On Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 2 p.m., Portland City Council will consider the CAO’s recommendation for the City’s organizational structure under the management of a single city administrator.
As part of Portland’s charter reform, the City is working toward transitioning the day-to-day oversight of bureaus to a mayor elected citywide and supported by a professional city administrator. In 2025, the 12-member council will represent their geographic district with a focus on setting policy and engaging with community. Adopting a new organizational structure is a key milestone in implementing voter-approved changes to Portland’s elections and form of government.
Today’s proposed organizational chart and package of investments was built through a nearly-year-long process that included research into peer cities, input from city employees, community feedback, assessments from service area teams led by council offices, and a series of collaborative discussions among bureau directors and council chiefs of staff. The resulting proposal is designed to make the most of Portland’s resources and deliver on voters’ vision for their city government.
Today’s package of announcements also includes a resolution, associated costs and potential funding strategies that will be discussed during a work session Tuesday, Oct. 31, and formally considered the next day.
To inform the final decision, council will consider the following documents as well as public comment on the proposed organizational structure:
- CAO Jordan’s Recommended Organizational Charts (Exhibit A)
- Recommended Changes to the City of Portland’s Organizational Structure Background and Summary Report (Exhibit B)
- City Organization Resolution
- City Organization Fiscal Impact Statement
- Memo by City Budget Office explaining financial plan
Why implement a new structure now?
Planning for the City’s organization began in early 2023, with the goal of being ready for Portland’s new form of government on January 1, 2025. To meet this milestone, council directed CAO Michael Jordan to provide a recommendation in October 2023. The timing of this decision is needed to inform the City’s annual budget process.
The organization structure is needed for several key reasons.
- Setting up the City for success: Other cities and city administrators advised that it is advantageous to set up some structure for the new form of government now, having service areas in place to report to one city administrator.
- Budgeting process: Structural decisions are needed to inform the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 budget process, which is already underway.
- Preparing for 2025: The new organizational structure must be up and running before January 2025. To build trust with the public and incoming elected officials before the City formally transitions to the new form of government, the City must establish a reporting structure that creates clear lines of authority in the executive branch. When final, the organizational structure will show how city services will be managed under a new executive mayor, and how the mayor will be supported by a professional city administrator.
- Aligning city systems: Implementing a new organizational structure requires significant staff time and resources to align human resources, financial, technology and other critical systems.
- Employees: By supporting leaders and employees through change, the City can help them thrive in the new organizational structure.