Portland’s City Council voted Monday night to postpone consideration of changes to the citizen initiative referendum process.
The proposal would postpone that council action indefinitely. It was proposed by Councilor Regina Phillips and supported in a 6-3 vote. Mayor Kate Snyder and councilors Pious Ali and Roberto Rodriguez voted in opposition.
Among other restrictions, the proposal would have limited citizens’ initiatives to only being able to appear on the November ballot rather than June.
Councilor Andrew Zarro, who is one of two sitting councilors running for the upcoming mayoral seat, supported having citizens’ initiatives appear on November ballots only, but said this change needed to happen, whether by committee or by “talking point” of the council.
Councilor Victoria Pelletier favored “restructuring” the citizen initiative process, but said she was concerned there were no “stakeholders” present at Monday’s meeting. Pelletier supported other councilors’ ideas to establish a commission on this, but wanted citizens involved.
The Council’s next meeting is Aug. 14.
Eamonn Dundon, director of Advocacy for the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, however believes the proposal should go to voters.
“The truth is referendums are tearing this city apart,” Dundon said.