City government – Devolved http://devolved.net/ Mon, 26 Sep 2022 14:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://devolved.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-32x32.png City government – Devolved http://devolved.net/ 32 32 Citizen Agenda: How can the City of Mansfield government and the school system work together? | Solutions https://devolved.net/citizen-agenda-how-can-the-city-of-mansfield-government-and-the-school-system-work-together-solutions/ Mon, 26 Sep 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/citizen-agenda-how-can-the-city-of-mansfield-government-and-the-school-system-work-together-solutions/ Country the United States of AmericaUS Virgin IslandsU.S. Minor Outlying IslandsCanadaMexico, United Mexican StatesBahamas, Commonwealth ofCuba, Republic ofDominican RepublicHaiti, Republic ofJamaicaAfghanistanAlbania, People’s Socialist Republic ofAlgeria, People’s Democratic Republic ofAmerican SamoaAndorra, Principality ofAngola, Republic ofAnguillaAntarctica (the territory south of 60 degrees S)Antigua and BarbudaArgentina, Argentine RepublicArmeniaArubaAustralia, Commonwealth ofAustria, Republic ofAzerbaijan, Republic ofBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladesh, People’s Republic […]]]>

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Wagoner calls for more transparency in city government, murky over details https://devolved.net/wagoner-calls-for-more-transparency-in-city-government-murky-over-details/ Sat, 24 Sep 2022 12:01:44 +0000 https://devolved.net/wagoner-calls-for-more-transparency-in-city-government-murky-over-details/ As a candidate for Bartlesville City Council, Chelsie Wagoner is positioning herself as the “Constitutional Conservative” choice and championing the cause of greater transparency at all levels of government. She will face Loren Roszel for the Ward 2 seat in the November 8 election. “I think every form of government lacks transparency to the extent […]]]>

As a candidate for Bartlesville City Council, Chelsie Wagoner is positioning herself as the “Constitutional Conservative” choice and championing the cause of greater transparency at all levels of government.

She will face Loren Roszel for the Ward 2 seat in the November 8 election.

“I think every form of government lacks transparency to the extent it should be,” she said.

More transparency needed in the budget

Wagoner is also calling for more transparency in the city budget due to concerns expressed to him by unnamed sources and after a review of past budgets for the city of Bartlesville.

“The distribution of what we provide to departments, I feel like it’s not adequate for every department. There are some that I feel like you’re given properly, and then there there are other departments that are not given enough,” she said. .

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Migrant costs to El Paso city government could reach $10 million in September https://devolved.net/migrant-costs-to-el-paso-city-government-could-reach-10-million-in-september/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/migrant-costs-to-el-paso-city-government-could-reach-10-million-in-september/ The city government of El Paso could spend $10 million this month to process and transport recently arrived migrants, 10 times the amount spent between 2019 and August of this year, officials said. The rising costs — now reaching $300,000 a day and expected to rise — come as city officials express concern that the […]]]>

The city government of El Paso could spend $10 million this month to process and transport recently arrived migrants, 10 times the amount spent between 2019 and August of this year, officials said.

The rising costs — now reaching $300,000 a day and expected to rise — come as city officials express concern that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is taking months to reimburse expenses.

“I don’t think anyone is expecting relief any time soon. Obviously we’ve been in close contact with the feds on some sort of overall issue, but I don’t think anyone is expecting that. may it get better soon,” Robert Cortinas, the city government‘s chief financial officer, said Monday.

Border Patrol officials said they apprehended more than 1,300 migrants a day in the El Paso area, many from Venezuela. This has led to large numbers of migrants being released onto the streets of El Paso because the Border Patrol central processing center and shelters run by non-governmental organizations are at capacity.

Immigrant advocates said Venezuelan migrants differ from Central Americans who have accounted for much of the migration to the southwestern border over the past decade.

Venezuelans are less likely to have established family networks in the United States and more likely to have little money when they arrive in the United States, making it harder for them to leave the border after crossing.

Moreover, because their home country refuses to accept the American return of its nationals and Mexico is reluctant to receive them, Venezuelans have generally not been deported from the United States under Title 42, a law of public health invoked since 2020 to prevent migrants from many other countries from entering the United States.

This means that Venezuelans must be processed by Border Patrol and – unless they have a criminal record or are determined to pose some kind of threat – released to the United States while the courts of the immigration examine their case.

Reuters reported last week that the United States had asked Mexico to agree to more deportations of Venezuelans, Cubans and Nicaraguans under Title 42, despite the Biden administration’s public stance that it was trying to end the use of the controversial program launched by the Trump administration.

Data released Monday by Customs and Border Protection showed that the number of Venezuelans encountered by Border Patrol and CBP agents in the El Paso area — which includes far west Texas and all of New -Mexico – reached over 3,500 in August.

That’s twice as many encounters with Venezuelans in the El Paso area as in the previous three years combined. Data for September’s fixtures won’t be released until next month, but will likely be much higher than August’s figures.

Many migrants who were unable to enter the shelters have congregated outside the Greyhound bus station over the past two weeks, but city officials said over the weekend they had moved people from the encampment to shelters and hotels.

The bulk of the city‘s spending went to charter buses to take migrants to other communities. The city has sent 59 buses to New York and four to Chicago since early September, ferrying 2,950 migrants to those destinations, city spokeswoman Laura Cruz-Acosta said Monday.

She said the city currently averages six charter buses a day. El Paso officials said people boarding the buses are headed to desired destinations and local officials are working with host cities to ensure the correct services are available at the end of the trip.

Although expensive, charter buses are the most efficient way to move large numbers of migrants to their preferred destinations, Cortinas said.

“We are currently trying to assess other potential options, other alternatives to offer, whether it is on a train or another means of transport to help these people get to where they are trying to get, “said he declared.

The city has had to divert resources, particularly from public safety functions, to help with migrant processing, housing, food and transportation.

“It’s fire, police, public health, Sun Metro. Right now almost every department is affected,” Cortinas said.

A sign provides location information and transportation services for migrants arriving at the city’s welcome center in northeast El Paso on Friday, September 15. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it would reimburse cities – both at the border and inland – for costs incurred in helping large numbers of border commuters.

But city officials say it took months to get reimbursement from FEMA. The federal agency last week reimbursed $84,526 for expenses incurred in the last three months of 2021, 221 days after the claim was filed. That was almost two months longer than it took to process two more 2021 refunds that totaled nearly $160,000.

Cortinas said the city has been discussing with FEMA ways to speed up reimbursements, especially as costs rise.

“Right now, we’re reimbursing on a quarterly basis. We talked about it, can we make a monthly repayment? Is there a possibility to make payments in advance, at least for part of the cost? ” he said.

FEMA officials, which also respond to major disasters in Alaska and Puerto Rico, said they could not immediately respond to questions from El Paso Matters about the city’s concerns about refunds.

Cortinas said the city government‘s support for migrants passing through El Paso was the right thing to do.

“I’ve read articles, and you’ve read comments about people saying, why are we doing this? Why are we funding it? Well, because this is our community,” he said, adding that the city “just provides safety, well-being, not only for the people who live here, but also for the people who travel and try to get to their own destination. ”

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Downtown Auburn set to get brewery and new restaurants after city government moves to outskirts of town | New https://devolved.net/downtown-auburn-set-to-get-brewery-and-new-restaurants-after-city-government-moves-to-outskirts-of-town-new/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 18:45:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/downtown-auburn-set-to-get-brewery-and-new-restaurants-after-city-government-moves-to-outskirts-of-town-new/ Country the United States of AmericaUS Virgin IslandsU.S. Minor Outlying IslandsCanadaMexico, United Mexican StatesBahamas, Commonwealth ofCuba, Republic ofDominican RepublicHaiti, Republic ofJamaicaAfghanistanAlbania, People’s Socialist Republic ofAlgeria, People’s Democratic Republic ofAmerican SamoaAndorra, Principality ofAngola, Republic ofAnguillaAntarctica (the territory south of 60 degrees S)Antigua and BarbudaArgentina, Argentine RepublicArmeniaArubaAustralia, Commonwealth ofAustria, Republic ofAzerbaijan, Republic ofBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladesh, People’s Republic […]]]>

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Former residents of HCMC settlement call on municipal government to seek justice — Radio Free Asia https://devolved.net/former-residents-of-hcmc-settlement-call-on-municipal-government-to-seek-justice-radio-free-asia/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 05:27:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/former-residents-of-hcmc-settlement-call-on-municipal-government-to-seek-justice-radio-free-asia/ Former residents of a settlement that has been at the center of a long-running land dispute have sent a petition to the Ho Chi Minh City government and government agencies in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi after a meeting with local authorities failed. failed to decide that they had been unfairly expelled. The results of the August […]]]>

Former residents of a settlement that has been at the center of a long-running land dispute have sent a petition to the Ho Chi Minh City government and government agencies in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi after a meeting with local authorities failed. failed to decide that they had been unfairly expelled.

The results of the August 18 meeting with Tan Binh district officials were released five days later and reaffirmed the view that the Loc Hung vegetable garden settlement was built on land administered by the State.

A group of 72 households, who said they were ‘cheated’, are calling on Ho Chi Minh City government officials to resolve the land rights issue and compensate them for damages caused by their eviction by the district government early 2019.

Cao Ha Truc leads the group of households that signed the petition, which accuses the Tan Binh district government of causing damage and loss.

“As victims, we stand up to denounce the district government. Therefore, the city government, or at least another central agency, needs to address this issue,” he told RFA.

“The district government cannot beat the drum and denounce at the same time, destroying people’s homes,” he said, saying lawyers consulted by former residents said Tan Binh authorities do not were not objective in their opinions at the August meeting.

“They posted a notice that Loc Hung Vegetable Garden is state-run land. The group of lawyers therefore declared that it was a fraudulent meeting, sowing confusion among the [evicted residents].”

The petition claims that Loc Hung’s vegetable garden is “land that people have used lawfully, long-term and unchallenged, based on the law of the land.”

“People who use this land are eligible to obtain land use rights but, for more than 20 years, the inhabitants of the Loc Hung vegetable garden have been harassed by the [district] government and unable to resolve their legitimate grievances. »

The petition also reiterates that the January 4-8, 2019 eviction by the Tan Binh District government was cruel and used illegal coercion and enormous trouble for the 124 households living on the land.

Former residents accused the district government of using propaganda to publicize their legal actions, providing information and images to newspapers and radio stations to influence public opinion.

The petition asked the Government Inspectorate to review the Loc Hung vegetable garden project as soon as possible to enforce the owners’ legal rights. He demanded that the authorities of Tan Binh district and the government of Ho Chi Minh City release legal documents and documents on the ongoing redevelopment project, and detailing the allocation of land and the amount of compensation to to offer.

The former residents also asked the chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to meet with them to hear their complaints and demands.

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New Pärnu city government coalition emerges, Center exits, Isamaa enters | Policy https://devolved.net/new-parnu-city-government-coalition-emerges-center-exits-isamaa-enters-policy/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 04:41:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/new-parnu-city-government-coalition-emerges-center-exits-isamaa-enters-policy/ The Pärnu Ühendab electoral alliance, led by the city’s mayor, Romek Kosenkranius, on Wednesday signed the coalition agreement with the Reform Party and Isamaa, which the mayor said represents no significant change from the one signed in last November following the local elections in the fall. Kosenkranius told ETV news program “Aktuaalne kaamera” (AK) that: […]]]>

The Pärnu Ühendab electoral alliance, led by the city’s mayor, Romek Kosenkranius, on Wednesday signed the coalition agreement with the Reform Party and Isamaa, which the mayor said represents no significant change from the one signed in last November following the local elections in the fall.

Kosenkranius told ETV news program “Aktuaalne kaamera” (AK) that: “Isamaa’s proposals under the coalition agreement were quite similar to what we discussed before. There is no there have been no major changes, and Pärnu will continue on the same path.”

“However, there are several important nuances regarding green energy, kindergarten fees and the issue of the Pärnu bridge which have also been made more concrete,” he added.

The city had recently requested 25 million euros from the state, in order to go ahead with the new bridge and in the wake of soaring construction prices.

Council President Andrei Korobeinik (Centre) wrote an opinion piece for the ERR late last week that signaled the impending change of power, although Mayor Kosenkranius denied at the time that he was trying to replace the Center in the coalition.

Korobeinik faces a vote of no confidence today, Thursday, but says he has no intention of responding in kind to Kosenkranius.

Korobeinik, a former MP, told AK that: “The mayor is lying or has gaps in his memory. As a native of Pärnu, I am very worried that the city has a mayor like this. So we will try determine the situation, and see what happens.”

Andres Metsoja, who signed the coalition agreement on behalf of the new Isamaa, agreed that there would be no major changes to the developments planned for the city of around 40,000 people as outlined in the agreement previous coalition.

Metsoja also sits in the Riigikogu, although he is also likely to be chairman of the Pärnu council – MPs can also hold local council seats, and around half of them do.

Agnes Pulk, chairwoman of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) council, also accused Mayor Kosenkranius of long-term corruption, dishonesty and violation of regulations.

Electoral alliances such as Pärnu Ühendab are common in local governments and often result in a coalition with major national parties.

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A combination of factors is driving staffing shortages in municipal government – ​​Indianapolis Business Journal https://devolved.net/a-combination-of-factors-is-driving-staffing-shortages-in-municipal-government-indianapolis-business-journal/ Fri, 09 Sep 2022 18:00:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/a-combination-of-factors-is-driving-staffing-shortages-in-municipal-government-indianapolis-business-journal/ The combination of a pandemic hiring freeze, an early retirement program and a national desire for higher salaries has left parts of the Indianapolis government struggling for staff. Ken Clark Over the past two years, the city has seen some of its highest vacancy rates in decades, Comptroller Ken Clark said. Exact data isn’t available, […]]]>

The combination of a pandemic hiring freeze, an early retirement program and a national desire for higher salaries has left parts of the Indianapolis government struggling for staff.

Ken Clark

Over the past two years, the city has seen some of its highest vacancy rates in decades, Comptroller Ken Clark said. Exact data isn’t available, but Clark said the last time city workers recall seeing vacancy rates approaching 20% ​​was in the 1990s.

Although some progress has been made, the vacancy rate was still nearly 19% at the end of June, with 1,667 of 8,972 vacancies unfilled.

“We fought through ’21 and most of ’22 to fill vacancies,” Clark said.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the city had frozen hiring in most departments except the Public Works and Public Safety departments.

The city has seen little attrition for most of this year, Clark said. Then officials launched an early retirement plan in October, which offered 190 employees over the age of 55 a buyout. All 190 accepted the offer, which cost the city $12 million.

“We were looking to consolidate the city [financially]and we had no idea we were going to get [more] federal money of any kind to help us,” he said.

Some city officials now regret the buyout program, he said, which was proposed in preparation for the post-pandemic budget shortages the city is expected to face this year.

“Would I like to have some of these employees now?” Yes, I know that,” Clark said. “I know there are department heads who would say the same thing. It was a blow from which it will take a long time to recover, just because these people had a lot of experience and they have been here for a long time and it is difficult to lose them.

Alexis Pflum walks with Birdie at Indianapolis Animal Care Services on South Harding Street. (IBJ Photo/Eric Learned)

Clark said it was still the right move for October 2020 because the administration could not predict the amount of federal funding it would ultimately receive or the currently tight labor market and the lure of better-paying jobs.

As the pandemic continued, many employees left government jobs. A decline in concerns about health and stability has led some workers to prioritize higher-paying private sector roles over high-paying, lower-paying urban jobs.

The rollout of a new pay scale and an updated compensation plan has helped recently, Clark said.

For example, the starting wage for employees of the Mayor’s Action Center call center has increased from $13 to $16 per hour. Veterinary technicians in animal care services have seen their salaries increase by double digits. Clark said these changes immediately led to a larger pool of applicants.

“We are seeing improvements in the pockets, attracting more applicants in certain areas,” he said. “Other areas that I get complaints about, that we don’t get any candidates.”

The city also added some benefits, including new paid vacations, floating vacations and parental leave, Clark said.

The city is also in the midst of a compensation study, expected to be completed this month, that will help determine where compensation is lacking.

Competition between counties

Ryan Mears

Some sectors of the municipal administration could not wait for the results of the study on salaries. In January, starting salaries for attorneys in the public defender’s and prosecutor’s offices were increased from $53,000 to $60,000.

“I did it off plan due to their desperate need to hire,” Clark said.

But Marion County District Attorney Ryan Mears and Chief Public Defender Bob Hill say the pay raise is still not enough to compete for skilled workers.

While private-sector attorney jobs will always pay more than county jobs, Mears said, neighboring counties pay entry-level public defenders and prosecutors salaries of $70,000. Qualified people who want to serve the public can move outside of Marion County and maintain a better quality of life, he said.

Bob Hill

Additionally, Mears said, prosecutors in Marion County are being criticized more than in other counties, due to the attention paid to crime in Indianapolis.

“You put a lot of time and energy and effort into your work, and people respond with criticism,” he said.

Six of Mears’ employees left under the early retirement offer in 2020.

At the Public Defenders Agency budget hearing, Hill said he saw quality employees leave due to low pay.

“One of our most trusted and valued investigative paralegals recently left our job, and as she walks through the door, tears are in her eyes. But she has a family to support,” Hill said. “She can go get a job at Butler University, earning $20,000 more than I could ever hope to pay her.”

Hill’s office currently employs 187 attorneys and 123 support staff. He has 11 vacant social worker positions.

Street repair, garbage collection

The Department of Public Works has about 100 vacancies. Spokesman Ben Easley said it caused delays in day-to-day operations such as garbage collection. Easley said residents have been patient with the department as it communicates these challenges to neighborhoods through apps like Nextdoor.

About 30 additional DPW jobs were created in July, representing some of the department’s current vacancies. New DPW positions are also created in the 2023 budget for the maintenance of trails and greenways.

Ben Easley

To increase the number of candidates, the department fills the gaps that exist between the skills of a potential candidate and the requirements of the position.

Many jobs in DPW’s operations division — the largest division, which handles tasks such as filling potholes and snow removal — require a commercial driver’s license. The proposed budget for 2023 includes an initiative to offer CDL training in-house or through a vendor. DPW also requires employees to have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Easley said the department has considered creating partnerships so the department can help applicants without a high school diploma receive a GED certificate on the job.

Easley said DPW is generally not fully staffed, but could feel the effects of long-term trends. The department also sets up connection and referral bonuses.

“We try to be as attractive as possible to hire people,” he said.

Jessica Fehr cleans a kennel. The city-run facility is always in need of senior animal care technicians, even though the salary for the position has recently increased. (IBJ Photo/Eric Learned)

Fight against pandemic turnover

At the start of the pandemic, the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services lost 28% of its building inspection staff, 56% of its zoning and licensing inspection staff, and 79% of its licensing staff. permit.

Department spokeswoman Brandi Pahl said some vacant areas aren’t improving. The ministry continues to struggle to hire building and zoning inspectors, with a total of 37 vacancies this summer. Last fall, there were 25 vacancies for these positions.

The department runs Indianapolis Animal Care Services, which Pahl says still needs senior animal care technicians, despite the salary increase. The kennel had eight vacancies this summer, up from four last fall.

Pahl said working in the kennel — which is often overcrowded with cats and dogs — can be stressful and exhausting.

“It wears out [employees] physically, emotionally,” she said. “So we’re dealing with that aspect of things with this post as well, but we’re working on ways to help staff deal with all of that.”

To help find employees, the department used job fairs, college visits and partnerships with local organizations that offer job training programs.

“We’re just trying to fight every company that has the same problem as us,” Pahl said.•

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Morgantown first responder unions vote no-confidence in city government https://devolved.net/morgantown-first-responder-unions-vote-no-confidence-in-city-government/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 20:56:20 +0000 https://devolved.net/morgantown-first-responder-unions-vote-no-confidence-in-city-government/ MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Morgantown police and fire unions have voted “no confidence” in the entire city administration, which they say has refused them pay and has caused significant staffing and retention issues for Morgantown first responders. A vote of no confidence is a public way for groups to vocalize that they are against […]]]>

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Morgantown police and fire unions have voted “no confidence” in the entire city administration, which they say has refused them pay and has caused significant staffing and retention issues for Morgantown first responders.

A vote of no confidence is a public way for groups to vocalize that they are against certain elected officials.

According to a press release from Toriseva Law, members of the fire union, IAFF Local 313, and the police union, My Preston FOP Lodge 87, voted against the following officials:

  • Jennifer Selin, mayor and member of the city council of the 4th arrondissement
  • Deputy Mayor and 5th Ward Council Member Danielle Trumble
  • 1st Ward Council Member Joe Abu-Ghannam
  • Bill Kawecki, 2nd Ward Council Member
  • Ixya Vega, member of the 3rd district council
  • Dave Harshbarger, 6th Ward Council Member
  • Brian Butcher, 7th Ward Council Member
  • City Manager A. Kim Haws
  • Deputy City Manager Emily Muzzarelli
  • Director of Human Resources John Bihun

Lawyer for the two unions, Teresa Toriseva, cited several recent “administrative attacks” by city officials, including taking steps to cut first responders’ salaries, not paying them, refusing a city wages and compensation study and going against state law to establish a civilian review board. Unions have sued for all of these complaints, according to Toriseva.

“The city’s conduct towards its police officers negatively affects our ability to retain and recruit police officers,” said Mon-Preston FOP President Brandon Viola.

“A city’s failure to support its firefighters puts public safety at risk,” said IAFF Local 313 President Mitchell Beall. “Due to the City’s efforts to reduce our pay and benefits and its refusal to follow minimum fire safety standards, we have significant retention and recruitment issues.

“The main function of a city is to ensure the safety of citizens,” Toriseva said in the statement. “Firefighters and police are still on duty. No matter how bad the job conditions get, the police and firefighters of Morgantown show up to protect the town and its citizens. She continued, “Citizen safety requires fully staffed police and fire departments, especially when WVU students are in school. Through the city’s so-called “human resources policy”, it creates a hostile work environment for its first responders that diminishes staffing, recruitment, retention and morale. »

12News contacted the city of Morgantown for comment but did not receive a response.

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Voters will determine in November whether city government will restructure https://devolved.net/voters-will-determine-in-november-whether-city-government-will-restructure/ Fri, 02 Sep 2022 03:19:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/voters-will-determine-in-november-whether-city-government-will-restructure/ The eight voting questions developed by the Portland Charter Commission will be on the ballot on Nov. 8. PORTLAND, Maine — Voters in Portland can officially expect a long list of questions about the November ballot that could restructure the city’s government. The Portland City Council unanimously approved sending the questions, developed by the Portland […]]]>

The eight voting questions developed by the Portland Charter Commission will be on the ballot on Nov. 8.

PORTLAND, Maine — Voters in Portland can officially expect a long list of questions about the November ballot that could restructure the city’s government.

The Portland City Council unanimously approved sending the questions, developed by the Portland Charter Commission, to voters Thursday night.

A total of eight questions will be on the November 8 ballot, centering on everything from clean elections to a citizen police review board.

All of the questions come after months of work by the Portland Charter Commission that ended in July.

RELATED: Voting Questions Committee Opposes All Portland Referendum Questions

The most important and controversial issue proposes a significant transfer of power from the city manager to the mayor. It gives more responsibilities to the mayor, including coordinating the city budget and hiring city staff.

The proposal faced a strong backlash from current mayor Kate Snyder and the city’s former mayors.

“My concern is that the Charter Commission proposals are an attempt at a revolution in Portland city government, moving away from the councilor form of government in favor of a strong mayor form of government,” said former mayor Tom Allen.

Allen was one of the few people at Thursday’s meetings to voice their concerns one last time.

Michael Kebede, who chaired the commission, said the proposed changes received overwhelming support from all of its members.

RELATED: Portland Councilors Send $18 Minimum Wage, Short-Term Rental Limits and Other Initiatives to Voters

“Democracy is in decline. It is in decline globally, according to Freedom House, an organization that makes a point of collecting statistics on this,” he said.
“It’s backsliding nationally, as evidenced by an anti-majoritarian Supreme Court in the United States that goes against the will of the majority of the people of this country. It’s against this backdrop that we have proposed eight reforms that we believe will strengthen democracy in Portland.”

With Election Day just under ten weeks away, ballots are not available until October. Voters can request mail-in ballots on the Secretary of State’s website.

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Houston Finalizes 11th Street Bike Path Plans | The city government https://devolved.net/houston-finalizes-11th-street-bike-path-plans-the-city-government/ Wed, 31 Aug 2022 23:23:00 +0000 https://devolved.net/houston-finalizes-11th-street-bike-path-plans-the-city-government/ City workers are finalizing a plan to add protected bike lanes along 11th Street in the Heights and reduce the number of traffic lanes, despite some area residents stepping back. Crews will begin rehabilitation work on 11th Street this month, with plans to begin construction of the bike path portion of the project in October, […]]]>

City workers are finalizing a plan to add protected bike lanes along 11th Street in the Heights and reduce the number of traffic lanes, despite some area residents stepping back.

Crews will begin rehabilitation work on 11th Street this month, with plans to begin construction of the bike path portion of the project in October, said Erin Jones, spokeswoman for the city’s public works department.

“The bike path design is still being finalized to include METRO bus stop improvements/relocations,” she said.

The 11th Street safety improvement project has been underway for several years but has been rejected by some area residents who say it will worsen traffic, lead to more cars on side streets and could harm to businesses along 11th Street.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and other city officials, meanwhile, say the project will transform the neighborhood by increasing safety and making the road more multimodal.

It asks crews to install 6ft bike lanes on both sides of 11th Street in the 1.5 miles between Shepherd Drive and Michaux Street while adding a 3ft buffer separation between other traffic and reducing one lane street in each. direction, according to a presentation by the city.

While some residents are unhappy with the project, other groups, such as the BikeHouston advocacy group, have written in support of the plan.

“When Mayor Turner announced that the 11th Street project would go ahead after this short hiatus, he said something that struck me,” said Joe Cutrufo, director of BikeHouston. “He said ‘we are not building the city for where we are now, but building the city for where we are going.’ And I thought it was really well worded.

Bike lanes will be added on both sides of 11th between North Shepherd Drive and Michaux Street, where there will be one vehicular lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane along the stretch between Yale and Studewood streets. The plan also includes bike lanes along Michaux between 11th and Stude Park to the south as well as crosswalks for pedestrians and cyclists at intersections such as 11th and Nicholson Street, where the Heights hiking and biking trail crosses the 11th, and Michaux and White Oak Reader.

There are now two vehicular lanes in each direction on 11th between Shepherd and Michaux, and no center turn lane.

The project will cost about $600,000, with funding coming from capital improvements for bike lanes, according to the city.

Transportation workers had been working on plans for the project for more than three years, with community feedback, but in May Turner said he would temporarily put the project on hold for a closer look in response to opposition. residents.

The hiatus was short-lived, with Turner in June announcing the plan would go ahead.

Turner, in a videotaped announcement, said he made two visits to the 11th Street site and listened to arguments for and against the project. He said the project is in line with plans to eliminate road deaths in the city by 2030.

Construction of the bike path is expected to be completed in February 2023, according to a city presentation. Once complete, the city will conduct a follow-up study to see how it affects traffic, according to the presentation.

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