Portland Mayor Kate Snyder, who was elected in 2019 and has one year remaining in her four-year term, announced she will not seek re-election in 2023 through a letter sent out to fellow City Council members.
Over her years in office, Snyder has faced no shortage of obstacles. After all, only a couple of months after she was sworn in the city announced a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many supporters of Snyder have commented on her aptitude for being a peacemaker and facilitating hard conversations around the homelessness crisis, increased crime rates, and staff shortages. While most of these issues are ongoing, Synder has also overseen completed projects, such as spearheading a revival of the Oxford Street Shelter and approving the City Council’s first code of ethics.
Snyder’s announcement came days after she was seen publicly speaking against the Portland Charter Commission’s proposed changes to the mayor’s role. The commission seeks to form a new executive mayor position, which would entail more decision-making power and eliminate the city manager position. The city manager position would be replaced with a chief administrator position that reports to the executive mayor and oversees day-to-day operations. While Snyder has publicly commented that her decision to leave is unrelated to the commission’s recommendation, she has warned voters that an executive mayor position could lead to increased partisanship in local government if locals vote for the commission’s proposal on November 8th. In contrast, members of the Charter Commision attest the change would allow power to be shifted to an elected official rather than left in the hands of appointed positions like city manager.
Synder mentioned she remains committed to her role of mayor throughout the duration of her term and hopes to still confront significant issues in the time she has remaining, such as general assistance, examining whether changes need to be made around the citizens’ initiative process, and how best to respond to asylum seekers. With the Portland mayoral election over a year away, locals are sure to see developments in the following months as candidates begin testing the waters for a run.
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Categories: Local Politics