Russell, Director of Portland Department, “Gone” as of Last Week

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For many years now, since the start of this blog more than ten (10) years ago, there been open complaints about the city’s permitting and inspections department at city hall. The complaints this blogger heard from clients of the city department ranged from slowness, poor record keeping, disorganization, poor attitude toward small start-ups and an unfriendly-customer service attitude among others. The Department’s lack of cooperation with the public was well known. Eventually, numerous personnel changes were made. Some have been relocated to different departments at city hall where there is less public contact.

Several studies by independent companies have been conducted to address the issues at the office at city hall.

Mike Russell, assumed the reigns of the department, almost three years ago. New procedures were put into place with the blessings of city manager Jon Jennings with the assumption the Department would run more efficiently. This blogger learned today that Russell’s last day of work was last Friday. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Health Policy and Management.

While city hall employees were buttoned up as tight as a clam about the subject, no one was saying anything positive about him. One employee said: “He was his own biggest fan” and “Mike had a big ego.”

Meanwhile, Keri Oulette, has slipped easily into Russell’s shoes as the Acting Director of Permitting and Inspections Department. She had been Russell’s “right hand woman” in recent months. She received high marks from her co-workers that this blogger spoke with today.

Please see post herein dated March 21, 2017 for more background information on Mike Russell.