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6 ~ Peaks Island

P ~ B ~ 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7 ~ 8 ~ C

In lieu of any snazzy diagrams, enjoy this delightful 19th century illustration of Peak’s [sic] Island, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Luckily, despite most of these questions being thorny knots to untangle, this one will leave our fingers unbloody.

Peaks Island, having unique needs and perspectives, currently has an elected body of representatives called the Peaks Island Council. It was established after many rounds of an extended secessionist row between the island and Portland proper. This council acts as an advisory body to the City Council, coming to conclusions about the best policies for Portland to adopt regarding their island home. The Council is not under any legal obligation to adhere to the decisions reached by the islanders, but, usually, they do.

Currently, this council is established by statute, in the Portland Code of Ordinances. What the sixth proposed reform from the Charter Commission would do is also embed the existence of the council into the Charter itself. To draw an analogy to United States federal law, imagine amending the Constitution to ensure that the EPA exists. Technically redundant, as the EPA already exists by ordinary law, but entrenching it in the Constitution would just make that all the more secure.


Why might you vote in favor? If you consider the Peaks Island Council to be a good thing, and think it should be extra secure in its legal mandate.

Why might you vote against? If you consider the Peaks Island Council to be a good thing, but that it isn’t necessary to embed its existence into the Charter. It might bind the hands of future city governments, and we don’t know what the circumstances then will be. Or maybe you just don’t like the Peaks Island Council at all.


Next Section: 7 ~ Police Oversight

Background ~ What is the Charter Commission?
1 ~ The Land Acknowledgement
2 ~ Governance
3 ~ Elections
4 ~ Voting
5 ~ The School Budget
6 ~ Peaks Island
7 ~ Police Oversight
8 ~ The Ethics Commission
Conclusion & Opinion

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