During the recent City Council workshop on the relationship between Mayor Ethan Strimling and City Manager Jon Jennings, Jennings complained repeatedly that the mayor was overstepping his role.

As an example, Jennings said that “at a neighborhood advisory meeting, (Strimling) mentioned any CIP (capital improvements) request should now be directed to him as opposed to park city staff. Why he felt it was more important to disrupt the process is beyond me.”

The city manager’s account is not accurate. I personally attended the meeting Jennings mentioned, and Strimling said nothing of the sort. Jennings did not attend the mayor’s July 6 Neighborhood Round Table meeting at City Hall in Room 209.

Strimling simply handed out park Capital Improvement Project Priority request forms to the neighborhood association presidents in attendance and encouraged us to cc him so that he can be aware of neighborhood requests and incorporate them into his guidance to the city manager on next year’s budget.

It seems to me that this was likely a misunderstanding, but these kinds of misunderstandings are inevitable when you refuse to even speak to someone you’re required to collaborate with.

Jennings has openly said that for months, he has refused to even meet with the mayor. Only after a four-hour council workshop with every member of the council urging him to meet would he even consider it.

I urge Jennings to reconsider this combative approach and make a good-faith effort to work with our elected mayor.

Carol Schiller

Portland