This morning, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced bureau assignments in Portland City Hall—and made a notable leadership change.
Commissioner Amanda Fritz will no longer oversee the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, as she has for the last eighteen months (and in a previous stint in charge from 2009 to 2013). Instead, the beleaguered office will go to first-time Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
That's significant because Wheeler called the Office of Neighborhood Involvement the bureau the most in need of reform (tied with the police bureau) in an interview with WW last month.
He and three of his four fellow commissioners favor rolling back the city's marijuana program, which ONI oversees. The bureau has also come under fire for allegedly targeting black-owned nightclubs with code crackdowns.
And even after an audit released in November showed significant management problems at ONI, Fritz told WW that she wanted the assignment again. She came to council after years of working as an activist in the city's neighborhood associations.
Eudaly, the newest member of City Council and a political novice, was handed substantial assignments: the Bureau of Development Services in addition to ONI.
The bureau assignments are the key power the mayor holds over the four city commissioners in Portland's weak-mayor form of government.
Wheeler, as expected, took the Police Bureau and the Housing Bureau. He campaigned on police reforms and increasing affordable housing.
Fritz will take on the Bureau of Emergency Communication in addition to keeping Parks.
Commissioner Nick Fish, the lone member of City Council to endorse Wheeler, kept his leadership of the utility bureaus—Water and Environmental Services—after asking to continue running them.
Commissioner Dan Saltzman, the senior member of City Council, did not publicly make the case for any particular assignment. He kept Portland Fire & Rescue, losing Development Services and the Housing Bureau. He gains the Bureau of Transportation, which didn't have a natural home after the city's transit champion, Commissioner Steve Novick, lost his reelection bid to Eudaly.
Here's the full announcement:
Mayor Ted Wheeler Announces Bureau Assignments
Approach relies on experience of commissioners to solve challenges together
PORTLAND, OR – Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler today announced bureau assignments. Under Portland’s commission form of government, the mayor has the responsibility of assigning bureaus to commissioners to manage.
“My goal in assigning bureaus is to rely on the experience and interests of each commissioner to achieve real results on behalf of Portlanders,” said Wheeler. “Portland government can be siloed. That prevents teamwork. I want to get commissioners and bureaus to work together like never before.”
Bureau assignments are as follows. The executive order is attached.
MAYOR TED WHEELER
Portland Police Bureau
Portland Housing Bureau
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Office of Equity and Human Rights
Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
City Budget Office
Office of Management & Finance
Portland Development Commission
Regional Emergency Management Group (REMG)
A Home for Everyone (with Commissioner Eudaly)
Local Public Safety Coordinating Council
Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission
Portland Community Media
Office of Neighborhood Involvement
Bureau of Development Services
A Home for Everyone (with Mayor Wheeler)
Bureau of Environmental Services
Portland Water Bureau
Regional Arts & Culture Council
Rose Festival Foundation
Portland Utility Review Board
Portland Parks & Recreation
Bureau of Emergency Communications
League of Cities (with Mayor Wheeler)
Metro Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC)
Portland Parks Foundation
Urban Forestry Commission
Portland Fire & Rescue
Portland Bureau of Transportation
Fire & Police Disability & Retirement
Portland Children’s Levy
Multnomah Youth Commission
Portland Streetcar, Inc.
Portland Mall Management, Inc.
Portland Aerial Tram Board
Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT)