Politics

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler keeps control of police, hands off housing bureau in city bureau shake-up

By Rebecca Ellis (OPB)
Dec. 23, 2020 10:39 p.m. Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 11:23 p.m.

The change comes as incoming commissioners Mingus Mapps and Carmen Rubio prepare to take their seats on council next week.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced a shake-up of bureau assignments Wednesday as incoming commissioners Mingus Mapps and Carmen Rubio prepare to take their seats on council next week.

Under Portland’s unique commission form of government, each council member runs a portfolio of city bureaus. The mayor has the power to decide how bureaus get allocated among commissioners.

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With Mapps and Rubio stepping into council seats previously held by Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Chloe Eudaly at the beginning of the new year, the mayor’s office announced the reshuffle of assignments.

Wheeler will hold on to the Portland Police Bureau despite repeated requests by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty for control of the force. Hardesty, a prominent critic of the police’s handling of months of racial justice protests, had gone so far as to craft a 30-day proposal back in the fall, outlining the changes she wanted to make to the bureau.

But while the mayor ultimately refused to part with the force, he did hand off another significant bureau previously under his control. Commissioner Dan Ryan will now oversee the city’s housing bureau.

Ryan, who stepped into office in September, will now lead a portfolio of bureaus related to housing and homelessness. He will continue overseeing the Joint Office of Homeless Services and the Bureau of Development Services, responsible for construction permits and code compliance among other duties, and will continue to serve as a liaison to Home Forward, the county’s public housing authority, and a Home for Everyone, alongside Wheeler.

In an emailed statement, Ryan said he looked forward to working with housing bureau director Shannon Callahan and the council planned to go into the new year with their focus trained on the issues of houselessness, economic survival recovery, and community safety.

“These priorities will require shared responsibility and collaboration--as no singular office, sector, or political point of view has all the answers,” he wrote.

Incoming commissioner Rubio will oversee the Parks & Recreation Bureau, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Office of Community Technology. Rubio said she was “thrilled” with her portfolio and believed the incoming council was well-poised to tackle pressing issues of equity and economic security. The mayor handed Mapps the water bureau, the Bureau of Environmental Services, which oversees waste and stormwater, and the Bureau of Emergency Communications.

The Office of Civic Life, where Mapps used to work overseeing the city’s crime prevention program, went to Hardesty, as did the bureau of transportation.

Hardesty saw most of her portfolio switched up with the Bureau of Emergency Communications, the Bureau of Emergency Management, and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability moved out of her office. She held on to the Fire and Rescue bureau.

A full list of the council members’ new bureaus and liaison responsibilities can be found below:

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

Bureaus

  • Portland Bureau of Transportation
  • Portland Fire & Rescue
  • Office of Community and Civic Life

Liaison Responsibilities

  • Portland Mall Management, Inc.
  • Portland Aerial Tram Board
  • Portland Streetcar, Inc.
  • Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation
  • Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (with Mayor Wheeler)
  • Public Involvement Advisory Council
  • Regional Disaster Policy Organization
  • Fair & Moral Claims Committee
  • New Portlanders Policy Council

Commissioner Mingus Mapps

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Bureaus

  • Portland Water Bureau
  • Bureau of Environmental Services
  • Bureau of Emergency Communications

Liaison Responsibilities

  • Travel Portland
  • Visitors Development Fund
  • BOEC User Board
  • Fair & Moral Claims Committee

Commissioner Carmen Rubio

Bureaus

  • Portland Parks & Recreation
  • Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • Office of Community Technology

Liaison Responsibilities

  • Regional Arts and Culture Council
  • Portland’5 Centers for the Arts
  • Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission
  • Portland Community Media
  • League of Cities
  • Metro Policy Advisory Council

Commissioner Dan Ryan

Bureaus

  • Portland Housing Bureau
  • Bureau of Development Services
  • Joint Office of Homeless Services

Liaison Responsibilities

  • Rose Festival
  • Portland Children’s Levy
  • Home Forward
  • Multnomah County Animal Control
  • Multnomah Youth Commission
  • Royal Rosarians
  • A Home For Everyone (with Mayor Wheeler)

Mayor Ted Wheeler

Bureaus

  • City Budget Office
  • Office of Management and Finance
  • Office of Government Relations
  • Office of the City Attorney
  • Portland Police Bureau
  • Prosper Portland
  • Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
  • Office of Equity and Human Rights
  • Office of Violence Prevention

Liaison Responsibilities

  • Regional Disaster Policy Organization
  • A Home For Everyone (with Commissioner Ryan)
  • Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (with Commissioner Hardesty)
  • Venture Portland
  • Human Rights Commission

This story will be updated.

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