East Portlanders choose to ignore mayoral visit

Mayor Tom Potter was ready and willing to listen‚ but he didn’t hear much. Read this, and learn of a missed opportunity‚

Glenn Taylor, Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association chair, host Bill Dayton of Pizza Baron, and Portland Mayor Tom Potter talk, while they wait‚ and wait‚ for citizens to come “Talk with Tom”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Across the city Mayor Tom Potter holds “Talk to Tom” sessions, giving ordinary citizens ten-minute sessions to bend his ear about any and all topics.

Potter’s May session was scheduled in outer East Portland, at the Pizza Baron on SE 122nd Avenue at Division Street.

“It was great to be able to talk with the mayor,” said host Bill Dayton. “I got to tell the mayor that business owners within the City of Portland deserve the right to vote on city issues‚ even if the don’t live in the city.”

Dayton says he learned that the City Charter prohibits his request‚ and nothing short of a change in the charter will change that. “He told me that groups, like our business association, can make these changes, not him.”

Overall, Dayton says he felt he got a fair hearing. “I think it is great he came to outer East Portland.”

Mayor Tom Potter says he came, ready to listen. Sadly, no one from outer East Portland bothered to come speak with him.

A session observer, Glenn Taylor, chair of the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association, expressed his concerns about zoning that allows for “massive amounts of infill housing and high-density housing” to keep sprouting up in outer East Portland.

After a spirited exchange between Taylor and Potter, the two sat back and waited. And they waited.

Sadly, no one came to talk with Tom. Please remember this, the next time someone says, “No one at City Hall listens to us out here‚”

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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