RESOLUTION for Council hearing on 12/15/10
Appoint members to the 2011 Charter Commission, Convene Commission and Request specific study and actions (Resolution introduced by Mayor Adams, Commissioner Fritz, Commissioner Fish, Commissioner Saltzman, and Commissioner Leonard)
WHEREAS, the voters adopted Measure 26-98, Portland City Charter amendments, on May 15, 2007, and becoming effective date January 1, 2009; and
WHEREAS, new Section 13-301, Charter Commission, states, "From time to time, but no less frequently than every 10 years, the Council shall convene a Charter review commission (“Charter Commission”) to review and recommend amendments to this Charter provided, however, that the first Charter Commission shall be convened no later than two (2) years after the effective date of this Article "; that is, January 1, 2011; and
WHEREAS, thousands of Portlanders and multiple City bureaus are actively engaged in the Portland Plan process to evaluate current needs and envision future actions; a process expected to take at least another year; and
WHEREAS, the Portland Plan should inform Charter changes that will be desired to be adopted before another ten years goes by; and
WHEREAS, the 2007 Charter amendments did not address outdated and sometimes offensive language in the Charter claiming historical powers that no longer apply; and
WHEREAS, Section 13-301 requires that the Charter Commission shall be reflective of the City in terms of its racial and ethnic diversity, age and geography, and that it shall be comprised of twenty (20) residents of the City; and
WHEREAS, Section 13-301 mandates that each member of the Council shall nominate four (4) Charter Commission members who shall be subject to confirmation by the Council; and
WHEREAS, the Charter Commission shall determine its own rules of procedure; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor or Council may request that the Charter Commission review specific sections of the Charter, but the work and recommendations of the Charter Commission shall not be limited to such specific sections; and
WHEREAS, the citywide outreach and input process leading to the 2007 Charter changes cost $600,000; and
WHEREAS, because of dire national, state and local economic conditions with a 10% unemployment rate in the City and for the past two years City of Portland bureaus have had to make significant budget cuts, and
WHEREAS, adequate funding and capacity for citizen engagement for the required Charter review process in 2011 and at least every ten years thereafter is essential for ensuring outreach to all Portlanders and gathering broad public input to inform proposed Charter amendments; and
WHEREAS, Mayor Sam Adams assigned Commissioner Amanda Fritz to coordinate appointment of the 2011 Charter Commission, and she has done so in collaboration with all Council members and after consultation with members of the Public Involvement Advisory Committee and other community stakeholders; and
WHEREAS, the Council members selected current members of the City's 47 Boards and Commissions to be appointed to the 2011 Charter Commission, to implement the required diversity standards, and
WHEREAS, another Charter Commission should be appointed soon after conclusion of the Portland Plan; and the process for appointments shall be inclusive and open for all Portland residents;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,
1. The Council appoints the citizens listed in Exhibit A to serve as the 2011 Charter Commission, in compliance with the standards listed in Charter Section 13-301.
2. The Commission shall meet in January to determine scope of work and rules of procedure, and those indicating willingness to serve have been informed of the requests in this Resolution.
3. The Council commits funding for six months to support the Commission's work.
4. The Office of Commissioner Fritz, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the Office of Human Relations, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and the Office of the City Attorney will provide primary staffing to the Commission, including community involvement.
5. The Council requests the Commission to focus its work on
i) Preparing a list of "housekeeping amendments" to be placed on the ballot in May or November 2011, such as removing offensive and outdated language from the Charter, while not making changes with greater policy implications.
ii) Advising the Council on how to set up an inclusive citywide process to seek and select applicants for a second Charter Commission to be established soon after conclusion of the Portland Plan. This second Charter Commission will be asked to discuss and propose more extensive policy changes based on wide public outreach and drawing from the conclusions reached in the Portland Plan.
iii) Preparing a list of policy issues for future review - those considered by the 2011 Commission and/or requested by community members and deemed to be more significant than "housekeeping amendments", to inform a second Charter Commission process to be held soon after the Portland Plan is adopted.
6. The Council members appointing the 2011 Charter Commission commit to appointing a second Charter Commission soon after the Portland Plan is adopted. The second Charter Commission will be encouraged and funded to address broad policy amendments to the Charter. It will be informed by an extensive citywide public process and discussion. Members of the 2011 Commission are neither more nor less likely to be appointed to the second Commission than other Portlanders. The second Charter Commission will be appointed after citywide outreach seeking applications from all city residents, with selection processes guided by the advice of the 2011 Charter Commission, the Public Involvement Advisory Committee, and multiple community stakeholder groups. Commissioner Fritz or other assigned Council member shall coordinate this process to ensure appointment of the second Charter Commission.
7. The Council will consider measures in the 2011-12 Budget process to ensure ongoing adequate funding for Charter Commissions at least every ten years.
December 8th, 2010