Released shelter memo heavily censored
A Multnomah Couny Court judge only required the City of Portland to release a heavily redacted version of a memo apparently listing the potential sites of new homeless shelters as the result of a public records lawsuit.
Tyler Bechtel, a Southeast Portland resident opposed to the shelter Multnomah County plans to open near Southeast 160th Avenue and Foster Road, sued the city over Mayor Ted Wheeler's refusal to release two emails in response to his public records records for documents related to siting shelters.
Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Souede ordered the emails to be released on May 22. One was from Joint Office of Homeless Services Director introducing the other, titled, "DRAFT Shelter Expansion/Reconfiguration Memorandum." Both went to Mayor Ted Wheeler's office.
Souede ordered the introductory email released in full. But he allowed the city to redact the majority of the 11 page draft memo, concluding that it included information about potential real estate transactions that are exempt under Oregon public records laws.
Gray Ayer, a Southeast Portland business owner and opponent of the Foster shelter, believes the ruling reveals the redacted information includes frank discussions of the Foster shelter and the addresses of other possible locations for additional shelters that have not yet been made public.
Our local elected officials continue to fail to meaningfully engage neighborhoods before placing shelters. Trusted with record-setting budgets and taxpayer investment, the lack of due diligence, transparency, and responsibility should be alarming for all Portlanders," says Ayer, cofounder of the grassroots Southeast Allied Communities.
You can read the documents ordered released here.