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Monday, June 5, 2006

Nyet way

Portland Mayor Tom Potter's "vision quest" has now taken the form of a questionnaire that's been translated into several languages. Here's the Russian version. Make up your own jokes. Here's what I've got so far:

My Russian isn't too good, but I think it starts off with "Pancakes, Ham or Cheese?"

About an hour after these were distributed, Emilie Boyles turned a thousand of them back in, all in the same handwriting.

Too bad Diane Linn's on the way out. We could have had a Klingon version.

Comments (7)

I thought that Adam Davis's Comments at City Club picked up in Ryan Frank's blog last week said it all. (he published the whole text and it is worth reading)

"Related to this is the fact that many Oregonians don't associate government services with the quality of life they have in their neighborhoods……..I see very little indication that this will change. Why? Are they learning it at school? No. Are they learning it around the dinner table? No. Are they learning it from the politicians? No. If anything, politicians are taking advantage of this ignorance and making it worse. Candidate after candidate is making promises, saying it's all about waste and inefficiency. They cater to these low awareness and knowledge levels, they get into office, and then they can't deliver on the promises they made to the voters because of the realities of the public finance system.

The bottom line? More people are telling us that they want to vote for a tax to support something that they care very deeply about, but they just can't because of the economic realities they deal with daily"

The public is tuned out, and feel like this Vision Quest is another exercise to develope a "public mandate" to raise taxes and the politicos just don't get it.

People aren't stupid, if an unemployed creditors on the door step woman can get a $150,000 grant from the City with the help from the "Russian Vision Quest" whose former employer IROC got a Visioning Grant while he was working outreach for IROC.

That needs to be cleaned up, but also the same version of that with the developers expensive lawyers by their side, skimming off TIF money that should go to services to keep roads, schools, parks, and public safety on line.

I agree with Adams the "Vision" we need is a clear reform of the accounting system so that folks in the neighborhoods can see where their tax money is being spent, and insures that at least some of their tax dollars are taking care of business in their neighborhood, and not making the rich richer. That's what capitalism is supposed to be for not the government.

And people shouldn't associate government services with quality of life. Quality of life should be left to the individual to pursue, not the government to provide.

Unfortunately, a huge percentage of the populace thinks the gummint should be responsible for just about everything.


Speaking of "Dr." Vladimir Golovan (Boyles' scam artist), I wonder if it's been pointed out that he is on Mayor Potter's Vision Committee...


So, "Dr." Golovan is on the Vision committee handing out taxpayer money to IRCO, the non-profit where he was employed. You gotta love this town.

"Currently on leave of absence." You couldn't make funnier stuff up.

"And people shouldn't associate government services with quality of life. Quality of life should be left to the individual to pursue, not the government to provide."

Chris...doesn't your statement seem just a little over simplified? Do you really think that our quality of life in this country would be very high if we didn't have adequate governmental health, safety, transportation and education services? I seriously doubt that you, or any other sane person, would support the notion that the government should stop doing things like paving streets or providing police services.

It seems as though there is a huge gray area between what almost all agree are essential city services such as water, police, parks, fire, etc. and what others see as fluff (i.e. public art projects, the OHSU tram, Free Wi-Fi, generous retirement & disability funds for public employees, etc.). Goverments can provide "non-essential" services that dramatically improve the quality of life in a community for a very low per capita expenditure.

Is "visioning" such a bad thing? Is it wrong for the government to ask the people what their needs are so rational decisions can be made regarding the allocation of limited resources?

I think good government can and should play a very proactive role in bettering the quality of life of it's citizens. Mayor Potter and the folks at City Hall work for the tax payers, and I for one see absolutely nothing wrong with them asking the tax payers (including those that only speak Russian) what they need so they can do a better job. Vocal and/or powerful special interests often prevail in determining how money is spent is this city and asking the people at large what their needs are is good policy in my book.

Visioning isn't even a word. Therefore is is a very bad thing.

One of the problems is that connection between government services and how the money is spent by the politicos is so skewed and shrouded in mystery accounting process.

Goverment serves a vital purpose in providing services.

It would make no sense for example for each homeowner to build the section of road in front of thier house, and economy of scale for services in an urban area, individual homeowners could not easily provide police, fire, and parks services economicly.

The problem comes when money is diverted from these essential services to pet projects that benefit a few and not the general population.

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