Walt McMonies was quoted in a NW Examiner articled titled “Top-Heavy Seismic Retrofit Program May Crush Small Owners.” The article discussed Portland, Oregon’s Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Seismic Retrofit Project Policy Committee, and how small property owners felt they didn’t have a seat at the table as the committee discussed proposed mandates on owners of the city’s URM buildings. The Committee Chair told NW Examiner that McMonies represented small owners, but he blew the whistle on that claim.
No “mom and pop” owners — those owning perhaps a single small URM building — were included on the 18-member committee. The committee included four development/construction companies, four other companies involved with real estate and five from the government and nonprofit sectors. But there was no room for the small owners who combined own most of the 1,728 URMs in the city.
Margaret Mahoney, who chaired the Policy Committee, and Carmen Merlo, who was director of PBEM until this year, told the NW Examiner that Walt McMonies represented the small owners. But when McMonies learned that he was so categorized, he blew the whistle.
“It never crossed my mind that either staff or the small owners thought that I was representing the small owners,” McMonies wrote in a March 21 letter to Mahoney and three city bureaus involved with the project.
The committee provided their recommendations to Portland City Council on May 9. No decision was made, but a final vote is likely to occur at their next meeting on June 13.
Before proceeding, please note: If you are not a current client of Lane Powell PC, please do not include any information in this email that you or someone else considers to be confidential or secret in nature. Prior to the establishment of a lawyer-client relationship, unsolicited emails from non-clients containing confidential or secret information cannot be protected from disclosure.