PORTLAND – Three of the people competing for Sam Adams' job graded his performance on Occupy Portland during a debate Tuesday night.
The debate was just one step on a long road to the third floor, the Portland mayor’s office.
KGW asked the candidates how the current mayor did regarding the Occupy Portland encampment.
Timeline: Occupy Portland
“I am very empathetic to the cause,” said former New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady, “It’s actually why I’m running for mayor.”
Former city commissioner Charlie Hales agreed, saying, “Many of us support the movement and want to see these issues raised.”
And Oregon State Representative Jefferson said, “We didn’t lose any lives, and that is probably the single most important thing that happened.”
Then when asked what they would have done differently, two of the three candidates disagreed with the specifics of Adams’ approach.
We would have set a deadline earlier than the five week mark,” Brady said “Probably the first week, we would have set a deadline.”
“I would’ve done it a little earlier,” Hales said. “About 30 days earlier. I think in hindsight it was probably wise to let the first weekend play out the way it did. But now it’s Monday morning and it’s time to let the people of Portland have their park back.”
Smith thought that the best approach was to wait, saying that if Adams tried “to do it three weeks ago, it wouldn’t have happened like it happened.”
“You would have had people come from all over the country had the worm not turned a little bit on some of the conduct.”
One person missing from the debate: Portland Police Bureau Chief Mike Reese. Likely the person most qualified to talk about the ins and outs of the five-week occupation, was invited to the debate but did not attend.