Mayoral candidates Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith take a shot at Street Roots’ questions for the future of Portland.
5. MAYORAL CANDIDATES ONLY: Previous mayors, including Mayor Sam Adams, have spent countless hours and community capital in crafting city plans, only to see them pushed aside and replaced when someone new takes office. If elected, would you follow the current The Portland Plan as drafted, or would you create a new plan forward? If so, what would that plan be?
Charlie Hales: As Mayor I would use the Portland Plan as a framework in moving forward. We’ve done enough planning in this city over the past eight years. It’s time to implement, starting with the very basics that will help make all our neighborhoods safe, livable and thriving.
Jefferson Smith: I will work to build upon the work rather than restart it. The issue is not one of developing plans, but of implementing them. The Portland Plan was an exhaustive look at our city’s needs with significant outreach to many people and communities. But there has been too little work done to implement its recommendations. Far too few of our citizens are civically engaged and do not participate in the hard work of governing our city. There are limits to what city employees can do; there are far fewer limits on what 580,000 citizens of Portland can accomplish if we work together.
As mayor, my charge would be to analyze recommendations from the Portland Plan and put the best of them into action, developing specific goals, objectives and strategies that will address the needs of our citizens and our city. As part of my transition plan if elected, I will have a broad swath of citizens (and not just political people) analyzing each bureau, looking at current or past recommendations, determining the needs of our citizens and establishing our game plan moving forward. Plans are effective tools for determining what needs to be done. The hard work comes at implementing them and that is the area I will focus on as mayor.