The Portland City Attorney's Office has sent the City Council a memo outlining legal problems with Commissioner Chloe Eudaly's most recent landlord-tenant reform measure.
Although the measure was first heard April 3 and 4, Eudaly has delayed the council vote until May 23, at the earliest.
Among other things, the measure prohibits landlords from requiring that rental applicants earn more than two times the rent to qualify, sets requirements on withholding security deposits, and prevents landlords from refusing to rent to convicted criminals in some cases.
City Attorney Tracy Reeve declined a public records request to release the memo, saying it is protected by landlord-client privilege.
But Mayor Ted Wheeler, who has read the memo, told the Portland Tribune editorial board on May 7 that it ranks the risk of legal challenges to the original measure from low to high, "depending on the issue." Wheeler said Eudaly's office is working to resolve the potential legal problems before the next hearing.
Few gifts for city leaders
Lobbyists have either decided that Portland leaders can't be bribed — or aren't willing to spend much to find out.
City code requires Portland officials to report all gifts they receive to the City Auditor's Office. Only three officials reported receiving anything of value from anyone in the first quarter of 2019 — Mayor Ted Wheeler, his director of external affairs Jennifer Arguinzoni, and Prosper Portland Director Kimberly Branam. And the gifts weren't much.
According to the recently released filings, Wheeler received two Skanner newspaper T-shirts from publisher Bernie Foster, a Pendleton blanket accepted on behalf of the city from Greenbrier Inc., and pins and a figurine from Shanghai, China, students visiting the city. Arguinzoni accepted a Pendleton blanket from Greenbrier on behalf of the city.
Branam received four tickets to the Chinese New Year Donor Lantern Viewing from Lan Su Chinese Garden.
The total value of all the gifts was $493.
Police podcasts available
The Portland Police Bureau is adapting to social media. It already uses Twitter, in addition to email, to announce news. And now it is launching a regular podcast called the Talking Beat.
But don't expect true crime exposes like "Serial." The first three episodes include information about officer recruitment, the Behavioral Health Unit and traffic-related issues. Upcoming episodes include interviews with the precinct commanders and the members of the Sexual Assault Unit.
"We are really excited about this project, and this will be a great addition to our messaging," Chief Danielle Outlaw said. "The podcast provides an in-depth dive into various areas of the bureau and listeners can hear directly from subject matter experts. We hope it provides additional insight and understanding into some of the work being done in our city."
To subscribe, visit: portlandoregon.gov/police/podcast. Episodes also can be downloaded from all the popular podcast directories.
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