The Portland City Council this week is going to vote on all of the various pieces that make up city's plans for coping with all manner of tragedies: earthquakes, floods, terrorism, etc. Sounds grim, yes. But in reality, it'll all be pretty dry.

So why should you care? Two reasons. Tucked into city code are a pair of interesting little nuggets. First is the line of succession in Portland should the unthinkable happen and the mayor find himself among the first wave of casualties. After Sam Adams, it goes like this:

1. The President of the Council (Randy Leonard); 2. The council member who has most recently served as President of the Council (Dan Saltzman); 3. The council member holding the position with the lowest number (Amanda Fritz—this doesn't make clear where Nick Fish would fit in...); 4. The first of the city officials in the order listed in Section 2-206(9) of the charter of the city of Portland (city auditor (LaVonne Griffin-Valade), city attorney (Linda Meng), chief administrative officer of Office of Management and Finance (Ken Rust), executive assistants (ie, chiefs of staff) of disabled Council members in the order of their seniority as an executive assistant).

Second is an enumeration of what kinds of powers we'd cede to whoever emerged as mayor during an emergency. Among them:


And then there's also these: