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Sources Say: Fritz offers a lesson in media savvy with deal

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz showed recently that she certainly has her own negotiating style while working out the move of the Right 2 Dream Too homeless campground from Chinatown to its new site under the west end of the Broadway Bridge.

Government transparency and equal access don’t appear to be high on her list, according to sources involved in the negotiations. Favorable press, on the other hand, rates way up there.

With every media outlet in town trying to figure out the status of R2DT, in an August email to those involved in the negotiations Fritz wrote, “I believe both you and I desire to talk to Street Roots and the Mercury first, when the time comes, to appreciate their attention and concern on houselessness issues.”

For the record, the Tribune was first to report the story in early October 2011 as Old Town property owner Michael Wright turned his vacant lot into a “rest area” for homeless people. The Right 2 Dream Too camp sprouted just about the time nearly 400 Occupy Portland movement members were staking a claim to Lownsdale and Chapman squares a block from City Hall.

Midway through negotiations to move the camp, Fritz baffled attorneys when she insisted on a session with the Right 2 Dream Too folks and some city staff without attorneys in the room — not even the city attorney.

Fritz got the deal done, as long as Pearl District representatives don’t get too carried away with objections to the new site for the homeless campground. Right 2 Dream Too has a one-year lease on the city-owned parking lot and thousands in fines have been erased as part of the deal.

City auditor candidate’s strategy adds up

Mary Hull Caballero is not yet facing any opposition in her race for Portland City Auditor, and that’s not entirely because of dumb luck.

Caballero, a Metro performance auditor, originally filed a campaign committee to run for Metro auditor in March. But she switched it to run for city auditor in July, weeks before incumbent LaVonne Griffin-Valade announced she would not run for re-election. Now Caballero admits she heard rumors Griffin-Valade might pass on another term before she made the switch, although she could not be certain.

Although Caballero does not have any name familiarity, her opposition will be limited because the city charter requires candidates to be either a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor or Certified Management Accountant.

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - Campers with Occupy Portland took up residence in Chapman Square in October 2011. Two years later, the loosely organized movement is handing out ID cards to distinguish its protesters from homeless people.

What do we want? Occupy ID cards!

At first Sources thought the email press release was a joke.

Nope.

It seems Occupy Portland began issuing “official membership” ID Cards last week. The loosely organized direct action group’s free wheeling general assembly that sets policies approved the new ID cards to distinguish homeless camper protesters from homeless campers who merely cause trouble, or something like that.

But then, after the first 40 cards were issued, other people associated with the movement questioned the decision, so the idea will apparently be debated and decided again at another assembly meeting.

In the meantime, if you have an official Occupy ID card, hang onto it. Someday it might be more valuable that an early Garbage Pail Kids card.

Bureau’s whistleblower treatment heads to court

Portland’s police command is under attack again in federal court, this time by a desk clerk who claims in a lawsuit that Police Bureau superiors berated her and violated her constitutional rights even though they knew she was a victim of domestic abuse.

An attorney for Kathryn Elise Johns filed a lawsuit Sept. 6 in U.S. District Court, seeking an unspecified amount of damages and changes in Portland Police Bureau policies on equal employment and treatment of whistleblowers.

She also wants the court to restrain bureau officials from retaliating against employees who exercise their free speech rights.

Portland city officials do not comment on pending litigation. The city has several weeks to submit an answer to the court. No court date has been set for the case.

According to her 39-page complaint, Johns, who has worked for 16 years as a precinct desk clerk, claims that she faced discrimination and angry tirades from her superiors because of her gender and her status as a domestic violence victim.