions from conservative millionaire Loren Parks and the Oregon Transformation Project political action committee, which is largely supported by the Stimson Lumber Co. But no political action committee has been formed to fight them.

In the past, labor organizations and construction companies supported PACs to defeat Clackamas County measures to block Sellwood Bridge funding and require a public vote on urban renewal. Much of their money went to Portland political consultant Mark Weiner's firm, Winning Mark.

Although the anti-measure PACs outspent those supporting the two proposals, they passed anyway.