PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland’s Charter Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to advance a proposal on a new form of government for the city.
The new system would have four districts that would each have three elected leaders – bringing a city council to twelve members.
Those votes would be done with ranked choice voting and the mayor would no longer be a vote on city council.
This new system would also have a city manager nominated by the mayor and approved by the council. That manager would hire and fire bureau directors.
Additionally, the mayor would have executive authority but would not have veto authority.
This plan will now be sent to the city attorney to be written up. Then, in May, there will be more time for changes and public comment before it’s finalized in June.
In July, they and the city council will decide whether to send it to the ballot where the city will vote whether to approve those changes in November.
“This proposal will make Portland’s government more accountable, transparent and effective,” Charter Commission member Candace Avalos said in a press release.
Avalos, who co-chaired the Form of Government Committee continued, “it positions us to get Portland moving in the right direction and address our most pressing challenges – expanding affordable housing, mitigating gun violence, building climate resilience and improving the city’s infrastructure.”
Charter Commission member Becca Uherbelau, who chairs the Community Engagement Committee, noted “the Charter Commission proposal was truly created by – and for – Portlanders.” Uherbelau added “I’m proud that these recommendations are responsive to Portlanders’ calls for change.”
Debbie Kitchin, current co-chair of the Commission, said “Portlanders recognize we are at an inflection point – this is the moment for change.” She added “a decade from now, Portlanders can look back on 2022 and feel proud that we made positive change happen.”