[Full disclosure: As this article was going to publication, the author was applying for employment with the incoming mayor's administration. -- eds.]
The "$64,000 question" inside city hall, according to a staffer, is when Mayor-elect Sam Adams will dole out bureau assignments.
It's one of the few powers that the mayor has over council colleagues, and Adams is either relishing it—or he still hasn't sorted out who's gonna get what. (More likely theory: Adams is busy cobbling together a local stimulus package of infrastructure projects the city has already funded, but hasn't broken ground on. Accelerating their timelines could keep people working.)
Adams has been coy about his bureau announcement timeline, only publicly noting, to date, that he'll make his announcement after the election.
Well, it's after the election. Adams now knows exactly who will be on the council. He also knows what bureaus they'd like to oversee—Commissioner Nick Fish sure wants to keep the Bureau of Housing, and Commissioner-Elect Amanda Fritz has said she wants the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, and no one else has voiced a challenge to either request. Adams has also noted which bureaus he intends to keep—Transportation, Planning, Management and Finance, Emergency Management. And Adams has already appointed Commissioner Dan Saltzman to head up the Portland Police Bureau.
Which means that there's not a whole lot left to decide, unless Adams plans to do a gigantic reshuffle.
In other words, the final announcement from Adams could be majorly boring. Other than shuffling around smaller bureaus that no one pays much attention to (sorry, Office of Government Relations, you're very important, but it's true), the only big development will likely be which bureau Adams takes out of Saltzman's portfolio, to free him up to be a "nearly full-time" cop commissioner.
Speaking of Saltzman, he's currently reviewing Leonard's final Public Safety Assessment, released on November 13.
The report doesn't differ much from the draft Leonard released in August.
Leonard clarified a recommendation calling for "consistent communication between the city and the county." After several folks pointed out that there's a group—the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council—that kinda does that, Leonard noted that he's calling for something new. The coordinating council "is not comprised of decision makers with the authority necessary to promptly resolve cross-jurisdictional issues," Leonard writes in his report, calling for a new "formal or informal forum... to resolve policy conflicts where they arise."
But unless police officials or Saltzman run with Leonard's recommendations, there's not much else he can do.
"A lot of this stuff can't necessarily be implemented from the council dais," Leonard's staffer Ty Kovatch says. But "he'll continue to assert his perspective when appropriate." I don't doubt it.