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John

It's deeply tragic that once again croney Vera is back sticking her corporatist finger in the urban pie. During her tenure, she did nothing to improve the quality of life for residents and everything to ensure that developers, "consultants" such as rapist Neil, and big corporations got major sweetheart deals.

The tram, South Waterfront, and the Pearl District--which vastly improved the fortunes of Homer Williams, Gerding Edlen, Goldschmidt, Schnitzer and a few other big-time players at the huge expense of the public-- and the ruination of the downtown bus mall, are some of Vera's major legacies.

Vera loved to lick the asses and ice the cakes of the big money brokers. But since Brian Libby enjoys hosanning the elite as well, it's understandable that he thinks her re-emergence is a blessing.

John

It's deeply tragic that once again croney Vera is back sticking her corporatist finger in the urban pie. During her tenure, she did nothing to improve the quality of life for residents and everything to ensure that developers, "consultants" such as rapist Neil, and big corporations got major sweetheart deals.

The tram, South Waterfront, and the Pearl District--which vastly improved the fortunes of Homer Williams, Gerding Edlen, Goldschmidt, Schnitzer and a few other big-time players at the huge expense of the public-- and the ruination of the downtown bus mall, are some of Vera's major legacies.

Vera loved to lick the asses and ice the cakes of the big money brokers. But since Brian Libby enjoys hosanning the elite as well, it's understandable that he thinks her re-emergence is a blessing.

Bob R.

It's deeply tragic that wherever news of Vera Katz is posted, hateful naysayers crawl out of the woodwork to hurl insults and deprive the conversation of any salient points.

(It's all fine and good to have policy differences and dissenting assessments of the Katz mayoral legacy, but is "lick the asses" any way to start a conversation?)

John

Actually, it is. Especially when discussing Vera, who had no respect whatsoever for citizens who would come before her and the council to testify on various matters, and who did do little else during her tenure than to lick the asses of big money elites.

Vera's entire tenure was an insult hurled at Portlanders.

Brian Libby

John, they're doing wonderful things with decaf now...and Prozac.

As for your points, it's OK for you to disagree with things I or others say. But your inflated rhetoric only undermines your own comments. Vera's tenure was "an insult hurled at Portlanders". She had "no respect for citizens". If I were your editor, I'd send this back for a rewrite without quite such a cataclysmic amount of hyperbole.

If you want to talk like a calm grown-up, we can then explain to you why you're so wrong.

john

I'm not the same "John" as the poster but I can offer some insight. I have been at city council meetings where Vera yelled "I'll clear this room" many times when someone disagreed with her. She regularly allowed long winded testimony when it supported her view and cut off (usually in a disrespectful tone) those who did not.

Nikos

So, the Pearl District (where I live, by way of disclosure) one of the nationally admired urban revitalization neighborhoods is bad for Portland? Are you out of your mind? Maybe Prozac is not a bad idea (good call Bryan!)

Nikos

I mean Brian with an i, sorry.

John

Brian,

I am glad that the other John helped a little to explain why I have nothing good to say about Vera. And I had voted for her originally! I thought that when she joined other neighbors in standing up against Phil Morford to save perfectly good houses, that she was with and for the people. But her tenure and her anti-social, anti-democratic behavior both in public and behind countless closed doors proved that far wrong.

You may not like my rhetoric because it is strong and unvarnished. Sorry. If you were my editor, you would want to have me write only praises or perhaps slight, polite window-dressing critiques of the corporatist world, not sheer exasperation and dismay because of where it has taken us.

The corporatist architecture you love so well is an expression of that. You can't recognize the trashing of Portland that Vera had committed (with Sam's brilliant masterminding) because you see only in terms of bettering conditions for corporate profit and expansion.

And what's frustrating is that so many lost souls like you skulk around in the architectural world, feeding greedheads of Gerding Edlin and Homer Williams' ilk with more delusions of grandeur, wholly closed off to what makes spaces that live for humans and Earth.

Nobody rushes to Europe to oogle at the cardboard infill there, and they sure as hell aren't rushing here to see the cardboard and vinyl condos Vera's responsible for getting started here in place of the beautiful gems we keep tearing down.

Jeff Joslin

As my many posts of past reveal, I'm rarely speechless, but this exchange leaves me nearly so.

Brian got it right at the onset - there have been few mayors in the history of any modern American city that appreciated the role and contribution of design in the evolution of a City to the degree that Mayor Katz did. She did her homework, sought the loftiest counsel, and set a high standard for other Council members. Her door was open, as was her mind. She was engaged and engaging when speaking of design in manner I - today - barely dare to dream of in a future mayor.

As for the successes of these various mentioned developers and entities - there's an intimation that these were all palm-greasing carpet baggers that bought their way into City Hall and sold Portland a boatload of snake oil. Quite the opposite, I believe our greatest successes have been the result of these home-grown risk-takers who put their money where Portland's citizen-driven values and aspirations were. They grew along with Portland. As development entities from beyond are now penetrating the Portland market, I'm all the more appreciative of how lucky we were to have these local partners that helped the Portland of today emerge gracefully and collaboratively. The result is an admired and replicable urban development model where, a mere decade-and-a-half ago, an uninhabited downtown core of a modest size town existed.

I'd be thrilled to have Vera on the Design Commission in the future, and I'm honored that she imagines that a potential highest and best use of her energy and talents. Her passion, insight, wisdom, and instinct would be most welcome; and could only serve to further fuel the dialogue that will bring us closer to a higher order of a 21st century Portland.

Jeff Joslin
Land Use Manager:
Urban Design, Design Review, Landmarks Review
City of Portland
Bureau of Development Services

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