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Sources Say: Fritz must not fret about foes

Commissioner Amanda Fritz probably has alienated many former supporters in Northwest Portland by proposing to move the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp under the west end of the Broadway Bridge before notifying any neighbors.

After the deal with announced, it was opposed by the Pearl District Neighborhood Association and several nearby residents and business owners.

But Fritz doesn’t have to worry about the backlash hurting her re-election. She’s repeatedly said this is her last term.

Fish out of water in Southwest

Some Southwest Portland residents are beginning to wonder what Commissioner Nick Fish has against their part of town. Fish was criticized several years ago for supporting a proposal by two nonprofit organizations to turn an abandoned armory on Southwest Multnomah Boulevard into an affordable housing project. The deal that Fish helped arrange as Housing Bureau commissioner eventually fell through.

Now Fish is being criticized for not stopping the sale of surplus Water Bureau property to a developer who wants to build three homes on it. Neighbors say the property, which is adjacent to Woods Park, should be preserved by Metro or Portland Parks & Recreation. But Fish says it is too late to stop the sale of the property, which began well before Mayor Charlie Hales assigned him the Water Bureau earlier this year.

PERS dries up labor support for governor

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has caught a lot of flak for his willingness to rein in the growing cost of the Public Employees Retirement System — and now there’s reason to believe it might be costing him their political support. Although Kitzhaber also favors raising taxes to increase state support for the schools, his last contribution from a public employees union was back on May 15, 2012. That’s when he received $1,000 from the Service Employees International Union Local 49.

Since then, Kitzhaber has received a few contributions from unions representing workers in the private sector, and a lot of money from large businesses like PGE, PacifiCorp and Northwest Natural. His campaign committee currently has nearly $63,000 in the bank.

Kitzhaber certainly didn’t improve his relationship with public employees unions at this week’s special session. So far though, no other Democrat has suggested he’ll run for governor next year, even though Kitzhaber has not yet announced for re-election.

Is TriMet a Metro issue?

A new candidate is running for Metro president on a platform of having the regional government take over and restructure TriMet. He’s Jeremiah Johnson, a group administrative assistant with the Portland Bottling Co. Although Johnson has never run for office before, he has worked with the Bus Project and for Democratic Senate candidates in previous elections.

Metro is authorized by its charter to take over TriMet. Incumbent President Tom Hughes, who is running for re-election, does not support the idea. Nor does the rest of the Metro Council. But Johnson argues TriMet needs to be more accountable, citing the continued construction of the Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail line after Clackamas County voters voiced their displeasure with the project.