Portland Reservoir Destruction is on Unstable Legal Grounds: Council Fights to keep documents secret.

Produced by: 
KBOO
Program:: 
Air date: 
Thu, 01/14/2016 - 12:00am
Council Fights to keep reservoir documents secret: KBOO's Joe Meyer interviews Mark Bartlett
Portland Mayor Hales rushed an unusual item on council agenda yesterday:
Authorize the City Attorney to institute proceedings challenging the District Attorney’s Order in the petition of Mark Bartlett: 10 minutes requested
It turns out that Mr Bartlett had a request for information denied by the city; last week the Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill ordered the city to disclose the information; and yesterday city council voted 4-1 in favor of Hale’s proposal: to use tax payer money to fight the release of 25 year old public information.  
According to documents received by KBOO, what is at stake is the legality of the on-going destruction of Portland’s open reservoirs at Washington Park and Mt Tabor.
 
Even Novick, who voted No, seems to want to keep the information secret. He is quoted in the Oregonian as saying:
“I just don’t see a way around this, I think the law should be changed.”
 
Mr Bartlett’s volunteerism around this issue began in 2006 , when Portland Parks under Dan Saltzman, entered negotiations to sell part of Mt Tabor to Warner Pacific.  
 
Mr Bartlett knows of the existence and likely content of the contested documents through a 2002 memo from water bureau employee Dan Combs. 
 
Mr Bartlett explaines how it is more expedient for council to treat property at Mt Tabor and Washington Park as if under a single city ownership. And that this contrasts a simple reading of the law as well as the 2002 memo from water bureau employee Dan Combs.     

At stake in the sequestered documents, referenced in the Combs’ memo, is the extent to which city council members knew that their ongoing destruction of our open reservoirs was illegal from the start. These same city council members are now fighting the district attorney over release of the documents.

Here is a link to Joe Meyer's blog post including additional links:
http://democracyhere.org/2016/01/15/kboo-news-coverage-of-bartlett-petit...
        

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