One year after voters approved dramatic changes to Portland’s elections and form of government, the Portland City Council decided how to organize city government to help bring that vision to life.
At a meeting Wednesday, council passed a resolution approving a revised organizational chart to unify bureaus, programs and services under the leadership of a city administrator. Organized by service areas, the new model establishes key leadership positions and realigns core services to operate efficiently and effectively.
Mayor Ted Wheeler said the council must meet a January 2025 deadline to launch the new form of government, as directed by their employers: the people of Portland.
“This is a very short timeline for the level of institutional change that is required by our employers, and so we are doing our level-best,” Wheeler said at the meeting. “This isn’t the end of the discussion. There will be opportunities at future dates to be able to reframe, change or evolve the structure.”
Approved by Portland voters in November 2022, the new form of government formally launches Jan. 1, 2025. Between now and then, Chief Administrative Officer Michael Jordan will lead implementation of the new organizational chart in consultation with the city council.
In February 2023, council assigned Jordan to recommend a new structure for the city. Under his direction, the city’s transition team worked with city leaders, council offices and employees to complete a series of programmatic assessments and researched best practices from other cities. Jordan also considered employee survey feedback and community comments.
Over the last month, more than 700 employee and community questions and comments were submitted, which informed the final draft that Jordan shared with council for their consideration this week.
“We appreciate the careful consideration and time spent by the mayor and city council to reach this important milestone,” Jordan said. “Due to the timing of the city’s budget planning cycle, this decision is critical to the success of Portland’s government transition.”
Wednesday’s vote provides lead time to implement complex organizational changes, support employees and inform the budget process during the transition to a new form of government.
Source: City of Portland