Mayor Ted Wheeler has reassigned all 27 city bureaus to himself until the city's 2018 budget is approved. In a Friday executive order, Wheeler announced that after the budget passes a council vote, his office will reassign the bureaus back to his fellow commissioners.
Wheeler will release his proposed budget on Monday, April 30, and the council is expect to vote on the final city budget on May 16.
Former Mayor Charlie Hales said this process is meant to unify city commissioners, allowing them to shed some of their bureau's biases before making a vote that affects the entire city.
It's unclear if commissioners will be assigned the same bureaus they've led since after the budget's approved. After the 2017 budget vote last June, Wheeler made the unprecedented decision to leave Comissioner Amanda Fritz with only one bureau to manage, Portland Parks and Recreation.
According to Sophia June, a spokesperson for the mayor's office, Wheeler has yet to decided on reassignments.
"[Wheeler] is taking into account the fact that one member of City Council is leaving and reviewing different options and scenarios for bureau assignments," writes June in a statement to the Mercury. "Some commissioners may retain bureaus they had in their portfolio, but that isn’t guaranteed or certain at this time."
Before today's decision, Wheeler was already in change of an unusually large number of city bureaus. During his "State of the City" address earlier this month, Wheeler hinted that he wasn't entirely comfortable leading the Portland Police Bureau while also being Portland's mayor, calling the contradicting roles "fraught with peril and contradictions.”