Proposal to remake Portland’s form of government approved by commission

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Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 8:04 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Charter Commission has voted in favor of significant changes to the local government being presented on the November ballot.

If approved in November, the measures will change the city government by establishing a mayor-council government structure where a 12-person City Council focuses on setting policy and approving budgets, while the Mayor carries out laws, and a professional City Administrator manages city services.

“Voters will have an exciting opportunity this November to make Portland work better for all of us,” said Charter Commissioner Becca Uherbelau following the Tuesday vote. “This measure is our unified response to what Portlanders told us is the change we need.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, 17 of the 20 Charter Commissioners voted in favor of the charter amendment.

Significant changes if approved are:

  • Allowing voters to rank candidates in order of their preference
  • Four new geographic districts with three members elected to represent each district
  • An expansion of the city council to 12 members
  • Mayor elected to oversee day-to-day operations with the help of a city administrator
  • City Council focused on setting policy, instead of managing bureaus

“This improvement to Portland’s charter will result in a government that is more responsive to Portlanders’ needs,” said Charter Commissioner Melanie Billings-Yun. “Portland is facing challenges that need to be addressed by a City Council that can focus on setting policy and is not weighed down by the day-to-day responsibilities of managing bureaus.”

Portland is the only remaining major U.S. city to function under a city commission style of government.