February 5, 2014 | Portland Mercury-- I broke my rule today about covering Portland City Council meetings—which amounts to "always go, even if the agenda seems perfunctory and/or the mayor is out of town so how could anything actually interesting happen, because what if you miss something surprising."
I missed something surprising. Because while I was doodling through the Mercury's weekly editorial meeting, commissioners—spurred on by Steve Novick—managed to get into a spirited debate about next year's budget surplus and the policy implications of fulfilling past promises no matter the apparent cost.
It started when Novick balked at the parks bureau's request for $477,000 in unexpected annual maintenance costs for the long-planned, long-delayed South Waterfront Greenway project. Despite policy requiring the city to pay for maintenance costs every time it approves building a new park, no one, in this case, had actually built that maintenance figure into the city's current financial forecast.
And it ended, more or less, with Novick coaxing two of his colleagues, Dan Saltzman and Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, into agreeing to "re-examine" the police bureau's long-targeted Mounted Patrol Unit READ FULL ARTICLE