Fireworks over fees at City Council as Mapps fights for funding

Commissioner Mapps at City Council meeting yesterday.

At a Portland City Council meeting Wednesday, Mayor Ted Wheeler tried to freeze planned fee increases from three city infrastructure bureaus. It was all part of an eleventh-hour, anti-tax crusade from Wheeler that caught other city commissioners off-guard and made them scramble to justify parts of their budget they believed were already safe.

Wednesday’s meeting was the final step in the process to approve the City of Portland’s $7.1 billion budget, but it was the first time commissioners debated three amendments from Wheeler that sought to reduce planned fee increases from the Bureau of Environmental Services, Water Bureau, and Portland Bureau of Transportation that would total $18.7 million in revenue. At the meeting, Wheeler and the four other commissioners heard public testimony on the amendments and had heated exchanges about the impacts of the reductions.

“These increases are choking the life out of this community. People are picking up and they’re leaving.”

– Ted Wheeler, mayor

“It just doesn’t pass the smell test to say the reason why people are leaving the city is because of parking meter rates.”

– Mingus Mapps, commissioner

From Wheeler’s perspective, his moves are all about making people like Portland more. He’s worried that too many people are fleeing our city and he thinks the cumulative impact of the many fees and taxes people pay in this region (not just from City of Portland, but from Metro and Multnomah County) are a major reason why. “We want people to stay [in Portland],” Wheeler explained. “And I think people acknowledge that we are at an inflection point in our city. And studies now show that people are choosing not to stay here.” Even though Wheeler has been mayor for six years, he never once in the meeting acknowledged that perhaps there are other reasons people are leaving — like the fact that during his tenure Portland has not made tangible progress on our most pressing crises like homelessness, housing, drugs, guns, traffic safety, and so on.

At one point in the meeting Wheeler likened his attack on these planned fee increases as him taking, “bold action to lead.”

While Wheeler is right that no one likes paying more for things, some of his fellow commissioners — and almost every member of the public who showed up to testify against his plans — feel like this type of populist gesture is the wrong policy at the wrong time.

PBOT Commissioner Mingus Mapps was more animated and engaged at yesterday’s meeting than I’ve ever seen him since he came to office in 2021 — not surprising since he’s commissioner-in-charge of all three bureaus Wheeler wanted to take money from. Mapps arrived at City Hall Wednesday looking at over $18 million in reductions to budgets that had already been crafted. The magnitude of what Wheeler sought at the last minute was an extremely rare move and it was clear that this episode has created distance between he and Mapps.

“We can’t throw our umbrella away in a rainstorm and we can’t afford to throw away a reasonable mechanism to keep the lights on at PBOT… while this larger conversation takes place.”

– Indi Namkoong, Verde

“The [transportation] bureau is on life support, and we are pulling the plug today. I have not seen something like this in an urban setting. Ever. This is a truly remarkable moment,” Mapps said loudly into his microphone as he turned his head and looked at Wheeler. “It just doesn’t pass the smell test to say the reason why people are leaving the city is because of parking meter rates.”

Mapps had strong support from the public testimony.

Michael Andersen, a researcher at Sightline, said parking fees are an excellent tool to raise revenue and encourage outcomes that make Portland a better place to live. He said the best policy would be to simply enact the parking pricing policies Council already passed in 2021 when its Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility plan recommended dynamic parking meter rates where prices are set based on how busy a space is.

Kiel Johnson, a former chair of advocacy group BikeLoud PDX, said, “These cuts will mean more Portlanders are putting their lives on the line each time they go out and use our streets by bike and to many others will decide it’s not worth the risk… Do not defund our roads.”

Chris Smith, a veteran civic activist, budget advisor to two former Portland mayors, and former member of PBOT’s Budget Advisory Committee put it bluntly: “Absent this overdue increase in parking fees, PBOT is basically going out of business. I would urge you not to allow that to happen. [The parking rate increases are] overdue and it’s a good policy for the city.”

Portlander Will Hollingsworth said Wheeler’s amendment, “Reeks of craven politicking and it endangers the ability of the city to carry out its bedrock functions.”

Indi Namkoong, transportation justice coordinator with Verde, said, “We can’t throw our umbrella away in a rainstorm and we can’t afford to throw away a reasonable mechanism to keep the lights on at PBOT… while this larger conversation takes place.”

After the testimony, Wheeler refuted some of what he heard. “This is not a cut. This is holding the line on proposed increases. Others had suggested that without this fee increase PBOT is broken. Yes, it would require some tough choices and trade-offs, but it’s hardly them being broke and it’s certainly not as a result of cuts. People said, ‘Well this this will bring to an end critical projects and making sure our city meets our climate action goals, etc. etc.’ It does not have to. The cuts do not have to come out of those critical projects.”

To reinforce his point, Wheeler peppered staff with questions about just how much of an impact the $8.3 million reduction (which is what PBOT would have to make without the 40-cent meter increase) would have on PBOT’s budget. The reduction would come out of PBOT’s General Transportation Revenue, a vital pot made up of parking fees and gas taxes that funds many popular programs. A PBOT budget staffer said when the $8.3 million is combined with large and consequential cuts PBOT already has to make it would amount to a 35-40% reduction to those programs. 

Wheeler feels there are “substantial other resources” in PBOT’s capital budget that would not be impacted. But what Wheeler didn’t acknowledge is that PBOT can’t spend capital money without the staff to do the engineering, communications, planning, and construction of those projects. To see Wheeler clearly disagree with PBOT staff, the PBOT commissioner, and advocates who shared expert testimony, really made it clear how out-of-step his views about PBOT have become. 

Despite a City of Portland survey that showed higher meter rates have almost no impact on peoples’ decisions to drive and park downtown, Wheeler was steadfast in his belief that it does.

“We are begging people to come to downtown Portland and see that we have improved the situation [his belief is that we need to earn back people’s trust that the city is getting better, before we charge them more]. And studies show that when people come to downtown Portland, they are twice as likely to have a favorable impression of the city than prior to coming to downtown Portland. So it’s really important at this moment in our history, for us not to send mixed signals to say ‘Come to downtown Portland! And oh, by the way, we’re increasing the parking meter rates 40-cents per hour*.”

(*Note that when this 40-cent increase came to council in 2022, Wheeler voted in favor of it.)

“I don’t want people to think I’ve lost my fiscal bearings,” Wheeler continued. “I most certainly have not. But I also see a bigger purpose here. In terms of what we need to do over the course of the next year to rebuild confidence in the city.”

The central tension between Wheeler and Mapps comes to down to how they foresee the impact of these fees on peoples’ experience of our city. Wheeler thinks folks will be so happy to save 80-cents while shopping for two hours downtown and will have such a great time doing so, that it will help spark the revitalization he so desperately wants (and needs, politically). Mapps thinks the additional budget reductions Wheeler is asking of his bureaus will result directly in service cuts that will make their experience even worse.

Here’s how Wheeler puts it:

“… These increases are choking the life out of this community. People are picking up and they’re leaving our community. We have to turn that [around] by encouraging people to see the work we’re doing and believe in the work we’re doing and believe the value they’re getting for their very high tax, fee, and utility rate increases in the city are worth it to them. I believe the programs and the policies that this council has put into place are showing good early results and in a year from now the public will see the outcomes of those results. But in the near term, I’m asking us to hold the line and do everything we can to encourage people to stay here, to come here, to invest here, to bring their employees back to the City of Portland.”

And here’s how Mapps put it:

“What we are doing this afternoon is undermining the quality of services that this city council provides to the people of Portland. We are not advancing our position here. We are shooting ourselves and the people of Portland in the feet… I think it’s completely reasonable for this council to look at lowering the rates that we charge in taxes, and we should bring a critical eye to doing that. At the same time, one of our things that we’re also trying to manage is the quality of services we provide. We can save Portlanders 80-cents per parking trip, which is probably not going to be the thing that keeps you staying in Portland if you’re thinking about moving out, but by foregoing that 80-cents increase in parking meter revenues, we will actually see dramatic and profound and unavoidable reductions in services to the people of Portland. I am deeply skeptical that this is the reason why Portlanders are going to leave the city. However, I do believe one of the reason why Portlanders will be leaving the city in the coming years is our crumbling infrastructure.”

Mapps and Wheeler weren’t the only voices that mattered on Wednesday. Commissioner Rene Gonzalez sided strongly with Mapps and opposed the mayor’s amendment.

“40-cents per hour to park downtown, you know, that’s less than the price difference between a grande and venti at Starbucks… Is that really going to impact behaviors? We concluded maybe not,” Gonzalez said. But Gonzalez did acknowledge Wheeler’s point about the public perception created by the cumulative tax burden. Even so, Gonzalez objected to the lack of process and time he and his staff had to react to Wheeler’s proposals. He also said, “The disproportionate impact on infrastructure is a concern to me. Infrastructure in the city has long been under-supported and under-invested in, and that’s where we’re placing the burdens today.”

In the end, Wheeler’s amendment to roll back the 40-cent parking rate increase failed 1-4. He was the only person who voted for it.

Mapps proposed an amendment to increase the rate by just 20-cents. That passed 4-1 with Wheeler being the sole “no” vote.

The other two fee reductions — for the Water Bureau and for BES — passed by a 3-2 margin with Gonzalez joining Mapps in opposition and commissioners Ryan and Rubio going voting in support with Wheeler.

The one thing everyone agreed on was an amendment from Commissioner Carmen Rubio to freeze all system development charge rates for one year, a move expected to make it cheaper to build new housing.

The Mayor’s proposed budget passed by a vote of 4-1, with Mapps being the sole “no” vote. Mapps said asking Portlanders to pay a few dollars in monthly fees to maintain basic services like sewage processing and street maintenance is worth the money it will save the City in the long run by having functioning public works bureaus.

“My ‘no’ vote is a red flag and a warning to Portlanders. This budget contains some terrible decisions around funding infrastructure, in order to literally save pennies.”

– Mingus Mapps

“My ‘no’ vote is a red flag and a warning to Portlanders. This budget contains some remarkably bad choices, especially around infrastructure bureaus. This is a very sad day for the City of Portland and for people who sit in these chairs in the years to come. We pulled the plug on that life support. This budget contains some terrible decisions around funding infrastructure, in order to literally save pennies.”

Even though Mapps was able to save half the parking fee increase, it still means he lost an additional (and unexpected as of a few days ago) $4.1 million from his budget. He said it will be a challenge going forward to maintain programs like Safe Routes to School and Sunday Parkways. One bit of good news from the meeting was a comment from Commissioner Ryan that made it clear the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau will likely step in and help with Sunday Parkways funding.

But that will be a tiny bright spot in what is likely to be an upcoming era of unprecedented cuts at PBOT, an agency that has a far more complicated and strained budget than any other. After a decade of cuts and reductions in service and staff, it was really striking to watch a mayor intentionally make it even worse. And with his high-profile skepticism about the need for parking rate increases in general, Wheeler has fed into a narrative PBOT has fought against for a long time and has likely made it more difficult to price transportation fairly in the future.

“If we continue down this route, we are talking about layoffs of more than 100 people, maybe many hundreds of people, in the next couple of years,” Mapps said, as he tried to underscore the severity of the impacts. “I’m not against belt tightening and reimagining how we do our work, but if one of the expectations of the people in Portland is that they pay their taxes and get good services, I can guarantee you, this is going to undermine our ability to provide people with transportation services. We are accelerating the deterioration of PBOT.”

The budget office will now incorporate these changes and Council will make the final vote to adopt the budget in mid-June.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago

Ted Wheeler is a massive clown. I’m assuming this pivot means he still has state or federal political ambitions.

People aren’t leaving because of taxes, or even cost of living. They are leaving because the City of Portland has completely failed to rise to the challenge of dealing with a massive influx of drug-addicted transients, a wave at least partly driven by Hales and then Wheelers policy of letting them do whatever they want.

The entire city council and the civil service bureaucrats that run the city are incompetent and need to go. There was an article yesterday about a builder who will no longer build affordable housing due to how impossible working with the city is. How many years has it been since Dan was going to open 6 shelter sites by the end of the year?

This isn’t about politics or policy at this point. It’s about a broken organization that is still being led by the people who got us here. We are asking people who ran the CoP into the ground to be the ones to fix it. The new city council needs to systemically replace the entire leadership structure or it will all be for naught.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

People aren’t leaving because of taxes, or even cost of living. They are leaving because the City of Portland has completely failed 

It’s probably both. Folks are paying more as conditions continue to deteriorate (or at least fail to improve).

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

I’d suggest we apply that reasoning to the County, as well.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Nothing says letting people “do whatever they want” like continually tearing down their only shelter and confiscating and/or destroying their belongings, amirite?

https://www.portlandmercury.com/Housing/2022/06/17/43222570/its-psychological-warfare-old-town-sweeps-hammer-portlands-homeless-population

zuckerdog
zuckerdog
1 year ago

Too bad Mapps didn’t compromised for an 80-cent/hour parking meter rate increase.

Atreus
Atreus
1 year ago

It seemed pretty obvious to me that he knew how to count the votes, and that he didn’t have the votes to do a clean defeat of Wheeler’s amendment. The only reason he got support from the others to vote Wheeler’s amendment down was to offer the 20-cent alternative. This is very common in politics. When you know you’re going to lose, you find a way to lose slightly less.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  zuckerdog

Yeah the fact that he did all that song and dance, convincingly, then proposed a 20 cent cut for no damned reason is a real head scratcher.

I’m a little confused about process, but wasn’t the 40 cent increased already approved? What even was this and why did even mapps fail at this layup of funding? Really feels like theater on all sides.

Atreus
Atreus
1 year ago
Reply to  John

City Council approved it last year, but then it gets wrapped up in the full City Budget which they were voting on this week. That gave Wheeler the opportunity to introduce these last-minute amendments, with no chance for public process, to take away already-budgeted funding for PBOT, BES, and Water bureaus.

The 20-cent thing was Mapps very cleverly giving his colleagues, who had probably already promised Wheeler they would vote for his amendment, an “out” by letting them still support Wheeler’s general idea but stem the bleeding. It might have seemed weird, but it’s a common political tactic. If he hadn’t introduced that counter-amendment, he very likely would have lost the vote on Wheeler’s 40-cent reduction.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Atreus

I understand the concept of “giving an out”, I’m not naive to people playing political games like this. What I’m unclear on is why everyone has the idea that Wheeler’s ammendments would have passed without this 20 cent alternative. Why do you think “he very likely would have lost the vote”? Is there any evidence of this, by what people were saying or anything? The whole thing just feels like folding too easily to this phony austerity game Wheeler is playing. If Mapps believed he would have lost the vote, it really seems like that belief would have been based on information we could all see.

This is being presented like Mapps won a 20 cent parking fee increase when what actually happened was a 20 cent cut.

That said I wasn’t there so maybe it was obvious if you were.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith
1 year ago

Mapps seemed to nail it, though it looks like he was forced into the lesser of two evils.

Hard to tell what Wheeler was/is thinking. Did the PBA tell him the fees were too high? Is he that desperate to shine attention away from his failures as Mayor? Or, is he that craven that he’ll disable infrastructure bureaus at the margins so he can claim to be the “anti-tax” Mayor when he runs for re-election? Probably all of the above.

As a former State Treasurer it seems like Wheeler would know better than to not allow critical agencies to keep pace with inflation. That seems like Budgeting 101.

He does run a nice meeting, though…

Rubio was surprisingly disappointing. From Ryan I expect disappointment. Gonzalez was refreshingly thoughtful and cogent. Wheeler? Wheeler’s a tool.

Jay Cee
Jay Cee
1 year ago

Mapps is 100% correct on this. Wheeler just doesn’t get it. It’s not the parking fees keeping people away. Wheeler’s cuts will severely impact the quality of life of Portlanders, even more than his disastrous tenure already has

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

I don’t see this at all as an attempt to scapegoat. If things were going well, modest fee increases would be politically acceptable (until recently, Portlanders had a seemingly endless appetite for higher taxes). Wheeler made no attempt to deny that Portland has become a bit of a basket case, and that he was mayor when things really took a turn for the worse.

I’ve had some close contact with members of his office recently, and I’ve seen no denial, scapegoating, or whitewashing from them.

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

I disagree. The new scapegoat city employees are using (and it’s NOT entirely unfounded) is Multnomah County. The County now has all the cash (Homeless Tax and Preschool) and although it’s hard to believe they are more obsessed with sticking to their failed ideology than the city. We elected a clone of Kafoury in Jessica Vega Pederson so there has been zero move to more pragmatism like we have seen somewhat in the COP with the election of Gonzalez.

PS
PS
1 year ago

Because he gave the wrong bureaus to incompetent people? The most alarming aspect of this exchange between Mapps and Wheeler is that they are both right. Tax and fee creep is exhausting when services stagnate or decrease. Also, it seems preposterous that someone would move over $0.80 for two hours of parking, so it makes sense to try to save the fiscal situation of a bureau if even temporarily. The problem is that much larger fiscal issues are likely on the horizon and there won’t be the willingness and/or ability to tax/fee their way out of the problem. Wheeler’s push for strategic austerity rather than forced austerity is a rational position, he probably just doesn’t have the political capital left for anyone to care to hear it.

Paige
Paige
1 year ago

People are exhausted because we raised taxes on ourselves to shelter the unhoused and spent the last three years watching the crisis explode while the bloated JOHS utterly failed to even chip away at the problem. The current improvement I’ve seen on camps is due solely to enforcement and removal. People are exhausted by transit fare increases and Metro taxes when the buses BRAG about 15 minute headways at peak service hours. Who has time for that? Who is satisfied with that level of service? People are exhausted by the constant demand by the police to give them more money for war machines when homicides have risen steeply in our neighborhoods. Who is satisfied with police performance on their 6-figure salaries (Some of whom even moonlight for other jurisdictions for weeks before being caught by journalists)?? If the city is forcing us to choose our cars over our bikes, letting our bike lanes fill with debris, allowing people to speed like raging road beasts through our neighborhoods, and making people feel unsafe in their own homes, well why not move to the suburbs? No one will bother you there! You might even be able to afford to buy a house there!

Who is complaining about parking rates? WHO? They’re too low as it is. I beg of PBOT – jack up those parking costs by $1-$2. People will keep paying them as long as they drive cars. The least we can do is maintain our roads (and maybe get some bike lanes regularly cleaned!). Literally zero people will complain about well-kept roads and bikes lanes. That’s how you build trust with your constituents – actually provide decent services with the tax dollars and fees we pay. Wheeler picking this stupid fight is further fracturing the trust Portlanders have in our government.

Wheeler is a cynical creep and I regret re-electing him. Shame on me for thinking he would act like a leader with a second term. I’m still wary of Mapps’ general politics, but I appreciate that he’s being a realist here. Thanks for the extensive quotes, Jonathan.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Paige

failed to even chip away at the problem

This is nonsense. Chronically unhoused people — the demographic that tends to sleep outside — fell by 17% in the region (and by 16% in Portland).

https://www.multco.us/multnomah-county/news/news-release-chronic-homelessness-number-falls-across-tri-county-region-2023

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Your link doesn’t mention counts in Portland at all. Multnomah County itself reported a decrease of 37 people in the Street Count, a whipping 2.2% fall, which is almost certainly in the margin of error of something like hand counting people based on where you think they are.

Of course, MultCo has added thousands of homeless people in the last five years, so I’m not sure 37 person drop should get us busting out the champagne.

MultCo tries to spin the PIT numbers every year into pretending like they are doing a good job. The fact that they hid the 2022 PIT report until the day after the election says everything you need to know

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Your link doesn’t mention counts in Portland at all. Multnomah County itself reported a decrease of 37 people in the Street Count,

First of all, you are citing total PIT counts, not chronic homeless counts. Secondly, you evidently missed this part:

Even with more organizations and surveyors participating in the Street Count this year compared with 2022, and an app tracking surveys in real time — Multnomah County’s Street Count survey number was still smaller this year, falling from 1,641 in 2022 to 1,604 in 2023.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

First of all, you are citing total PIT counts, not chronic homeless counts.

I didn’t miss it, its just a nonsense way to count homeless people

Secondly, you evidently missed this part:

I didn’t miss it. Like I said, MultCo spins and spins to try and make their complete and total failure as an organization look better.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

Considering how often you whine about “transients” camping outside on BP one would think that you would care about chronic homelessness (but when it comes to fear and bias logic is often thrown out the door).

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Who says I ‘don’t care’ about chronic homelessness? Why are you just making up strawmen?

I and thousands of people voted for a massive tax increase on ourselves to eliminate homelessness, not chronic homelessness, not camping, homelessness entirely.

It’s also amusing to focus on a ‘chronic homelessness’ statistic when MultCo had this to say in their PIT

HUD defines someone as chronically homeless (CH) when they have a signficiant disabling condition and have been homeless for a year or more, eithre in a single episode or in four episodes over the past three years.

However, HUD’s guidelines and the resulting CH number provided in the PIT count do not fully reflect the reality of chronic homelessness in our community.

I wonder why they are harping on a statistic with an arbitrary defintion that they feel doesn’t reflect reality. Weird.

https://multco-web7-psh-files-usw2.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2022%20Point%20In%20Time%20Report%20-%20Full.pdf

Instead of focusing on what amounts to a MultCo press release about how great they are, dig in to the actual numbers. MultCo is doing shockingly bad. 50% increase in unsheltered homeless between 2019-2022. 45% of the sample was homeless when they arrived in MultCo.

We’ve given them hundreds of millions in revenue and they’ve given us a 2.2% drop after seeing a massive increase over the last five years due to MultCo and CoP incompetence.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  cc_rider

50% increase in unsheltered homeless between 2019-2022.

Nothing big happened during this time frame, right? Right???

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Well yeah, the complete in total implosion of the CoP and the resulting lack of sweeps and enforcement of basic laws drew thousands of drug-addicted transients to live on the city’s sidewalks.

That’s what you’re talking about, right? Because anyone with eyes and a working brain recognizes that the people living on the street in Portland are not primarily people who lost their jobs during Covid.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

During the 2022 Point in Time Count, roughly 24% of respondents said the pandemic directly contributed to their homelessness (add to that the people who were affected by the economic downturn more generally, and the real number is probably well over 50%). But hey, those are just the things unhoused people actually say about themselves. After all, what are “eyes and a working brain” for if not making snap judgements based on one’s preconceived biases and no research whatsoever?

https://www.multco.us/multnomah-county/news/full-2022-point-time-count-report-shows-covid-19-added-unsheltered

cc_rider
cc_rider
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

But hey, those are just the things unhoused people actually say about themselves. After all, what are “eyes and a working brain” for if not making snap judgements based on one’s preconceived biases and no research whatsoever?

People say a lot of things. Drug addicts generally like to blame external factors for their situation rather than their drug use. It’s easy to say ‘yeah the pandemic did it’ rather than ‘I couldn’t hold down a job because of my meth induced paranoia’.

As someone who use to work with data derived from interviewing people on the street (and I gave interviews too), people will tell you all sorts of things that cant possibly be true.

The numbers don’t lie. The growth in our homeless population is driven by people moving here with the intention of living on the street.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider

*citation needed*

Paige
Paige
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Hi, I think you’re misunderstanding my point, which is that Wheeler is abdicating responsibility for the BIG things that cost residents a lot of money and picking a fight with the Bureau of Transportation over a parking fare raise that no one cares about that would allow that bureau to function normally and provide essential and valuable services to residents, all for political points and posturing that serve exactly one person and one person only: Ted Wheeler. My point is not that rates of homelessness are either rising or falling at this moment. In fact, I understand that the safe rest sites are actually working to get people into stable housing. That begs the question of why it’s taking so long for more to be built. Housing is but one example of Portlanders not getting value for the money we spend, and Wheeler’s failure (and Deborah Kafoury’s, frankly) to meaningfully improve the situation. So this fight about an increase of $.40/hour to park is a small man picking on an easy target for his own gain, and his constituents’ loss. It’s actually appalling from an elected leader.

Douglas K.
Douglas K.
1 year ago
Reply to  Paige

People are exhausted by transit fare increases

What are you talking about? TriMet is contemplating a 12% fare increase right now, but it’s the first one since 2012. Over a decade without transit fares going up is pretty remarkable — and when you take inflation into account, the real cost of a transit ticket has actually gone down by about 25% in that time.

Eric Liefsdad
Eric Liefsdad
1 year ago
Reply to  Paige

> Wheeler is a cynical creep and I regret re-electing him.

Wow, I still don’t understand how anyone who was even slightly paying attention voted for muttering republican ted in 2020. The rest of your comment seems reasonable and logical, not at all reagan/ maga like I figured ted voters must be to reelect such a clearly failed leader.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric Liefsdad

The alternative was far worse.

maxD
maxD
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric Liefsdad

who did you vote for, Eric?

Parto Gomez
Parto Gomez
11 months ago
Reply to  Paige

“…People are exhausted by the constant demand by the police to give them more money for war machines…”

Oh please. I’m exhausted by the severe understaffing of our police force and 911 system. We need to fully staff our police force and have a functioning 911 system. The current situation of enabled lawlessness via police understaffing (coupled with an incompetent DA) has led to record homicides, shootings, traffic deaths and property theft.

Matt P
Matt P
1 year ago

“transportation justice coordinator”…oh boy.

SD
SD
1 year ago

It is really a huge leap to say that people are moving out of Portland because they don’t like living in Portland. It may be the case, but it’s a bummer to see local media uncritically running with this Nextdoor narrative.

But… if we want to look at things that Portland seems to promise but hasn’t delivered, safe bicycling infrastructure, adequate public transportation and a progressive city council that doesn’t brutalize people or enable ecosystem arson stand out.

The other factor would be the PBA/ Phil Knight funded poverty-porn campaign over the last election cycle that continues to paint Portland as a dystopia to gain political capital.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  SD

Agreed. Also, people come and go from Portland all the time even in the best of times. But with housing prices as high as ever despite the Fed jacking up interest rates, fewer people can even afford to move here. If people are actually leaving on net, I blame that as the main reason. People leave who would have left anyway and prices aren’t dropping in response.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  John

Considering that Seattle gained the most population of any major city in the USA according to recent census data, there does seem to be something different going on in this austerian city.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Seattle’s housing prices make hours look like a bargain.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Hmm, that’s interesting. That city does have some things we don’t like better transit. They also have a few very big companies in the city that employ a lot of very highly paid people, which might contribute (similar to parts of CA). Our prices are high, not (apparently) responding to market changes that should be lowering prices as well as high interest rates. It’s just overall getting harder to move here. I sort of recently moved to a new house and I wouldn’t be able to afford the loan today if I had to pay this interest rate. And mind bogglingly the alleged market value still keeps creeping up.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

That city does have some things we don’t like better transit. 

I’m willing to bet that very few people that can afford Seattle are moving there because they like the buses.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

Oh yeah? Isn’t that one of the big draws of places like New York City? (rhetorical – it is). People like good transit and at least some people are drawn to move places because of it. Regardless, the point is just that they are getting a clearly functioning result out of their transit spending.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  John

Seattle isn’t NYC, and I’m not even sure how many people move to NYC for the transit, either.

I’m not saying no one does, just that it isn’t a significant factor for most people. It appears that Seattle’s transit ridership levels have recovered much better than ours have, but their ridership is now primarily composed of low-income folks, which I’m guessing that isn’t the primary demographic driving Seattle’s growth.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  John

comment image

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Interesting stats! A nice mix of liberal/conservative cities that people are moving to and pretty much only liberal cities that people are fleeing or being gentrified out of.

cc_rider
cc_rider
1 year ago
Reply to  jakeco969

All of the cities on the list are liberal cities. Biden won Tarant County (Ft. Worth), Miami-Dage, King (obviously), Mckelenburg County (Charlotee) and Duval County (Jacksonville).

There really aren’t any conservative cities in the country.

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
11 months ago
Reply to  cc_rider
cc_rider
cc_rider
11 months ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

The NYT is a shell of its former self. The whole article is based on a false premise of

But what happens when Republicans aren’t standing in the way?

The majority of my tax revenue goes directly to the federal government who uses it on corporate welfare and building highways. That federal government has been gridlocked for the last 50 years by increasingly, and now fully, fascist who don’t actually want to solve problems.

We also have federal laws that take precedence over any laws we could pass. Reducing gun violence is gonna be hard when the fascists in the courts and federal government can block common sense gun control.

Are Dems perfect? Hell no, most Democrat leaders are just thinly veiled corportists due to our horribly flawed system of government, but it isn’t Democrats fault that state governments can’t do their job AND the job of the federal government. There is is a reason every metric of human health is better in blue states.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago
Reply to  SD

Portland does kinda suck right now though. It’s exhausting and I’d leave if I could.

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
1 year ago
Reply to  FDUP

I concur. My partner has community and family ties in our neighborhood. If I could we’d move out of Portland/Metro. I’d even settle for Vancouver!

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
11 months ago
Reply to  SD

“..uncritically running with this Nextdoor narrative”

I think NextDoor is actually an accurate reflection of Portland. It has changed with the decline of Portland.

When I moved here I saw posts like this:

Come play Bike Polo! (It NOT just on Portlandia, it really happens!)Come volunteer Saturday at Sewallcrest Park…we’re weeding to keep our park pesticide freeTry out the great new hyperlocal restaurant x, y and z….they all grow their vegetables on their roof!Now I see this:

Can you help me find my car?…it was stolen for the 2nd timeA crazy guy started yelling and then pushed me…I called 911 but they didn’t answer for 10 minutes and then the cops were too busy to comeDid anyone hear the gunshots just now?Is it legal to drive without license plates in Portland now?It’s not just a “Nextdoor Narrative”, it’s people’s lived experiences. Right now they are not good and people are moving with their feet. Minimizing the homicides, shootings, traffic deaths and general lawlessness and then blaming Phil Night for the bad choices Portland voters have made is not going to reverse the current mayhem we have allowed.

idlebytes
idlebytes
1 year ago

All of this over a 0.25% difference in our budget. The parking fee is especially egregious because it comes in spite of a survey that says a huge majority would still park downtown. This is Ted working on making his image look better and someone should have called him out on it. When people get fired and projects don’t move forward the average voter won’t remember it’s because of Ted but they will remember that headline where Ted Wheeler was fighting to reduce our insanely (not really) high taxes.The only reason so many people feel like our taxes are high is because Ted has accomplished almost nothing with 6 years of them.

Pablo R
Pablo R
1 year ago
Reply to  idlebytes

Well most of the poorly designed taxes voters passed (PCEF, Preshool Tax, Homeless Tax) Wheeler has ZERO control over.

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago
Reply to  idlebytes

I seriously doubt the loss of the $0.40 parking rate increase would actually result in the loss of 100 FTE positions at PBOT, I call BS on that, it’s a number someone pulled out of a hat.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  FDUP

Anonymous internet commentator doubts but present no facts, evidence, or, even, an argument.

Atreus
Atreus
1 year ago
Reply to  FDUP

It’s a number that PBOT’s finance director pulled out of the budget document on his computer during the meeting. He did not pull it out of a hat. He wasn’t even wearing a hat, nor was one visible near his person.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago

Mapps and Gonzalez fighting to raise the cost of parking. Pretty surprising, if you believe the caricatures of them folks have drawn here.

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Watts

I thought Republicans only liked free parking? That was the charge against Gonzalez, right?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago

[40 cent increase in] parking fees are an excellent tool to … make Portland a better place to live

When I saw the Sightline quote I visualized it coming from the cartoon dog seated at a table in a burning house.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

You get that kind of thing from Sightline, like their stance on the SW Portland Corridor (MAX line) project, which was that people in SW shouldn’t have a MAX line b/c they drive cars.

Atreus
Atreus
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Higher parking meter rates make it easier to find parking because it encourages more turnover, that’s just a fact. And the main reason people avoid driving places is when it’s difficult to find parking, rather than the cost of parking. Most people will happily pay more money to just drive somewhere and immediately find a parking space close to their destination, versus driving all over the place trying and failing to find a spot, and having to park really far away from where they want to go. So yes, parking fees being higher would absolutely be a boon to downtown businesses.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Atreus

I’m not opposed to increasing parking fees if there is concurrent redistribution of some of the revenue to low SES people. My comment addressed the market urbanist dogma that a miniscule increase in parking fees would, alone, make Portland a better place to live. The idea that a few million dollars would have any major impact on human flourishing in Portland is so absurd that it would only make sense in the closed epistemology of a cultic subculture.

Ed
Ed
1 year ago

Unfortunately, even the freeze of SDCs is going to hurt PBOT. That money is used for building new projects and as leverage for funding from the state/feds. It will not doubt lead to some delays in projects that community members have been asking for.

Advocates will need to keep an eye on the $4million that has been cut. Where will the cuts occur within PBOT. It likely will get spread across departments but you never know what choices will be made. It could come at a much greater expense for active transportation than maintenance, for example. The stupid thing is that because Wheeler did this at the last moment the public can’t really even weigh in on the decision that PBOT’s leaders will make. That is the opposite of transparency.

Pablo R
Pablo R
1 year ago

Indi Namkoong, transportation justice coordinator with Verde…

The City of Portland has plenty of money. It’s just they have chosen to fund unaccountable and ineffictive nonprofits with millions of tax dollars (such as Verde and many others) and additionally fund uncecesary city offices instead of sufficiently funding essential city bureaus such as PBOT.

It’s time to get back to the basics and fund essential municipal services (police, fire, transportation, hygiene, building services) and get rid of the fluff. We’re no longer a city that can afford to fund virtue signaling with millions of dollars to nonprofts and unneeded city divisons
If peole want their favotie non-profits to continue then send them $. The city needs to cut off the tax dollar gravy train.

Rufio
Rufio
1 year ago
Reply to  Pablo R

Curious if anyone has put together a report about how many tax dollars go to nonprofits, what services are rendered, and how many millions of dollars it is annually? Then, we can compare that number to the total city/county/metro budgets to see what percentage that represents. Anyone seen anything like that?

I ask bc I’ve seen the claim of nonprofits guzzling public dollars, but I don’t know what the data actually say.

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
1 year ago
Reply to  Rufio

It appears they try to keep the nonprofit funding under wraps. If you want to see some truly questionable spending look at the millions upon millions given out by the PCEF fund. One example over a million tax dollars went to build a newspaper a new office. Over $100 million to nonprofits in 2022 and we can’t even sweep the bike lanes.

https://www.portland.gov/sites/default/files/council-documents/2022/exhibit-a-2022-rfp-2-pcef-funding-recommendations-and-progress-report-amended.pdf

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  Pablo R

I nominate Pablo for comment of the week.

Pablo nailed it: The big problem with CoP, and PBOT, which we cyclists see every day, is that they are not doing the basics. For example, they can’t seem to keep a bike lane clear of rubbish anywhere. Give us regular, competent sweeping of bike lanes and shoulders, and then you can work on transportation justice and other important issues. But meet the minimum requirements first. Take care of the bike infrastructure you have already built.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  Pablo R

Yup. Stop with the aspirational stuff until after you deliver the basic requirements.

Atreus
Atreus
1 year ago
Reply to  Pablo R

If you’re talking about PCEF, that’s a red herring because statutorily it can’t be spent on regular city services.

Watts
Watts
1 year ago
Reply to  Atreus

More of it could, however, be spent on climate/energy related items. Sadly a lot of it is being frittered away (part of it on a contract with me, which I would happily give up if the funding was better spent).

Randi J
Randi J
11 months ago
Reply to  Atreus

Well the voters could change that right?

FDUP
FDUP
1 year ago

These three Bureaus all have various projects and activities which are funded by either their Capital Improvement budget or their base budget. There are differences and limitations as to which projects can be funded by which budget. I’m not getting the sense that BP fully understands the difference between these two budgets or exactly which projects are funded by each.

Douglas K.
Douglas K.
1 year ago

Even though Wheeler has been mayor for six years, he never once in the meeting acknowledged that perhaps there are other reasons people are leaving — like the fact that during his tenure Portland has not made tangible progress on our most pressing crises like homelessness, housing, drugs, guns, traffic safety, and so on.

It’s housing. People are leaving because they can’t afford to rent and they can’t afford to buy. Homelessness is so widespread because the rent is too damn high. Most of the common perceptions about public safety tie into problems stemming from lack of housing.

Cutting city taxes won’t solve any of that. A comprehensive social housing program (akin to Vienna or Singapore) would fix it eventually. But it’d take a few years to have any real impact, simply because we let things get so bad.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas K.

It’s housing. People are leaving because they can’t afford to rent and they can’t afford to buy.

Seattle’s housing affordability is worse than in Portland but it gained the most population of any city according to census data so something else seems to be going on in Portland. To be honest, I hope the exodus continues. Urban decay often leads to cheaper housing which is, of course, always a good thing (unless you are a greedy and antisocial NIMBY).

PTB
PTB
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

“To be honest, I hope the exodus continues. Urban decay often leads to cheaper housing which is, of course, always a good thing (unless you are a greedy and antisocial NIMBY).”

I’m not an economist, or even all that bright, but I’d wager this isn’t really a good thing. Or as simple as you seem to think it is? I’d personally prefer Portland stop decaying now. While New Portland, just before Covid, had a lot of shit I didn’t love (Californication tops the list), it was in my eyes somehow less frustrating than 2023 Portland. If you’re looking for decay and cheap housing the entire Rust Belt is yours for the taking.

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas K.

Most people I know that have left or are planning to leave Portland is due to the rapid decline of livability coupled with increases in taxes. Why live in an expensive nonfunctional city?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  Yolanda S

coupled with increases in taxes

From my perspective, Portland will become a more livable city of these type of people continue to leave.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  Douglas K.

Is it possible, Doug, that Portland’s generosity to homeless people combined with looking the other way on drug use and camping has ATTRACTED homeless people to Portland? Idaho doesn’t have any homeless people – they all seem to be here in Portland. Making Portland a magnet for homeless people is leading to the decline in liveability which is driving people away.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Fred

You can criminalize poverty like in Idaho, but that won’t make it go away. What exactly is your solution to homelessness, other than throwing unhoused people in jail? Also gotta love the insinuation that people who live in houses never do drugs lol

Yolanda S
Yolanda S
1 year ago

Mapps is right on! I want to leave Portland but it’s not the parking meter increase that is pushing me to leave the city I once loved. It’s the crime, lack of police response, trash and the inhumanity of allowing homeless camps everywhere that is going to get me to move.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Yolanda S

So having to see poor people existing in public is “inhumane”, not the fact that people have nowhere else to go. Interesting.

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

No, it’s inhumane that we enable people to live in dangerous squalor on on our streets.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

That was the excuse when Gonzalez banned PSR from giving out tents. I guess the resulting spike in people freezing to death is just the price we (or rather the unhoused) pay for our “humane” reputation, right?

ShadowsFolly
ShadowsFolly
1 year ago

Wheeler didn’t go far enough.
2020: City budget was a little over $1,000 per Portland citizen
2023: City budget is a little over $10,000 per Portland citizen
And you can’t tell me that’s due to inflation.

The City doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago
Reply to  ShadowsFolly

Sounds good but let’s see the sources of your numbers.

Atreus
Atreus
1 year ago
Reply to  ShadowsFolly

There is no possible way those numbers are correct.

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

This is sooooo stupid. People are leaving Portland b/c of the homeless crisis and especially the Multnomah County homeless tax, which only high earners (the people who run organizations) pay. If Portlanders actually saw some results from the taxes they are paying, they might stay. But “The City That Works” seems to do anything but. Gov’t officials are in the results business and they aren’t getting any.

Parto Gomez
Parto Gomez
11 months ago
Reply to  Fred

this should be a “comment of the week”!

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Fred

So people are mad at not seeing the results of a tax they don’t actually pay? Or is it just “people who run organizations” who are leaving? Gee, if only organizations had some way of replacing people who leave or something.

Watts
Watts
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

“So people are mad at not seeing the results of a tax they don’t actually pay?”

If people care about the issue a tax is intended to fix, and they see the revenue being wasted (that seems to be happening in so many cases) they absolutely should get mad, even if they are not paying the tax.

Ineffective government affects us all.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Watts

If you’re saying significant numbers of people are leaving Portland over a tax they don’t actually pay, I hope you have some evidence to back it up.

Watts
Watts
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

I’m not saying that; I’m saying that even people who are not paying a tax might reasonably be expected to be upset when the money is squandered or hoarded rather than being used for the purpose it was collected for, a concept you expressed incredulity about.

It might be that seeing the repeated failures of our city, county, and state governments might push some folks already considering leaving to do so, but more likely it just adds to the sense that Portland has lost its way and erodes confidence in government to solve societal problems, pushing people towards a more conservative outlook.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Watts

I was replying to Fred saying “people are leaving Portland [because of] the Multnomah County homeless tax“. Try to stay on topic.

SD
SD
1 year ago

Kind of weird that so many people on the internet want to leave Portland because it is the worst city in the universe and almost everyone I talk to in real life loves Portland, is optimistic and is down to earth and realistic about the problems that Portland is dealing with.

John
John
1 year ago
Reply to  SD

If I based my opinions on what I saw in comment sections, I would think the average Portland resident is a sunglasses wearing Republican who lives in Vancouver or Clackamas.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 year ago
Reply to  SD

My partner and I really loved Portland and we were optimistic about its problems as well until we eventually reached the place where all our money was going for food, commuting and housing and we couldn’t afford to do any of the fun things Portland offers. Then it was just a grind. I’m glad you’re insulated from the stress of not being able to make rent/mortgage or put food on the table, for those who are facing those problems then the lack of not much working is amplified even more.

SD
SD
11 months ago
Reply to  jakeco969

This, to me, is the one of the real problems worth talking about. Creative, hardworking people looking for something better than status quo American consumer culture found a barely affordable progressive city to come together in a moment of critical mass, then the cost of residential and commercial rent, and housing took off. The wealth that was raked in from real estate has been used to buy the last few rounds of city council elections. Wheeler is whining about fees that affect most Portlanders, but his goal is to get rid of fess and taxes that affect wealthy businesses and business owners, the people who paid for his reelection. Portland city and Mult. county government was not equipped to deal with the homeless/ housing crisis to begin with, but this task has been made much more difficult with arrogant, wealth hoarders trying to maintain maximum wealth extraction rather than investing in a sustainable community. I realize am fortunate to be able to make rent/ mortgage, and I know many people who are on the edge, but the people I happen to know see through the Fox news/ People for Portland grift that has so many online commenters grinding the letters off their keyboards. It’s too easy to just strike out in broad brush strokes against all local government efforts to make things work for most people, while ignoring the people with a direct line to Wheeler that have been pushing a ton of bad policy over the last 8-10 years.

jakeco969
jakeco969
11 months ago
Reply to  SD

Well said and I agree. I appreciate the solid thought process and the thoughtfulness behind your comment, its a pleasant change from much of the discourse here.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  SD

I loathe Portland because it’s an economically-walled playground for the rich (and their sycophants who believe they may become rich). This is why I celebrate de-gentrification (urban decay, decreasing real estate values). If we want Portland to become a weird and creative city where working class people can afford to live, urban flight of the property/equity class is almost certainly a necessity.

End the PMC
End the PMC
1 year ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

Agreed! We have to start by driving the professional class out. MDs, PhDs, and JDs are the core of the propertied classes. Begin with them and unionized trades and we’ll see the cost of living decrease.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
1 year ago
Reply to  End the PMC

PhDs are the property class? Many people with PhDs never get a job in their field of study and when they do they often function as poorly paid adjuncts. I have no problem with driving out JDs. As for MDs, I agree with Dean Baker that we should end their oligopolies and foster global competition (and allow NPs and PAs to function as full family-medicine physicians).

End the PMC
End the PMC
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

PhDs are absolutely the property class, especially in this town. All the researchers at Intel, OHSU, Legacy, and faculty at Reed, Lewis and Clark, and UofP are sitting pretty on their property.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
11 months ago
Reply to  End the PMC

Intel, OHSU, Legacy, and faculty at Reed, Lewis and Clark, and UofP are sitting pretty on their property.

It’s fascinating that you listed a bunch of elitist private schools but not PSU or PCC. A tiny fraction of PhDs have the job security and income of tenure. Most PhDs never get a job in their field or work as poorly-treated contract laborers (adjunct faculty).

Watts
Watts
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

“Most PhDs never get a job in their field or work”

While I realize that there are far more PhDs minted every year than there are teaching positions, there are plenty of other lines of work where an advanced education is beneficial, and you don’t have to deal with the hell that academia has become.

Will
Will
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

OHSU is a public university.

Randi J
Randi J
11 months ago
Reply to  End the PMC

Sounds like you and Pierre delecto would like the genocidal Chairman Mao to be the next dictator of Portland (or is this sarcasm?)

End the PMC
End the PMC
11 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

They don’t have to die. Obviously that’s barbaric! But they can’t stay here. Look at all the damage Legacy did in Albina in the name of land and gentrification! None of the professionals working there should have a place in this city.

Randi J
Randi J
11 months ago
Reply to  End the PMC

So let’s expel all the doctors, professionals and intellectuals? Wow, have you thought of emigrating to China or Myanmar? Or am
I missing your thick sarcasm?

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
11 months ago
Reply to  Randi J

I’m a fan of social democracy, not communism. In our current system the oligarchs write the rules of our society for their own exclusive and this definitely resembles the grift by party members in formerly communist nations (dachas, dollar stores, and mercedes).

Middle o the Road Guy
Middle o the Road Guy
11 months ago
Reply to  End the PMC

Let’s put them in Gulags, Like Uncle Joe Stalin!

Watts
Watts
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

It is sad, but Portland’s days being a weird and creative city are long gone. They are not coming back.

Randi J
Randi J
11 months ago
Reply to  SD

Really? Everyone I talk to at work is down down down on Portland.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago

The reason people are leaving Portland is simple: the rent is too damn high. It’s not a new problem. And the root cause is the same as that of the city’s budget woes: car dependency and more than half a century of zoning rules that prevent dense, walkable neighborhoods. The suburban-style development that Portland is built on was never fiscally sustainable. Once again, the choice is to densify or die.

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Also, the idea of pinning a transportation agency’s funding to whether enough people drive and park downtown in the midst of a climate emergency is dystopian. Of all places in Portland, downtown should be the first to go car-free.

Pierre Lathau
Pierre Lathau
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

Might want to look at some data. The cost of housing is not the issue. Look at Seattle. MUCH more expensive and people aren’t leaving.

The results? Almost 60% of respondents had a negative impression of downtown. Top reasons for avoiding visits downtown were homelessness (66%), trash and graffiti (60%), vandalism and property crime (51%), and violent crime (50%). Parking was next at 29%.

https://www.wweek.com/news/2022/08/24/polling-shows-portlanders-are-scared-of-downtownand-of-their-own-neighborhoods/

Daniel Fuller
Daniel Fuller
11 months ago
Reply to  Pierre Lathau

That article says literally nothing about people leaving Portland. Anything to demonize unhoused people I guess lol

dwk
dwk
11 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Fuller

I am currently in Dublin Ireland, average rent 2300 euros for small apartments.
It is amazing crowded, booming and average age is 26.
It is packed, fun, clean and expensive.
It is dense and walkable but mostly just a nice place to live without garbage, tents and drug addicts everywhere.
America is just a mess and Portland is the worst of it.
Housing costs are not that much an issue if a city has
Safe clean public spaces with some kind of order.
This isn’t that hard, Ban tent camping immediately and pick up the garbage….
There were 69 murders in the entire Republic of Ireland in 2022, there were 100 or so in Portland, Oregon.
That is also the difference. There are Police around and street sweepers and people pick up garbage.
More bikes here than Portland with not real bike “infrastructure”.
‘They are just part of street traffic and probably don’t whine about it constantly.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
11 months ago
Reply to  dwk

Dublin Ireland, average rent 2300 euros

Social housing, public healthcare, free undergraduate education, the dole, state pension for non-workers,

Dublin average income: €44,000
Dublin average disposable income: €25,000

This isn’t that hard,

It’s very hard to not have ever increasing inequality in a city run by and for the rich.

There were 69 murders in the entire Republic of Ireland

Ireland has strict gun control and licensing that only allows sport-related firearms (no assault rifles, no semiautomatic rifles, and no semiautomatic handguns). Just 5.6 people per hundred own a gun.

There are Police

The police do not carry guns.

The USA is a sh!thole oligarchy.

dwk
dwk
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

There are homeless here like everywhere but since they can’t hide in tents, they can be helped by the social services.
There is also just a basic social contract, people don’t trash their own city.
The police don’t carry guns since they are not worried about someone shooting them which is NOT the case in Portland.

pierre delecto
pierre delecto
11 months ago
Reply to  dwk

There is also just a basic social contract, people don’t trash their own city.

The lack of a social contract in the USA and Portland is the cause of many of our issues but uhmerkins will always blame “those people” instead of recognizing this. Divide and conquer.

Randi J
Randi J
11 months ago
Reply to  pierre delecto

LOL. The lack of a social contract is what allows many to behave lawlessly in Portland. For some reason many far left progressives here think “those people” don’t have to adhere to it in Portland. Anything goes ain’t working.