Code of conduct needed for City Council meetings
Other potential actions incude arrests for criminal trespass. Their submission follows a series of noisy demonstrations at council meetings that have frequently prevented the council from completing its work on schedule.
Issue raised by demonstrators have varied from meeting to meeting and included the city’s handing of the homeless crisis, the affordable housing crisis, anti Trump demonstrations, and the police shooting of an African American teenager allegedly carrying a replica gun. Other potential actions include arrests for criminal trespass.
Although meetings of other governing bodies are occasionally disrupted, Wheeler spokesman Michael Cox says what is happening at the council meetings is unique and must be addressed.
“The Mayor served as Chair of Multnomah County. He sat on the Oregon Investment Council. He served in the State Capitol at Treasurer. All are places where the business of the people is carried out with civility and decorum,
places that school kids visit. For some reason Portland can’t seem to figure it out. The Mayor is dedicated to changing the culture in City Hall. It may take time, but he’s going to do it,” says Cox.
The ordinance says such disruptions started before Wheeler was elected mayor but have increased since he took office. They included a confrontation inside City Hall between police and demonstrators over the new police contract proposed by former Mayor Charlie Hales.
“Over the course of the last few years, disruptions at City Council meetings have become the undesirable norm which allowed a few individuals to halt Council meetings. Such disruptions prevented those who wish to attend and participate in Council meetings in a civil manner from doing so. Further such disruptions interfered with Council ability to carry out scheduled City business safely and efficiently with the frequency of the need to pause meeting with repeated recesses or to cancel or reschedule meetings,” reads the ordinance.