PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Staff from the City of Portland spoke Wednesday about plans going forward following the adoption of measure 26-228.
Measure 26-228 changes Portland’s commission form of government, instead opting to establish four districts, each with 3 council members. This would increase the number of city councilors from five to twelve.
Many of the decisions about the new measure remain to be made, but what we do know is that a district map for the changes will be completed by September 2023.
The first steps being taken are the formation of commissions which will help plan the area of the districts, set salaries and advise the city during the transition, officials said.
The city will be bringing on contractors and more citizen commissions to monitor, advise and decide the exact changes in the overhaul of Portland’s City Hall.
“Portlanders made it loud and clear there is no time to wait. They urgently want to see change,” City of Portland Strategic projects manager Shoshana Oppenheim said. “To be successful, we need the community to stay involved.”
Mayor Wheeler explained “the change required is good and necessary, but it also risks distracting us from Portland’s biggest problems.”
In an attempt to avoid that, Chief Administration Officer Michael Jordan says his office will request between $4 million to $6 million over the next three years for bringing on new staff, seeking outside advice and establishing City Council offices inside the new City Council districts.
“There will be absolutely areas of this work where we will need to expand the city’s expertise with outside parties to help us to deliver to the voters,” Oppenheim said.
The compensation for city councilors and size of their offices will be the subject of another commission – costing approximately between $900,000 to nearly $9 million.
The third commission will be a generally advising city staff and City Council.
“We will want to know on a consistent basis, how is this landing with citizens, what are people hearing and advising us on best ways to get into the community and get more feedback,” Jordan explained.
Hiring for these commissions is beginning right away and goes until Dec. 3.
The funding for this will be requested in the fall bump — taking away from other programs that potentially could have asked for that money.