The Portland City Council has boxed itself into a corner. And instead of directly confronting their role in determining whether or not a citizen-requested referendum regarding public financing of municipal elections is finally placed on the ballot after two years, they attempt to distract by focusing on whether a particular councilor should be allowed to deliberate on the matter.

I watched the previous council meeting when they initially voted not to place the fair elections referendum on the ballot. It was very difficult for me to discern the basis on which they failed to do so. I left the meeting thinking, “Somebody really doesn’t like this idea.” They didn’t spend a lot of time or effort articulating the basis on which they voted.

I don’t know how members of this council who oppose sending the issue to the voters will be able to articulate their reasoning or the reasoning of the previous council, since there is scanty basis on which to oppose.

A system of public financing of municipal elections can only expand the field of talent of potential elected officials. That’s a good thing . Let the voters decide.

Susie Crimmins

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