Sources Say: Officials might count folks 'doubled up'
Portland and Multnomah County leaders have not yet decided whether to do another homeless count this year — or, if so, how extensive it might be.
Up until now, social service agencies in the county have only conducted their federally required Point-in-Time survey every other year.
The most recent one, conducted last February, found the number of homeless people in the county had increased 10 percent since 2015.
When he ran for mayor, Ted Wheeler suggested the count should be conducted every year. But no such decision has yet been made.
Instead, officials with the city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services are discussing whether a smaller, more-focused count could be conducted this year, such as trying to figure out how many people are "doubled up" in homes belonging to other people.
Although those people are not officially considered homeless, they are at high risk of losing their housing.
Smith's paperwork problem
Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson fined Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith for not doing something that a lot of other candidates don't do, either.
Although Smith had not formally filed to run in another election, Richardson ruled she was, in fact, a candidate for the Portland City Council in the May 2018 primary and penalized her for not updating her committee filing.
Political junkies who review state campaign reports are well aware that many incumbents don't immediately update their committee filings when they run for re-election or another office.
One common lapse is not updating which election the candidate is running in. For example, Mike Reese was elected Multnomah County sheriff in the November 2016 general election. He filed for re-election on Sept. 27. But, as of last Friday, his committee filing still said he was running in the 2016 general election, not the May 2018 primary.
Fish promises Uber crackdown
Commissioner Nick Fish promised the City Council will consider cracking down on Uber, in his year-end report to Portland residents.
"Uber is a notoriously bad actor. They operated illegally, then tried to make an end run around Portland's regulations. They hid a massive data breach for over a year. They attempted to strip workers of important rights. And it took a subpoena to get them to disclose how they evaded Portland regulators with 'Greyball.' Next year, we will consider tougher regulations, including new ways to keep the public safe," Fish wrote in a section titled Protecting Workers and Consumers.
Fish, who repeatedly has criticized out-of-state "sharing economy" businesses, also promised that all landlords who advertise short-term rentals on such websites as Airbnb and HomeAway will be required to register with the city, which will inspect their properties for safety and collect lodging taxes.