The City Attorney's interpretation of a proposed initiative to revamp Portland's commission-style government and create voting districts blown a few giant holes in the plan.
In the last paragraph of the ballot title (shown in the screenshot above), the attorney concludes that the language in the proposed initiative—submitted by East Portland resident Collene Swenson—would effectively render the city council impotent in the two year period between when the measure goes into effect and the first year of district elections.
"During (the) interim, Council would not have a quorum, could not act, pass ordinances, adopt a budget or establish districts," the ballot title reads. Whoops.
Collene Swenson, the East Portland resident who organized the Portland Community Equality Movement and penned the initiative's language says the city attorney's interpretation is a "monkey wrench" in her plans. She says she's planning on reaching out for help to rework the initiative.
Even though the plan doesn't appear workable, it could still get on the Nov. 2016 ballot if Swenson collects the 31,000-plus signatures needed. Her options are to either soldier on with this ballot title the way it is, challenge the city attorney's interpretation, or withdraw the current initiative and resubmit a new one.