For this week’s episode, Portland Press Herald City Hall reporter Randy Billings joined Editorial Page Editor Greg Kesich to explain our city’s unique government structure and how it may contribute to drama in a municipal government with no partisan difference.

This week’s fight was over the city budget… kind of. The city council passed a $240 million annual budget with a very small cut (.02% of the budget) that exposed deep discord: they eliminated a position for Mayor Ethan Strimling’s assistant, which was held by Jason Shedlock. Now Strimling is threatening to veto, an act that would likely be symbolic since the council has the right to override.

The arrangement of our city council, mayor, and city manager has lead to confusion over job roles and decision making power. On this episode Billings opens up his reporter’s notebook from the fraught budget debate, explains why the two men who have held the new-ish role of elected mayor have interpreted the job description differently, and how the city might solve this confusing issue.

Related:

Portland Mayor Strimling says he may veto budget over council’s vote to cut his assistant

Portland councilor: Use funding for mayor’s aide to hire waterfront manager instead

Portland council confirms Jon Jennings as new city manager

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