PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – While Portland voters will likely decide this fall whether to change city government to make the City Council better represent individual parts of the city, the Charter Commission’s plan has lost support from one of the city commissioners.
Commissioner Mingus Mapps, who supports the idea of changing the city’s charter, is concerned there are too many changes lumped together to vote on in the plan, rather than asking voters to decide on each suggested change.
The proposed ballot measure would expand the current council from four commissioners to 12 commissioners with three per specific districts in the city.
The measure also would have a city manager, rather than the mayor, in charge of overseeing city bureaus and handling administration.
A third part would change how voters pick candidates. The measure would get rid of a primary, where a candidate wins with at least 50% of the vote. If not, the top two candidates face off in November.
Instead, voters would rank the candidates on the November ballot. If no candidate gets more than 50% of votes to win, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and second preference choices are then counted to find a winner.
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, Commissioner Mapps says he supports reform but the four multi-member districts and rank-choice voting are “a radical departure from what Portlanders are used to.” Mapps prefers separate items on the ballot.
Voters have turned down big changes proposed in the past for the City Charter, but the volunteer Charter Commission says it will work to make sure the public understands all the proposed changes before they would vote in November.