It's been a while since Worldwide Pablo has bothered to post anything here, and friends have wondered when he might return. "When there's something worth writing about," was WWP's stock answer.
Today, there is something to write about.
We've long said that the problems at City Hall have less to do with any lack of skill, ambition or actual power. Those teem in abundance, actually. No, the real problem is the leadership vacuum. While there are many well-meaning people who try to argue otherwise, the fact remains that the mayor's initial record of lies and obfuscations alone are to blame for the reality that here in the so-called "City That Works" no one is really in charge, nor has anyone truly been in charge during the last wretched year of the current administration. The mayor was crippled from Day 1, and everyone knew it. It's axiomatic that when there is a vacuum those with the smallest and narrowest agendas will rush in to fill the void. We need look no further than $20 million ditch projects and power breakfasts for the spandex class to realize how far the city has wandered from its core mission of public safety, infrastructure, parks and recreation, and services to seniors and other at-risk populations.
People scratched their heads when WWP circulated recall petitions (twice!). Today, a small vindication: He was asked three times by persons who had declined to sign the recall petitions if they could sign now. (Sorry, too late. Where were you!?)
People scratch their heads at why he so vigorously supports the candidacy of Mary Volm for city council. ("She's too edgy." "What a loudmouth." "She doesn't know her place.") Well, you know what? Either you like the way things are (and good luck with that, whoever you are), or things have to change. There is only one real change candidate on next week's ballot, and that's Mary. I'll take her unvarnished candor over smarmy half-truths any day -- even if it's hard to hear, rattles some chains and unnerves the political sensibilities of Stumptown's faux gentility. (To say nothing about a vast number of folks, mostly men, it seems, who are averse to strong-minded, vocal women.) Well, screw the naysayers. WWP says: Bring. It. On.
Meanwhile, what to do, or say, about the present clusterfuck that is Portland, Oregon? Chief Sizer, despite her flaws, had an impossible job and was never really supported by the mayor or the commissioner ostensibly in charge of her bureau. Despite her missteps and misstatements, she comes out of this as possibly the only sympathetic character in the bunch.
Saltzman? Screwed. Thrown under the bus. Time to check out the vacation brochures, Dan.
The mayor? Good luck, your honor, in achieving squat without the support of Saltzman. (You do know how to add, don't you? Any student of Political Science 101 could have told you this in advance.) If the mayor was a lame duck before, he is cooked goose today.
And the city and her citizens? Well, we've finally learned that when it comes to City Hall, there is room for only one liar. And his name is Sam Adams.