Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Charter commission's composition pre-determined revisions

One big reason the recommendations of the 25-member Mayor’s Charter Review Commission ignored the interests of neighborhoods may be that only two members were identified with neighborhoods.

Here are the two, as they were listed the official résumés accompanying the press announcement of commission members:

Jillian Detweiler. Employed by TriMet, she has served as an assistant to former City Commissioner Charlie Hales, and is a past board member of the Southeast Uplift and Brooklyn Neighborhood Association.

Robin Plance. A maintenance supervisor, he has served with the Gresham Optimist Club; St. Johns Neighborhood Association Board and Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group.

And that’s it.

The other 23 commissioners were seemingly appointed for their trade or labor affiliations, ethic group, non-profit work etc.

All well and good, but when it came time to offer some form of representation for neighborhoods in a new charter, the overwhelming majority had little reason to speak up. And they didn’t.

This is why jury selection is so important in determining verdicts.

It should have come as no surprise that the verdict of the charter commission would exclude neighborhood (and neighborhood coalition) representation and power from a new city council.

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