2022: Portland’s challenging year

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This year was a pivotal one to be reporting on Portland politics.

As we prepare to take our annual holiday break — returning with an issue on Jan. 4 — it is a good time to reflect on the year just past, and the major stories we covered.  

A proposal by an elected Charter Commission that would have magnified the powers of the mayor and expanded the size of the city council was soundly defeated in November, a moment that capped months of debate about the best way to run this city.

The other big story of the end of the year was the failure of the school district to properly oversee the most basic of tasks: paying its employees. The resulting uproar among school staffers has led to the surprising early departure of Superintendent Xavier Botana, who was slated to leave at the end of the school year.

This turmoil in local government sets the tone for the New Year, which will likely provide some answers to the uncertainty about leadership that has muddled both city and school administrations. The city has had an interim manager for more than a year, and around 250 jobs in city government, most of them vacated during the pandemic, remain unfilled. A permanent city manager should be selected in the spring.

And the schools will also be seeking new leadership, and are set to hire a new superintendent, likely by June. We hope that the school board engages the community in a truly open process to make this choice, and to gather a wide range of input on the direction of the school system.

It’s been an important year to cover the news, and we hope that the scrutiny that is brought to bear by news organizations plays a positive role as the city addresses its challenges.

Looking back should prompt for all of us a feeling of gratitude, and we do feel fortunate to be publishing a newspaper in this great city. We know we’ve had a good year, and we’re grateful for the constant support of readers and advertisers which has made 2022 a great year for The Phoenix.

Thank you from all of us. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season, and all the best for the New Year.

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