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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 12, 2005 12:20 PM. The previous post in this blog was Tony's baseball insights. The next post in this blog is The thieves at Home Depot. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Somebody open a window

What's that smell?

UPDATE, 7:40 p.m.: Even if you don't normally read blog comments, they're worth checking out on this one. An alert reader who posts in this thread provides one of the most interesting links in Portland blog history. Wonder if her Portland business license tax is up to date -- LOL!

Comments (24)

I know that it smells like bacon but actually it is a soy-based pork substitute.

On the face of the article: truly awful. If Tracy Smith (and whoever else was involved) isn't fired over this then it's time for Potter and the boys to fire the whole damned organization. It will be interesting to learn just what Smith's qualifications were for this $70K a year job (before the raise) as she certainly didn't display much professionalism. Could it be that her hiring was the result of a similar process and she was just keeping aligned with the PDC's "corporate culture"? I'm one of those folks that used to believe in the PDC but it's looking more and more like it's time to put a stake in the heart of this monster. By the way, anyone know why the Big O would put this story on page A14 - not the most prominent location for a story of this significance.

It was on Page 1 (below the fold) of the edition that was delivered to our house this morning.

You think this is bad? Tracy Smith has a business on the side. Her own consulting firm. Check it out. www.inhance.biz. I hear she is working on the side with other state agencies including the state unemployment dept. I hear Harris also had a contract with the unemployment agency. Ryan Frank should check this out!

Interesting that Smith's company also provides "coaching".

http://www.inhance.biz/

Coaching

Development
Change Leader
Newly Appointed Leader
Transformational
Executive

This is the stuff that can unfold into criminal indictments.
The only way Smith operates with this kind of boldness is that she is emboldened by the knowledge of greater things by higher ups.

The environment which spawns a permissive management system because no one wants to much scrutiny of their own activities.

With so much money available through so many means the scramble for many to get their share must be like a frenzy.

I predict that much will come of this and involve more agencies. One or a few PDC employees folding under pressure and spilling their guts about corrupt PDC management.

When it all unfolds Tracy Smith and Harris will seem like sweating the small stuff.

I urge any and all PDC employees with knowledge of any questionable activities to help expedite the inevitable and come out whisleblowing ASAP.

I know enough people that I could easily find the most comfortable process for anyone wanting to come out.

This is too funny. She has a great website. The one organization she belongs to that she will need the most in the coming days is the "Friends of the Friendless."

Urban renewal programs create these situations because the money comes in 'free' and no one, but no one, keeps track of it. That is why PDC must be abolished. Not modified, reformed, improved, changed, or given to the City Council - oh, yeah! that's a good one!!

Supporters of urban renewal, and the tax increment financing that funds it, need to recognize that money that pays for UR projects takes money away from other worthy and economical projects. Whatever good may have come from those millions and millions of your tax dollars spent on UR projects is cancelled out due to the lost opportunities that lack of money elsewhere caused. And that's not even counting the money wasted on management fun and games.

S. Schopp's depiction of "the scramble for many to get their share must be like a frenzy," is right on target.

Shut it down! Pay the bills and shut it down.

One picture says 1,000 words.

A few commenters have wondered when the race card will be played in all this. I'm sure if and when Mayor Potter's appointees clear out Rev. Hennessee's stable, we'll be hearing it loud and clear.

Not true. There is no race card.

What's done has been done, but it has nothing to do with race.

I'm confused. Do we know for certain this is the same Smith? Am I just missing something that makes it clear?

I wrote to Tracy and asked her to put a good word in at PDC for me. I want to work there. I hope to hear back from her

Jack Danger

b!X, yes, someone should check, but seriously, is there any doubt?

Well, I mean, it could instead be the Tracy Smith in Oregon who did communications for Enron that I found via Google. Who knows?

Well, for one thing, there's the middle initial.

Yes, that's true. But the Oregonian article cited here doesn't use that initial. I notice now that prior ones do, but no one here bothered to actually mention that, hence my question about how anyone could flatly state they were the same person.

Unbelievable. "Inhance" aside (whomever it belongs to ... God I hate cutesy misspellings, and that site is gawdawful crap), platter/head .... what more needs to be said?

One of my neighbors, when I first moved back to Portland circa spring 2000, was the head of one of these agencies who'd made himself quite a little deal on a house. The agency owned it and he bought in for a fraction of market value. I learned this in a little note in Willamette Week. I wondered if I'd missed the "whole" (big) story, or if Portland media had.

I watched as soon the house was sold. He & I did water therapy in the same Salvation Army pool together. He was fat, alluding to lawsuits, and heading to Atlanta.

Dunno what ever happened to none o' that. Now that was a pea in a peapatch. What's a hundred grand or so? But I got the idea the city was rank with corruption and had no respect for real people's money.

pdxk wrote:

Not true. There is no race card.

What's done has been done, but it has nothing to do with race.
It has everything to do with race. And no doubt is that's also why Mr. Politically Correct Potter is indecisively paralyzed as to what to do about it.

Thanks for mentioning the unmentionable - race.
That helps explain the City Council's current paralysis, as jaybird observed.

Here's what I wonder: what race is Mr. Than Clevenger? I couldn't find a photo on the Internet.

BTW, if the Tracy Smith working for PDC is the same as the one working for Enron wouldn't THAT be rich? Nice name. What was it before?

Re: cutesy spelling. It's a favorite of people with various non-mainstream political leanings. As in: Amerika, Inhance.

I bought some liquid all-purpose cleaner from a fast-talking door-to-door Black salesman. Product was named Advanage. Not Advantage. Cute, eh? Works pretty well, though. The cleaner, that is.

This is a minor point in contrast to the Smith revelations, of course - but is it customary for contractors to begin work with PDC before contracts have been approved? Harris began working with Winston in July, from that account - yet the contract wasn't approved until October, with work billed for retroactively at that point.

I know that shepherding contracts through government entities takes time - but I'd be curious as to just how much of the work was conducted prior to an issued, authorized contract.

And - Clevenger's white, fyi.

Betsy: thanks.

Long post but couldn't resist.
The Oregonian's Mr. Zaitz has been on to the dirty contract work for some time. Check out the standard operating proceudre at this well known agency and imagine it happening in epidemic fashion agency to agency.

Oregonian
Education contract bidding violated
05/13/03
LES ZAITZ

SALEM -- The state Education Department repeatedly violated contract procedures in giving more than $500,000 in business to a powerful school association that seldom had to bid for the work, state auditors reported Monday.

Auditors also found that at least one Education Department contract with the Confederation of School Administrators had been written after the work was completed.

The school association, a nonprofit group representing principals and other school executives, plays a key role in the state's school funding debate. Its executive director, Ozzie Rose, is the dean of education lobbyists.

The relationship between the agency and COSA had "the appearance of favoritism," auditors said.

The audit of $2.4 million in Education Department contracts also found that other vendors got work before contracts were put out for bid or agreed to rewrite contracts to make it appear bidding procedures were followed. The agency awarded some contracts without considering all bids, the audit report said.

"The department may not be selecting the most qualified contractor at the best price," it said. "Contracting decisions may not be defensible."

Auditors said contracting problems came after then-schools Superintendent Stan Bunn decentralized the department, pushing business decisions lower into the agency. There wasn't adequate monitoring or coaching on contracts, the audit said.

The audit examined 114 contracts from 1998 through late 2001. It was triggered by The Oregonian's investigation of Bunn two years ago, including questionable contracts and his personal use of state phones and a state car.

Bunn lost his re-election bid last year and paid $25,000 to settle a state ethics case. He was succeeded in January by Susan Castillo, who agreed with auditors' contract findings released Monday.

Deputy Superintendent Mike Greenfield said, "These things are simply not acceptable and don't meet our standards."

Auditors offered the school association an opportunity to respond, but the group declined.

"There's nothing at least in what I read to respond to," Rose said in an interview. "I haven't done anything inappropriate."

He said he had reviewed the audit and found it to be "relatively accurate."

State law requires most state contracts more than $5,000 to be advertised and open to qualified bidders.

No documents "We found no examples of documented proposals and bids from COSA" for seven contracts totaling $512,317 for conferences, research projects and temporary staffing, auditors reported.

Education Department and COSA officials told auditors that they arranged the terms and prices of contracts in high-level meetings, and that COSA didn't produce written bids.

On Monday, Rose told The Oregonian that was the pattern for 10 years.

"We're facilitating the training and interaction between the state and our members. We do it well," Rose said. "I don't know who else would bid on it."

In one instance, the school association was hired to staff a state task force under a $36,000 contract for which it didn't bid. Auditors said they couldn't find evidence that state officials considered a $35,500 bid from another vendor.

The association also got $75,000 for an education conference already held. One $50,000 contract signed in late September 2000 made it appear the money was for an upcoming conference, but an association officials told auditors the payment was actually for the conference held six weeks earlier. The Education Department in October 2000 amended an existing COSA contract to provide another $25,000 toward that earlier conference. State rules generally bar payment for work performed before a contract is in place.

Auditors said the Education Department earlier had agreed informally to support the conference, but a contract and payment "had been overlooked."

In 2001, the Education Department gave the association a $25,000 contract to help devise a model education budget. Auditors said that included a printing job farmed out to the association with no explanation of why the state's print shop wasn't used. Auditors also found that the completion date for the contract was two weeks before agency officials signed it into force.

Auditors couldn't locate written reports the association was required to produce under a $63,000 contract for education conferences in 2000. Association officials told auditors the Education Department lost the reports, and the association didn't keep copies.

Incomplete files The audit reported problems with consulting contracts with Windcrest Inc., a Salem firm operated by a former campaign volunteer for Bunn. Auditors said they couldn't find evidence all the work had been done under one $26,500 contract to help Bunn's transition into office. The company also got $11,200 to assess an agency operation with a bid submitted days before public bidding opened.

"This can have the appearance of favoritism," the audit said.

The Education Department had to redo the paper work for $48,000 in contracts issued to two management consultants because the "contracts were signed before the contracting opportunity was properly advertised," the audit said.

"In internal electronic mail communications, department personnel discussed the need to have new contracts written and a new proposal submitted so that they could be dated after the advertisement," according to the audit.

The consultants already had started work, the report noted.

Les Zaitz: 503-221-8181; leszaitz@news.oregonian.com

Steve- a link would have done nicely. Please don't copy long newspaper articles into posts. Thanks.

Just a gentle reminder that NathanialClevenger was a press secretary for none other than the infamous Marion Berry, Mayor of Washington DC.
Also when is someone going to checkout the qualifications or lack ther of, for the PDC budget officer Mark Murry. That guy used to work for the cassios in Reno! His very own PDC bio clearly states that he has no formal education in either economics or accounting.

NOTE: Comments that constitute racism are Bad Karma.

Jack, b!x, I did not know you were racist.

This is the most racism I have ever seen in a blog and if you do not participate in letting people know that they are spouting racist innuendo you are part of the problem.
This whole thread is about how African Americans got together to give our tax money away. Next you will call them shiftless and lazy.

you should all be ashamed.
then move to Northern Idaho.

yoyo

Thanks for that anonymous drivel. We were expecting you.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Somebody open a window:

» Spearing fish in the PDC barrel from Isaac Laquedem
It seems hardly sporting to join the scrum that's piling on top of the Portland Development Commission. [Read More]

» PDC Feeding Frenzy from The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE
This past Sunday, Jack Bogdanski asked about that smell, a reference to the strange inte... [Read More]

» Good stuff happens when people talk back from Metroblogging Portland
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