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|Wednesday, February 23, 2011|
By Corey Paul
Portland's urban renewal agency celebrated a changing of the guard at its meeting on Wednesday, officially appointing Patrick Quinton as its new executive director while bidding thanks and farewell to the retiring leader he replaces, Bruce Warner.
Addressing the board, Quinton mentioned some of his priorities: Find a way to augment the declining tax increment financing money, narrow the widening gap between the rich and poor, tighten urban renewal areas for frugality and focus, and create jobs.
"Out of the worst recession in our lifetime emerged the City's first strategic economic plan and an opportunity for growth," Quinton said, wearing a "Jobs" pin on his lapel.
Quinton faces difficult challenges. The Portland Development Commission's budget isn't what it used to be, with expiring urban renewal districts and declining revenue. About 20 employes will be laid off next month, the agency is negotiating a new contract with the union, and there's still the lengthy and convoluted projects that PDC is developing, such as Burnside Bridgehead and Centennial Mills.
All those factors contributed to PDC's desire for a smooth transition and its choice to promote an internal employee to director. Quinton formerly managed PDC's business and industry division. Besides the benefit of his familiarity and shared vision with PDC, hiring Quinton offered the added benefit of avoiding an expensive and time-consuming national search, said Board Chairman Scott Andrews.
Since PDC hired Quinton in 2008 to manage the South Waterfront's North Macadam Urban Renewal, he helped create the Portland Seed Fund and recruited ReVolt Technology and Vestas Americas headquarters. When in 2009 Quinton was promoted to head the business and industry division, he began implementing the agency's economic development strategy and cluster concepts.
Quinton, 45, is notably younger than Warner, 61. He also spent 16 years before coming to PDC working in the private sector at Textron Financial and ShoreBank Corp. in Chicago, compared to Warner's decades of experience in public administration.
Warner has been widely credited for restoring the commission's reputation and improving transparency and accountability.
"Bruce came on at a really difficult time because the PDC was square in the center of public focus and not necessarily for the right reasons," said Commissioner Charles Wilhoite.
Questions from City Hall and the community swirled around PDC about oversight and spending. Warner proved a stabilizing force as City Hall assumed oversight of PDC in 2007.
Warner announced his retirement in early December, but agreed to stay on during the search for his replacement and the drafting of a new budget. Commissioners praised that decision as sign of his leadership.
"We're going to miss Bruce," said Commission Secretary John Mohlis. "But I think we're in a good position to carry on in a good fashion."
Corey Paul is an associate writer for Oregon Business.
Friday, October 30, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
This is a story about a small plastics company in wine country now exporting more than one million feet — 260 miles worth — of tubing to China every month.
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Two trends dominate the manufacturing sector: onshoring and the rise of small-scale production manufacturing, known as the "maker economy."
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
As we worked on the October cover, it became evident that Nick Symmonds is a hard man to catch — even when he’s not hotfooting it around a track.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER
The world's second-largest wind energy project yields costs and benefits for a sheep-farming family in Eastern Oregon.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
The past month has been marked by upheaval in the health insurance markets. I also check in on clients of the Export-Import bank, a federal credit agency that subsidizes, and insures, foreign exports.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
As CEO and owner of five different cannabis-related businesses generating a total net revenue of $2 million, Alex Rogers could sit back and ride the lucrative wave of Oregon’s burgeoning pot industry.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
“What we’ve seen traditionally over the past few decades is a reduction of short line railroads. This is a rare opportunity to see a line being opened.”
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