Mayor Sam Adams' office has just announced it has once again canceled a hearing—this one scheduled for next week—on whether Portland should rejoin the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Commissioner Randy Leonard tells WW the move came after he met today with representatives from the mayor's office and the city attorney's office. They met to discuss the latest draft of a new resolution on rejoining the JTTF.
"The latest draft that I saw contained language that I could not support," Leonard says. "I know that the mayor is attempting to balance what it is he's hearing from the FBI and Commissioner Saltzman and commissioners Fish, Fritz and myself. But I'm not sure it is possible to satisfy all the various points of view those entities encompass."
Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Nick Fish are thought to support rejoining the JTTF. With Adams, they may have had three votes to pass a resolution on the five-person council. Commissioner Amanda Fritz has not said how she would vote, but is expected to be an opponent.
But it appears Adams wanted more consensus on the five-person council, because it now appears Leonard's objections have sent the city back to the drawing board.
The City Council voted to end full-time participation in the JTTF in 2005. But last fall's arrest of Mohamed Mohamud in an alleged attempt to bomb Pioneer Courthouse Square led to calls by Saltzman to rejoin the JTTF.
The FBI has told the city the feds are in the process of rewriting the memorandum of understanding they have with all 106 cities that have joined a JTTF. In the meantime, the feds recommended that Portland come up with its own agreement that the City Council can get behind to allow full participation in JTTF.
The city attorney's office has been at work writing a new resolution, with input from Adams' office in negotiations with the feds and the other commissioners. But at today's meeting, Leonard says he advised them to abandon that effort and simply modify the language of the resolution that was in place in 2005.
It's unclear how long that may take. A news release today from the mayor's office set no new deadline or hearings.