PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The list of endorsements and legal challenges to the proposed reform to the Portland City Charter are both growing as time ticks down before the measure needs to be submitted to the county election’s office.

The proposed reform would get rid of the five-member commission-style of government and create a 12-member city council with a city-wide elected mayor working with a city administrator.

The city council members would be elected from four geographically-designated districts with three candidates from each. The elections would be held via ranked-choice voting where voters would rank their candidates by preference.

A leading non-profit, the Portland City Club, announced support for the proposal late last week, saying ranked-choice gives voters more choice and the council districts would increase accountability.

“If we want to represent the whole city well, this combination actually is going to do an excellent job of doing so,” Mark Stephan said. Stephan is on the City Club Board of Governors as well as a professor at Washington State University, where he teaches courses on topics such as public affairs and politics.

The combination of ranked-choice voting and multi-member districts has drawn the ire of critics. That includes Portland Business Alliance CEO Andrew Hoan, who filed one of the three legal challenges against the proposed reform.

“Changing operations of the City Council is not logically connected to changing the voting system,” the lawsuit alleges.

The Portland Business Bureau said Hoan was not available for comment, instead referring to his op-ed in the Portland Business Journal. Hoan is expected to be a guest on KOIN 6 News’ next Eye on Northwest Politics show.

The suit names Portland City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero and Portland Elections Officer Louise Hansen, saying they have the “legal duty to reject” the proposed measure.

The auditor’s office says it’s not “explicitly authorized” to hear challenges referred directly from the Charter Commission. The elections office has not responded to the request for comment.

“The fact is we’re talking about (a) form of government along with electoral changes as well. They are different parts,” Stephan said. “But when you bring them together, and the synergy between them, that’s where they become one reform.”

Hoan argues in an op-ed in the Portland Business Journal that voters deserve choice and even proposes breaking up the issue into two or three separate questions. He points to the fact no city in the United States has tried combining ranked choice-voting with multi-member districts.

Stephan says there have been successful examples in Western Europe and feels Portland could be a trailblazer.

“Other cities will look to Portland as a standard-bearer for a new way of thinking about representation moving forward,” Stephan said.