Mayor Tom Potter has named a diverse group of 25 community members to sit on the city's first Charter Review Commission since 1922.
Additionally, he has asked 11 distinguished Portlanders to serve on an Honorary Advisory Committee that will offer expertise and guidance to the commission. The group includes former Oregon Gov. Barbara Roberts and former Portland Mayor Vera Katz.
A resolution charging the Charter Review Commission with reviewing the city's form of government, examining the role of the quasi-independent Portland Development Commission and reforming civil service rules will be heard by the City Council on Nov. 9.
"The commission has a daunting task ahead of it, but the experience of its members, their deep roots in our community and sense of civic responsibility will ensure its success," said Potter. "The backgrounds of those who have volunteered to serve reflect the diversity of our community."
The city's charter, much like the U.S. Constitution, contains the rules and laws which describe how the city functions, organizes itself and makes the decisions that affect our daily lives. The charter determines how effective our city government is, how city employees are hired and retained, what kind of service the public receives and how tax dollars are collected and spent.
Minor changes to the charter have been made every few years, but this is the first complete review of its form of government in more than 80 years. Portland is the last major city in the country with a commission style of government.
More than 160 residents applied to sit on the commission, which has a July 1, 2006, deadline. Its recommendations then will be presented to the City Council before being forwarded to the public as a ballot measure in the November 2006 election.
The commission members are: Charles Wilhoite, chair; Bob Ball; Beau Barnes; Guy Crawford; Melanie Davis; Jillian Detweiler; Bruce Harder; Ed Hall; Joe Hertzberg; Kris Hudson; David Kelleher; LeAnn Locher; Nicole Maher; Peg Malloy; David Martinez; Susan McGee; Jim Meyer; Paul Meyer; Judy O'Connor; Robin Plance; Emily Ryan; David Wang; Harold Williams Sr.; and Loretta Young.
Honorary Advisory Committee members include: Baruti Artharee; Dan Bernstine; Sam Brooks; Gale Castillo; Sho Dozono; Vanessa Gaston; Roy Jay; Vera Katz; Jaime Lim; Mike Lindberg; and Barbara Roberts.