Mary Nolan Calls on Amanda Fritz to Release Records on Altering Independent Report
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: KJ Lewis
After revelations that an “independent” report on the implementation of Portland’s new 9-1-1 dispatch system was altered after the intervention of city officials – including City Commissioner Amanda Fritz – City Council candidate Mary Nolan has called upon Fritz to release all records of communications with the authors of the report.
“The development of the new 9-1-1 system cost millions of dollars. The ongoing cost to operate and maintain the new system will be millions of dollars more than the old system,” said Nolan in her letter to Fritz. “More importantly, firefighters and other first responders have told us that the system is flawed and makes their job more difficult. That the commissioner-in-charge may have intervened to alter the independent report on the implementation or make it more favorable is a serious concern about which Portlanders have a right to have honest unbiased facts.”
Nolan has called on Fritz to release to the public all records of her and her staff pertaining to the changes made to the CAD Next report, including emails, phone messages, meetings held and notes from those meetings.
In article entitled “9-1-1 Report Changed after City Feedback” published by the Portland Tribune on April 11, 2012, reporter Jim Redden reports that the final draft -- which is cited often by the Fritz campaign for City Council – was altered to make the new 9-1-1 computer system seem better than city agencies had indicated.
The altered version of the report asks the question, “Was CAD Next a Success?” The answer given in the new version is, “Yes,” because “implementation was on time, within budget, and fulfilled the stated business and technical requirements.”
That statement that did not appear in the original versions, but does appear in the version released after Fritz met with the report’s authors, and which Fritz has begun citing in her campaign.
According to the Tribune’s article, the CAD Next system has meant fire vehicles have been unable to establish and maintain wireless connections between their mobile devices and the new system. Jim Forquer, president of the Portland Firefighters Association IAFF 43, is quoted as saying the delay means crews are frequently dispatched on calls without knowing exactly what they are responding to.
“The Fritz version of the report hails the 9-1-1 system as a rousing success,” Nolan said. “Comments from first responders say the system is flawed and frustrating. Everyone in Portland has a stake in knowing why the report was fixed to show a rosier conclusion. We call on Amanda Fritz to release all documents relating to the drafting of the CAD Next 9-1-1 report.”
Fritz additionally claims that all operational costs overruns with the new 9-1-1 system have been “taken care of” and that the whole project is still on budget. Nolan observed, “The way the operational cost overruns were ‘taken care of’ was by changing the budget to accommodate the higher cost after the fact. The reality is that over the expected life of the system operating costs will be up from between $8m and $13m more than was originally budgeted.”
The controversy over alterations in the 9-1-1 report is only the latest incident that raises questions about Fritz’s campaign:
· Fritz listed a quote from journalist Beth Slovic on her website’s “supporter” page without permission, about which Slovic said, “I believe the use is misleading.” Slovic had to ask Amanda Fritz to remove the quote from her site.
· Fritz publicly claimed to be endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, both on her website and in the voter’s guide. However, NARAL has given its sole endorsement to Mary Nolan. Fritz vowed to change the listing on her website and issue a statement correcting the error, but has failed to do so.
· Fritz has limited her campaign donations to $50, and refuses to accept PAC or union funding. However, she has given her own campaign 1,600 times that amount so far, self-funding $84,000 towards her reelection. She has also donated 5 times in excess of her own donation limit to other candidates and PACs.
· In her campaign ad, Fritz suggests that she oversaw an audit that won $2 million in cable franchise fees for the City. However, the City Auditor has supervision of the audit staff and is intentionally independent of the commissioners. Fritz neither directed the focus of the audit nor initiated any of its recommendations.
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