by: Christopher Onstott Clackamas County residents voted overwhelmingly last week to defeat a vehicle registration fee that would have helped fund the Sellwood bridge's replacement. The bridge is in Multnomah County.

For those of you who had your fill of the TV spots and mailings in support of the Portland Public Schools' ballot measures, it could have been worse. The campaign in favor of the two measures on the May 17 ballot raised more than $1.25 million in cash and in-kind contributions. But it ended up with more than $107,000 in the bank.

Of course, that money could be spent on the next construction bond measure. The $548 million bond measure only lost by half a percentage point; the school board will likely submit a smaller one to the voters in the foreseeable future.

The $107,000 is enough to start the next campaign. Then again, maybe the supporters could've picked up that half-percent if they'd spent it.

HAP remodels its name

The Housing Authority of Portland might seem like a straightforward enough name, but agency officials decided a change was needed, maybe because they provide affordable and public housing for low-income folks throughout Multnomah County.

Hoping for a title that would be less confusing to some of its housing partners, the agency changed its name to Home Forward - a trendy sounding moniker similar to Lean Forward, the slogan for the progressive MSNBC cable news network.

If less confusion was really the goal they might have tried Housing Authority of Multnomah County. Or something with housing in the title. But this way marketing firm Brand Navigation, hired by HAP to forge the new identity, gets credit for the name change.

No wonder they're scared

Clackamas County voters really didn't like the $5 motor vehicle registration fee to help pay for the Sellwood Bridge replacement project. The measure failed by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent in the May 17 election, even though the campaign in favor outspent opponents by a ratio of nearly 35-to-1.

According to the most recent campaign spending reports, Clackamas County Citizens for Jobs and Safety spent over $129,000 in cash and in-kind contributions in support of the measure. In contrast, Clackamas County First only spent a little more than $3,500 opposing it.

No wonder the Clackamas County commission has said it will not come up with the $22 million they committed to the project from any other source.

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