Commissioner Mingus Mapps today released his alternative charter reform measure, which he will seek to place on the May 2023 ballot in an effort to kill the charter measure that will appear on Portlanders’ November ballots.
That means there are now two dueling charter reform proposals voters must wade through: one crafted by a 20-member commission and approved by a supermajority to appear on the November ballot, and one crafted by a sitting city commissioner and his close advisers that could make it onto the May 2023 ballot if the November measure is struck down by voters.
As WW has previously reported, the proposal crafted by the Charter Review Commission to overhaul Portland government has erupted into a bitter debate in City Hall. Mapps, in particular, has played a pivotal role: He formed a political action committee to support charter reform, professed horror at the proposal the commission sent to voters, and has now debuted an alternative, in part intended to scuttle the chances of the first plan.
Here’s how the two plans stack up, in brief.
Mapps’ proposal contains the following concepts:
1. Seven regional districts, with one city commissioner elected per district. That means there would be seven total City Council members.
2. A city administrator that oversees bureau functions and daily administrative tasks, and has power to fire and hire bureau directors.
3. A mayor that has veto powers, but that veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority of the City Council. The mayor does not have a vote on the council, but can hire and fire the administrator and proposes the budget.
4. As a separate ballot measure: instant-runoff ranked-choice voting.
The ballot measure set to appear on the November ballot contains the following concepts:
1. Four geographical voting districts, with three council members elected per district.
2. A city administrator that oversees bureau functions and daily administrative tasks, and has power to fire and hire bureau directors (with the exception of the city attorney and the police chief.)
3. Single-transferable ranked-choice voting. (We’ll explain that concept in more detail this Wednesday.)
4. A mayor who does not have a vote on the council except to break ties and does not have veto powers.