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Mayor Wheeler Reassigns Bureaus to Improve Collaboration and Get Results

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Mayor Wheeler Reassigns Bureaus to Improve Collaboration and Get Results

Each commissioner receives new assignments effective September 4.

Portland, OR – Today, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced bureau assignments in a major reorganization meant to improve governance and city-wide collaboration, while generating results on key challenges facing the city.

“Whether it’s improving planning and permitting, enhancing public safety, or maintaining critical infrastructure, the idea is to group like bureaus together under a single commissioner to better align work in important subject areas,” said Wheeler. “While the sheer number of bureaus, combined with the unique skills and interests of each commissioner, means we can’t do that across the board, the assignments I’ve made will lead to improved partnerships among commissioners and better results.”

Mayor Wheeler announced he will assign to himself major planning bureaus, including the Portland Housing Bureau, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Prosper Portland, and – in a new assignment – the Bureau of Development Services. Mayor Wheeler will convene a regular meeting of the directors of these bureaus to significantly reduce the time it takes to bring projects – particularly housing – to market, to reduce the time and bureaucracy around permitting projects within the city, and to jumpstart key economic development opportunities.

Mayor Wheeler announced he will assign the non-police public safety bureaus – Portland Fire and Rescue, Bureau of Emergency Communications, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management, and Fire and Police Disability and Retirement – to Dan Saltzman, with the expectation that the incoming commissioner will take on the assignments in January. The commissioner will include the Portland Police Bureau in efforts to improve the city’s preparedness, emergency response and post-disaster resilience. 

Responsibility for ensuring the city’s infrastructure meets the needs and expectations of residents and businesses is spread across many bureaus. Collaboration among commissioners will be essential to achieve the council’s goals to provide equitable access to transportation options, especially in East Portland; protect our natural areas, maintain stewardship over the environment, and increase public access to the Willamette River; transform the cityscape to reflect our status as a global destination; and implement programs like Build Portland to maintain our commitment to preserving our roads, parks, and other civic infrastructure.

“Portland is transitioning from a big city with a small city feel to a truly global city, and we’re confronted with all the opportunities and difficulties that come with it,” said Mayor Wheeler. “These bureau assignments link the daily management of the city with a vision for the future of Portland as an equitable, sustainable, and economically vibrant city.”

New assignments will take effect on Tuesday, September 4. You can find a complete list of the assignments linked here: