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Sources: Kafoury endorses Bailey...twice


Although Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury is going to have to work with whoever wins the Portland mayor’s race, she formally endorsed Commissioner Jules Bailey on Wednesday.

But she informally endorsed him during her State of the County Address to the City Club of Portland on the previous Friday. Speaking to a packed audience, Kafoury praised Bailey’s efforts to address affordable housing and homelessness. Shortly thereafter, Kafoury said she hoped Mayor Charlie Hales’ replacement shares the incumbent’s commitment to affordable housing and homelessness.

She praised numerous other elected officials, but made no mention of Bailey’s main competition, state Treasurer Ted Wheeler — even when she had a clear opportunity.

Wheeler, who also served alongside Kafoury when he was Multnomah County chair, has claimed credit for jumpstarting the Sellwood Bridge replacement project. On Friday, however, Kafoury gave this account: “I fought for the project, found the necessary funding, and got the project off the ground.”

Wheeler was not in attendance.

Kitzhaber goes on social media offensive

As first reported last week by Oregon Public Broadcasting, former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has launched a Facebook page as part of his decision to return to public life, despite the fact the U.S. Department of Justice is still investigating him and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, for influence peddling.

The page includes a scripted 2:36-minute video of Kitzhaber saying he cannot sit still any longer and allow his reputation to be defined by “a media narrative that, from the start has been long on speculation and short in facts.”

If the comments are any indication, Kitzhaber’s decision to return to the public arena may face some skepticism. Among other things, one post to his Facebook page says, “Just do yourself and us a favor and fade away.”

Questions about city/county coordination

Commissioner Nick Fish is worried Portland’s efforts to help the homeless and low-income renters are not coordinated enough. He’s also wondering who’s going to be in charge if city staff providing some or all of the services are moved to offices at the Multnomah County headquarters building, which is being discussed.

Fish expressed his concerns last week when the City Council approved spending an additional $2.75 million on homeless services in response to the Housing State of Emergency it approved last year. He wondered why the money was divided between the Portland Housing Bureau, which is under Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and the Office of Management and Finance, which is under Mayor Charlie Hales. As Fish sees it, the housing bureau should be in charge.

Fish was assured the council will discuss the issue in April, when it meets with the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners to discuss the creation of a Joint City-County Office of Homeless Services. That office would be hosted at Multnomah County’s headquarters and report to County Chair Deborah Kafoury. The proposal is being made by Saltzman and Kafoury.

No date has been announced for the meeting.