Many Portlanders thought the idea of an elected mayor was foolish and unnecessary, and our prediction seems to be panning out. Mayor Ethan Strimling disagrees with the City Council on policy issues, the budget and the position of the mayor’s assistant. There is constant sniping and ill will. How does the work of the city happen under such strained circumstances?

Strimling’s reasons for wanting an assistant are not compelling, and it’s ludicrous and puzzling for him to say that eliminating the position “undermines democracy.” Come again?

Barbara Doughty