MEMO BLOG Memo Calendar Memo Pad Business Memos Loaves & Fishes Letters Home
Superintendent finds her stride
“JoJo” calls it quits
East Portland issues enumerated
Perlman's Potpourri:
Gateway Green needs ODOT approval to proceed
Harry's Fresh Deli and Pizzeria serves up holiday dinner
Northeast Rotary rings up donations

About the MEMO
MEMO Archives
MEMO Advertising
MEMO Country (Map)
MEMO Web Neighbors
MEMO Staff

© 2011 Mid-county MEMO
Terms & Conditions
East Portland issues enumerated

What are the biggest issues facing Mid-Multnomah County in 2011? The Memo asked this question of a variety of neighborhood and business leaders


The results were different, but a consistent theme was the economy, unfair enforcement of needless regulations, and either the poor quality of or just plain lack of city services.

•Bob Brown, Bob Brown Tire Center: “Economy or jobs, which comes first? Fix this and everything else will fall in place. Portland has a lousy attitude towards business, the mayor and city council members could do a lot to improve this issue in 2011.”

•Bonny McKnight, Russell Neighborhood Association and Citywide Land Use Committee chair: “The biggest issue is the lack of enforcement of any sort of regulations. In Russell, the city's willingness to let anything go contributes to the deterioration of the neighborhood. There's increasing conflict between neighbors over code violations. The Bureau of Development Services takes complaints but imposes no sanctions. They say it's because of loss of funding, but I think it's how they use their resources.

“New processes and rules are being established, and there's no consistent involvement with neighborhood associations. We're expected to monitor these projects. There isn't a chance to discuss them as a community. When you don't have that review process, people tend to pursue single agendas. The city uses advisory committees that are not set up to change very much of what (city) staff proposes. There are good people involved, but the city's view is skewed; it shouldn't be 'I know the truth and you don't,' but to get all the truths together in one room. Get all the people feeling that at least they've been heard.”

•Carol Williams, Parkrose Heights Neighborhood Association chair: “The biggest issue is code compliance. The city has done so much cutting there's no response to complaints, and our neighborhood continues to deteriorate as a result. We have a Bureau of Development Services that's supposed to be tax-supported but keeps doing less and less. When we call in a problem, we get a recording and no return call. There's a streetlight out that a half-dozen people have called about, but it's stayed out for weeks. While this happens, they can raise our license fees to pay for the damned Sellwood Bridge. With rising prices, less services and more fees, people like me living on social security can't afford to keep up our homes.”

•Arlene Kimura, Hazelwood Neighborhood Association chair: “People need to accept that change is inevitable, and we need to be part of it. On the other hand, not all change is good. We need to get the schools and new immigrants involved in the process. We want our children to live here, and right now there's nothing here for them. Our housing is 50 years old and Mid-Century Modern, which was always expensive (and) has yet to catch on. There are no movie theaters within a mile. We need a 'Wow!' factor. There's nothing here that says, 'You have to see this!' Clatsop Butte is nice, but not many people know this. We've relied on blue collar jobs as a base, and they won't be here in the same quantity anymore.”

•Rosemarie Opp, Mill Park Neighborhood Association chair: “In 2011, with the global financial crisis, I'm concerned services will be cut, and that will affect neighborhoods. I'm especially concerned about the Bull Run watershed and our water system. The Water Bureau has deferred maintenance. We need to take care of basics, and instead we're spending money on expensive and unnecessary projects. If we can't sell a waiver (on additional water treatment demanded by federal agencies), our water rates will double, and that will discourage economic development. We need to be careful with the money we do have. Otherwise we'll have less and less services, and that will affect neighborhoods.”

•Bob Earnest, Gateway Regional Center Urban Renewal Area Program Advisory Committee chair: “We need to brand the district, give it an identity.”

•Wayne Stoll, Parkrose Business Association president: “The issue is jobs. For that, the economy has to recover enough that entrepreneurs can start or expand businesses. For that, we need to reduce government intrusion on private business. Each time we turn around there's a regulation we face. We need to have a fire door that is self-latching, but I see food carts with extension cords running all over the ground. They just put in new sidewalks on 82nd, and we've been asking for that since the '90s. It's true you can't just let businesses run amuck - you'll get Bernie Madoffs, and I've had some unscrupulous business tenants. Yes, we do need rules and regulations, but my God! There has to be a limit."
Memo Calendar | Memo Pad | Business Memos | Loaves & Fishes | Letters | About the MEMO
MEMO Advertising | MEMO Archives | MEMO Web Neighbors | MEMO Staff | Home