Jun 26, 2015

A suggestion for all you partisan warriors on social media

We could all get along better if people stopped being sheep, and started thinking for themselves. People try so hard to change other people's thoughts/opinions/behaviors. 

For crying out loud, most of us can't change ourselves. What gives anyone the right to criticize and demand others change? Here's a suggestion for all the closed-minded sheep on all sides of the political scale: STFU for awhile and take a breath.

That's right-STFU. Get away from Facebook. Turn off the TV and your phone. Just live your life. Remember? Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

Go pursue some happiness for awhile. Come back when you've lost your sheep. Then we'll talk.

Jun 20, 2015

TONIGHT ON EAST COUNTY NOW!

TONIGHT ON EAST COUNTY NOW, 6pm Comcast channel 11, Frontier channel 22:

-MY INDEPENDENCE DAY EXPERIENCE!

-HIKING SAFETY IN THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE

-DO YOU WANT A THIRD BRIDGE ACROSS THE COLUMBIA RIVER AT TROUTDALE?


TUNE IN TONIGHT! 6PM! Comcast channel 11, Frontier Channel 22.

Apr 25, 2015

Another Troutdale City Council *FAIL*

Have you ever shopped for a car? Shopped for groceries, or shopped for a painting contractor or plumber? Of course you have. And how do you go about it? You look at multiple options. You look for the lowest price.

That’s what we do as individuals. That’s what you do if you run a business. If you need a product or service, you put it out for bid in the competitive marketplace, to get the best deal.  In the case of the city's waste management and recycling services it's what Troutdale told its citizens it would do.


 But that isn't what the Troutdale city council actually did.

According to the  February 20, 2015 Gresham Outlook:

"City Manager Craig Ward asked the council for direction at the Feb. 10 meeting, and was greeted with a consensus to explore other options.
“I just asked a question of the council and they said they wanted us to go out for a competitive process,” Ward said."

The Outlook article quoted city councilors at the meeting:


" They owe it to the city and themselves to explore the options available."


“We like Waste Management, but if we can get a better deal for our citizens from someone else, we’d be foolish to not look anywhere else. . ."

“Our due diligence to the city of Troutdale is to make sure we’re not overlooking something in looking at other companies,”. .. “(It’s to see) if we can save some money or to tell us that Waste Management is where we need to stay. With anything, when something is coming up for a renewal, you need to look at other companies.”

But the city council backed down. They chickened out. The  Troutdale city council failed to put the contract for Troutdale's waste/garbage provider out for bid. This is a contract that has not been  through an open bid process for over 35 years. This is inexcusable.



From the April 10, 2015 Gresham Outlook:


“For the past 35 years, the city of Troutdale has contracted with Waste Management as its sole provider of garbage services without seeking a competitive bid."


"The City Council entertained the option to put out a request for bids as the contract nears an end, but following a Tuesday, April 7, work session, the city will instead renegotiate the existing contract."



"The council’s decision to not pursue the bidding process was largely based on the associated cost."

“Troutdale would need to contract with an outside group to manage the request for proposal at a cost of $30,000."


“I’m OK with just renewing with Waste Management,” said Mayor Doug Daoust. “Now we know it’s going to cost $30,000, and there’s no guarantee we’d improve the rates.”


They folded under pressure from current provider Waste Management, who told the city they should stick with Waste Management because of its continued support of community events such as Summerfest.

I can just hear the phone conversation that took place between Waste Management’s representative for Troutdale and the HQ of Waste Management in Houston Texas:

WASTE MANAGEMENT TEXAS HEADQUARTERS: HOW DID YOU TALK TROUTDALE OUT OF PUTTING THEIR GARBAGE CONTRACT OUT FOR BID?

WASTE MGMT TROUTDALE REP: I GAVE THEM A $1000 DONATION FOR THEIR SUMMERFEST PARADE, AND FREE GARBAGE CANS ALONG THE PARADE ROUTE!

WASTE MANAGEMENT TEXAS HEADQUARTERS: HA HA HA GREAT JOB!! YOU GET A BONUS AND A PROMOTION!

I made up that conversation. It didn't take place (as far as I can tell. . .)


HERE’S A TIP FOR THE CITY COUNCIL: WHEN THERE IS COMPETITION, RATES GO DOWN!

WHEN THERE IS COMPETITION, RATES GO DOWN! 

This contract has not gone out to bid for over 35 years. No competition! 

TROUTDALE SHOULD HAVE PUT THE GARBAGE CONTRACT OUT TO BID TO GET THE LOWEST PRICE FOR YOU, THEIR CONSTITUENTS! THEY ARE NOT LOOKING OUT FOR YOU.

According to the Outlook article, the city council said they didn’t want to pay $30,000 to put waste/garbage contract out for bid, possibly saving you, the rate payer, hundreds of dollars a year on your garbage bill.

BUT THEY DIDN'T HESITATE TO PAY a consultant $70,000 to do polling/focus groups on what sales pitch would work best to get voters to approve a gas tax.

They’ll pull out all the stops to help you pay more taxes.

They won’t lift a finger to help you SAVE MORE MONEY.

I would call that a tremendous FAIL.

Apr 18, 2015

Why do cities FAIL?

Why do cities FAIL? Because they fail to PLAN.

We'll talk about this issue and more on the next. . .

EAST COUNTY NOW

Tonight at 6pm on Portland/East County Comcast channel 11, Frontier channel 22.

Mar 21, 2015

COMING UP TONIGHT ON EAST COUNTY NOW

TUNE IN AT 6 pm this Saturday, March 21,Comcast ch. 11, Frontier ch. 22!

We'll talk with Troutdale mayor Doug Daoust and Troutdale city councilor John Wilson about Troutdale's proposed police department merger with the Multnomah County Sheriff.

Have questions about the merger? We'll get your answers!

-Why now?


-How much money will the city save?


-Where will the saved money be used?


-What will happen to the police community center?


We'll also talk about the budget pressures Troutdale is facing in the next few years.


Previous shows have covered community involvement at the Rosewood Initiative, racism in Troutdale, public subsidies for artists, and the future of marijuana clinics in east county.


Check out the show's Facebook page: Facebook.com/eastcountynow.
Viewers can also contact the show at: info@eastcountynow.org.




East County Now is a monthly talk show focusing on issues, people, and opinions in east Multnomah County, including east Portland, Troutdale, Gresham, Fairview, Wood Village, and the Columbia River Gorge.