Nominate Chris Oxley to the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission to fill a City of Portland Position


WHEREAS, through the 1989 Intergovernmental Agreement Regarding Consolidation of Regional Convention, Trade, Spectator and Performing Arts, the City and Metro established the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission (MERC) to provide oversight and direction on the ongoing operations of visitor facilities owned by the parties, and agreed on the management of those facilities; and

WHEREAS, Metro Code Section 6.01.030 requires the City Council to nominate candidates to fill two MERC positions allocated to the City of Portland, the Metro Council President to concur with or reject such nomination, and the Metro Council to confirm the appointment; and

WHEREAS, David Martinez, who had represented the City of Portland on the Commission since May 2022, has retired from the Commission as of December 2023; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Dan Ryan have reviewed Mr. Oxley’s professional qualifications and experience and found that Mr. Oxley is a highly qualified candidate to represent the City on the Commission and meets the Metro Code's residency requirement; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Wheeler recommends the City Council nominate Mr. Oxley to fill the City of Portland MERC position for the remainder of the vacant four-year term ending on September 25, 2024; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor recommends Mr. Oxley be appointed to MERC, subject to the Metro Council President’s concurrence and the Metro Council's confirmation; and

WHEREAS, in Resolution 37148, the City Council adopted a process for MERC nominations and the Mayor had followed this process, including confirming the City’s MERC nomination through a Resolution.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council nominates Chris Oxley to represent the City of Portland as a member of the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission to serve the remainder of the four-year term which began on September 26, 2020 and will end on September 25, 2024, subject to concurrence by the Metro Council President and confirmation by the Metro Council.

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

The City of Portland is allocated two positions on the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission (MERC); David Martinez had served as a member of the commission since May 2022, and recently stepped down part way through his term. This resolution nominates Chris Oxley to fill the remainder of the four-year term vacated by Mr. Martinez which ends on September 25, 2024.

Biography: Mr. Oxley is a seasoned sports and entertainment industry executive and has been professionally involved with arts, culture and entertainment at a large scale in Portland for many years. His relevant experience includes serving as General Manager of the Rose Quarter and Senior Vice President of the Portland Trail Blazers and Rip City Management and more than a decade. He has extensive experience with travel and tourism enterprises both domestically and internationally. Mr. Oxley brings deep industry and community connections that will be beneficial to serving on MERC.

Statement of Interest: Mr. Oxley welcomes the opportunity to apply his expertise to the MERC board to further Portland's economic and artistic future.

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

This resolution has no direct financial impact on the City.  However, MERC oversees the operation of the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, the facilities of which are owned by the City of Portland, under an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City and Metro.  The annual budget and long-term financial health of the Portland’5 is largely controlled by MERC. 

The financial health of many of our region’s venues, including those overseen by MERC, is facing significant challenges exacerbated by the slower than desired recovery of the travel and tourism industry among other factors. Mr. Oxley, with valuable organizational leadership experience and extensive community and professional connections, will be an invaluable member on the commission as the venues continue to face challenges during the coming years.

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

This resolution does not have direct or specific community impacts and no formal public input was sought in recommending Mr. Oxley for appointment to the Commission. However, Mr. Oxley has the professional qualifications and experience necessary to assist in overseeing the City’s interest in these functions as a voting member of MERC. 

100% Renewable Goal

Not applicable. 

Document History

Item 171 Regular Agenda in February 21, 2024 Council Agenda

City Council


  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Absent
  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Absent
  • Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea


Karl Lisle

Spectator Venues Program Manager

Requested Agenda Type


Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Time Requested
10 minutes