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WEDNESDAY: December 11, 0930-CITY HALL
I thought the City Council meeting would be boring; wrong. I decided to pull two items off the Consent Agenda because they both were really hidden items that should be discussed but the 4+1 s---s wanted to move alone, nothing to see here. The first item was listed as 1167 and of course, "It was an emergency."
Acting City Attorney was asking for ten thousand more to be given Black Helterline LLP for outside legal counsel. This caught my eye because we have about *30-35 lawyers in the City Attorney's office and I could not figure out why we are not using them in place of an outside contractor? So I asked. I was taken back when the Mayor told me that we have no attorneys who have experience in Immigration law and the reason was we have no immigration problems in the city of Portland. I laughed but don't think the mayor got it. Immigration is one of the biggest issues on the west coast and here in Portland we have people being picked up by ICE and the police department. There was just a protest about the Sheriff arresting people and turning them over to ICE for deportation. Here is some info on H-18 and other immigration issues, but this firm seems to get 50 grand for filling out forms: "City required the services of outside legal counsel to work on immigration issues related to H-18 and other immigration forms."
More on this issue:
link to www.forbes.com
The rubber stamp council voted for this extra money, well hell not their money it is yours.
The second item was 1169, which create a new represented classification of information Security Architect and establish an interim compensation rate for this classification. "It was an Emergency."
I argued against this because we are laying-off **firefighters and creating new classification at the same time, seem psychotic to me. The fact that we have firefighters pissed because they are concerned that they can't do their job and answer calls with all due dispatch is freighting to this old veteran. Do one or the other, cut and try to save money or keep our firefighters and get rid of this nonsense of reclassifying position and paying people more. This is more of the same crap that happens when politicians think they are smarter than the people who put them in office.
link to www.kptv.com
** Firefighters cuts have now been postponed for at least two years as of Friday----I like it!
There was one more issue that we spoke on that the rubber stamp council ignored our pleas and passed it unanimously: Item 1165.
This was not an emergency; it only had to do with a report from the Bureau of Emergency Management Strategic Plan 2014-2016. Our questions had to do with how would people get lifesaving drugs or how would people who are on oxygen be assured they would get those lifesaving things they have today. Commissioner Novick answered, it is the County's responsibility to get you your meds and if you are on oxygen call the county. We were not impressed with this answer and will ask the county about how they plan on doing this. I hate it when politicians pass the buck to another government body; it is like they don't know we live in the city of Portland. Once again the rubber stamp council, (RSC) voted unanimously for this report. So at the end of a fun day the score was RSC-3 us-0. But we made them think!
•34 listed Asst. City Attorneys, (includes management)
Thursday was a full day; it started out with meeting Lightning at the County Board Meeting and ended with a vigil for Fred Bryant and Keaton Otis. In the afternoon I spent some time with the people who were arrested over two years ago and have been battling for justice.
The County Board meeting was interesting because the sheriff was coming in to explain why and how his department managed to violate state law. Seems like it should a big thing when the law enforcement department does not live up to expectations in following the law when it comes to paying their employees; apparently it is not so.
link to www.oregonlive.com
Lightning took on the sheriff after the Commissioners ask a few questions but nothing like Lightning. He went after the overtime hard; he was not interested in being nice, just fair. I laughed when he completed his evaluation of the problem, it was priceless! Commissioner Smith came over to talk to Lightning and her staff said they would send us the copy of the audit, and they did. We never get this type of response from the city with one exception and that is Commissioner Fritz. Even when she is annoyed she does respond and that is honorable. So, we departed the county building feeling good and I was off to the courthouse to lend support to those radicals who wanted justice and to keep our post office going. They took the question of the "right" to a jury trial all the way to the State Supreme Court. I did not count the defendants and lawyers but the courtroom was packed. I loved it. The judge seemed to be trying to get all the pre-trail stuff in some kind of order. Many people were being represented Pro Bono, and the lawyers all wanted to represent more and more people. It was amazing to watch and support. I left just before a major fight with the judge by one of the defendants, had to do with his refusal to sign or fill out paper work. He wanted to represent himself and the judge said, "OK, but you have to fill out the paper work saying you will represent yourself." The guy said no! This was happening before I left, I understand the judge called for the marshals or sheriffs to the courtroom. I missed that part. I wanted to stop at my home to pick up pictures of Fred and Keaton for the vigil. After eating something I was off again this time to 6th and Halsey.
The vigil for Fred and his son Keaton was good, we had family members with us and that makes me smile. There were about 20 of us and we talk some about Fred and I ask all present to keep the pressure on. We had a few sign up to help us work on the presentation to the Federal Judge coming in February. (est.) We will have people go before this judge and request/demand a totally independent body to investigate police misconduct. We need to believe in what these investigations produce and the only way that will happen is when the people investigating have no connection to city hall or the cops. Friday would also be busy; we had our third Friday of, find homes for some lonely clothes, propane, hats, gloves, stoves, sweaters, socks, coasts, some food, and hot coffee. It is getting to be a fun gathering, you should come next week if for no other reason but to share a cup of coffee with some really cool folks. Steve joined us at Chapman and among other items he had a clock with a picture of a DODO bird. I stole it and you will see it appear at City Hall during one of our 3 minute speeches to the 4+1 s---s. I just love of idea of timing them----ha ha! Roberto and I ran out on the group to go visit Hayseed who is in OSHU and has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was in good spirits and wide awake, both Roberto and I were pleased that he seem in touch with what the docs were saying and is looking forward to assisted living which may happen next week.
Life sometimes is just cruel, I remember when my oldest sister was told she had terminal cancer, it was very hard.
Hayseed was worried about how we were taking the news, he was concern for us that is the kind of guy I want to be some day. If you want to call him please do, I have his phone number and if you email me I will send it to you or just call the Hospital, his full name is Joe Deevers and is in Rm. 18 on 5A. I am over my allowed time and must begone, until next week!