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Category: City Council Review

Shelter Beds Revisited, Marijuana Delivery, and Ocean Ave Outcry – City Council Review 10/16/2023

: After killing the plan to use a limited state of emergency at the Homeless Services Center at the last meeting, Councilor Phillips had a change of heart and asked the Council to reconsider the plan for adding capacity to the shelter at this Monday’s meeting. A parade of neighbors from the Ocean Ave area turned out to oppose new housing construction there, and updates to Portland’s rules around parking, crosswalks, and marijuana delivery were considered and passed.

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State of the City Address, Psilocybin Deprioritization, and Shelter Beds Rejected – City Council Review 10/02/2023

City Council meetings have reverted to in-person only as the norm, and still this meeting brought out heated debate. Following a State of the City address, a years-in-the-making impact study on the effects of Historic Preservation was presented to the Council, with unexpected results. A controversial but non-binding resolution on the “deprioritization” of psychedelic drugs inspired debate, and after a long grappling with the subject, the Council rejects adding more capacity to the Homelessness Services Center. Ashley Keenan fills in for Erica Snyder-Drummond on this week’s City Council Review.


Racist Brigaders, and What is a Tourism District Anyway? – City Council Review 09/18/2023

Only one item of note concerned the City Council’s attention this past Monday, the establishment of a Tourism Development District, but a tsunami of slur-spewing Zoom trolls derailed the meeting. The Council spent an hour in executive session before returning to chambers, guillotining any further comments, and coming to an agonized conclusion on the future of tourism in Portland. Read all about it in Erica Snyder-Drummond’s City Council Review.

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How the Council Votes, and Where They Disagree

The Portland Townsman has reviewed the past six months of City Council meetings to extract each and every vote in which at least one member disagreed with the majority. All of these non-unanimous votes we’ve used to analyze the relative positions of City Councilors and provide context for their disagreements. Read on to see how your Councilors have voted – where it counts.


Encampment Tensions, Quorum Woes, and a Slew of Slurs – City Council Review 09/06/23

At this rare non-Monday meeting, the City Council faces a parade of vulgar racists on Zoom while being short three members. With so many absences, the Council debates the propriety of making important votes without them, and hears a tense update from the Encampment Crisis Response Team following the 9/6 clearing at Fore River. A permanent corporation counsel is also appointed, another charter reform implemented, and the new rent rate announced. All this and more in Erica Snyder-Drummond’s City Council Review.


Asylum Seeker Hospitality, LGBT Senior Housing, & a New Rent Control Referendum – City Council Review 08/14/23 Double Edition

In another double-header meeting, the City Council hears reports on encampments and the imminent closure of the Expo shelter – currently housing nearly 200 asylum seekers. The Equality Community Center receives support for its LGBT senior housing, and a surprising request from the Irish Heritage Center divides the council. Another referendum on rent control is approved for the ballot, conflicts of interest are alleged, and right-wing trolls disrupt the comment section, all in this month’s City Council Review, with Ashley Keenan filling in for Erica Snyder-Drummond.


Budget Passed, Police Raises Disputed, Referendum Reform Scrapped – City Council Review 07/17/23 Double Edition

In a packed City Council meeting – the only one in July – the municipal budget passes with the assistance of state funds, in the process instigating a heated debate over police wages. Appointment of a new Director of Public Works led into communications about homeless encampment response, the Neo-Nazi rally this past April, and property assessments. After vigorous public comment, a late-night debate over council-drafted reforms to Chapter 9 ended with the proposals being unceremoniously killed – likely for good. All this and more in this special, double edition of City Council Review.


New Police Chief, Island Parking Debate, and The Thirsty Pig – City Council Review 06/26/23

At the City Council meeting Monday, June 26th, the Council appointed a new Police Chief – Mark Dubois – and again delayed the municipal budget while hoping for additional state funds. Commercial St. vendors plead for help over homeless crisis, councilors debate what mainland parking island residents are entitled to, and the latest round in a heated dispute over live music at The Thirsty Pig, all in this edition of City Council Review.

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Asylum Seeker Shelter Plan Spurs Confusion and Anger at Emergency Meeting – City Council Review 06/12/2023

At a short-notice and little-publicized City Council meeting assembled to discuss just one item, a raft of criticism was directed at the Council’s decision to enter into a contract to build a 180-bed shelter explicitly for single, non-family asylum seekers in the Riverton neighborhood. The two-hour debate over this approval brought out heartfelt emotions and shocking statistics, but not unity of purpose.