There was a recent period of time (going back 50 years, or more) when the civility of holding public office in Portland suggested to those in office that it was inappropriate to endorse or campaign for those seeking election or re-election to the City Council or school board. Of course, there were a few exceptions, but most officeholders understood there were stronger and weaker candidates, there would be losers and there would be an eventual winner.

More importantly, they understood that they would soon need to work with the eventual winners to collegially solve the problems facing the city and our schools. Winners didn’t need the baggage of knowing that some (or many) of the people they would be working with didn’t think they were up to the job.

Moreover, I frankly don’t care who those in office think is best suited to be mayor, on the council or school board. If the incumbent council and school board track record of accomplishment were beyond reproach, perhaps their insights might have value – but it’s clearly not. Most voters can (prefer to) think for themselves.

I suggest we return to the past; let the candidates all speak for themselves; let the voters decide who should hold office, free of the biases of those who presently hold office. In the past this produced councils and school boards of different backgrounds and political persuasions, but men and women who found it easier to work with one another than the present council and board seem to possess.  That’s my view.

Orlando Delogu


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