Congratulations, Oregonians, not only did you not collect permit fees from the layabouts who mucked up your fine public parks. Now you get to pay $85,000 to clean up the destruction they left behind.
For 38 days, the city chose not to prosecute protesters for violating the city’s no-camping ordinance. But after Mayor Sam Adams imposed a curfew, Portland police evicted the protest Nov. 13 and swept the squares. They have been fenced off since.
Occupyers believe that claiming public spaces is a crucial component of their protest. On Wednesday, Occupy Portland summoned sympathizers to show up Saturday at the Salmon Springs Fountain on the waterfront, where they plan to march to an as-yet-unnamed park for another occupation.
“Bring your tents, your sleeping bags and prepare yourself for a night of nonviolent protest while we celebrate the re-occupation of another park,” the summons said. “We have our committees, our working groups and our experience from the previous occupation.”
So let’s get this straight. The city’s original parks are now fenced off, both so the occupiers won’t return and so the city can fix them back up. So the public cannot access and enjoy those parks. Meanwhile, the occupiers are planning to occupy other nearby parks and destroy them too.
The city of Portland also paid about $45,000 out of pocket for “labor and material” during the occupation. So the city will end up forking over about $130,000 minimum in taxpayer dollars.
City governments that allowed this rot to take hold were derelict in their duties to the taxpayers. Not that they’ll ever be held accountable, of course. One of the surest tickets to a lifetime of power and cashflow is to get elected to major city government and then act like a complete fool for decades.