Mayor Ted Wheeler is wrapping up his first week on the job, and it's been a busy one. Portland's new leader gave a short press conference this afternoon at City Hall, and here are the highlights.
1 - HOW HE SPENT HIS WEEK
Wheeler was sworn in, assigned bureaus to other city commissioners, met with bureau heads, when to a Portland Police Bureau roll call and met with Chief Mike Marshman. He met with the Urban League, Rosewood Initiative. He met with a transportation crew in East Portland. He went to the Home For Everyone board meeting.
2 - WEATHER PREPARATION ISSUES
It's going to be snowy and icy very soon, and Wheeler wants to get the word out. He's asked the Portland Bureau of Transportation about potentially using salt on some roads.
3 - POLICE ISSUES
Current Police Chief Mike Marshman was appointed by former Mayor Charlie Hales. Wheeler wants to
pick somebody else, and there will be a national search with a public vetting of the finalists (edit: Wheeler spokesman Michael Cox would like to make it clear "Chief Marshman is invited to submit himself for the role and is expected to be top candidate"). He's also planning on working with Marshman to deal with the likely-large Jan. 20 Inauguration Day protest.
4 - WILLAMETTE RIVER CLEANUP
Wheeler talked about what's in this story today.
5 - CHLOE EUDALY, BUREAU OF DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
New Commissioner Chloe Eudaly was appointed to head up the Bureau of Development Services. Wheeler talked about that, and then permitting.
6 - AIRBNB AND SHORT TERM RENTAL REGULATION
"There's the constant issue of Airbnb and its constant impact on the housing supply," Wheeler said. He's had conversations on "enforcement" with them, and has "explored" a "potentially different regulatory framework. The City of Portland has really struggled in terms of regulating short term rentals and it's important to me that we get that right."
7 - HIS BIGGEST MISTAKE SO FAR
Apparently there was a big issue with a meeting Wheeler held with racial justice advocates in the city. More people should have been there, he said.
8 - INAUGURATION INTERRUPTIONS AND SECURITY
Wheeler's inauguration at Jason Lee elementary School was briefly interrupted by activists yelling "stop the sweeps, people are dying on the streets." Wheeler said he understood their point.