The hastily arranged plan by City Councilor Belinda Ray to remove a city employee from his post is head-spinning to me.

In a city where the elected mayor lacks even a budget for office supplies, is allowing him a single assistant such a threat to our city budget? That role serves as resource to both the mayor and the City Council. So in Ray’s rush to abolish his job, I ask: Why now, and for what reason? Why is Councilor Ray just now crusading for the removal of a city employee she helped to hire?

In a discussion this week, the councilwoman was polite and professional, yet expressed little concern over the removal of a civil servant.

In a city rapidly changing in a near vacuum of leadership, this is what our City Council chooses to spend its time on? Where are the discussions regarding our crumbling streets and sidewalks, our lack of well-paid jobs and alleviating the heavy burden placed on property owners? In fretting over banal, non-existent issues, our City Council has become cringe worthy to watch in action, a Band-Aid parliament seemingly afraid to do its job, so why not dabble in selective dismissal?

On Monday, the sudden, unjustified removal of an individual city employee will be a top priority on the council’s agenda. And, not surprisingly, City Councilor David Brenerman reportedly just happens to have an additional amendment queued up, authorizing the creation and hiring of a second “waterfront coordinator.” Happenstance, collusion or just murky politics?

I ask my neighbors and fellow Portland residents to raise a louder voice on this and other issues, and to fix the problem that is our city government. Until we do, City Hall will continue to be a ghost town of ideas and leadership.

Jay Norris

Portland