Wir beginnen, meine Damen und Herren, avec un petit peu d’histoire. Stephen Dowell, The Portlandian, vol. 1, No. 2, p. 2:
In 1957 the Oregon constitution was amended . . . (Article VI, section 10) allow[ing] local electors the opportunity to form their own county or city charter and set up local police forces, i.e., sheriff and city police agencies directly under home rule charter provisions.
When cities have home rule, the charter voted into effect by the people establishes the means of putting into place a local police force. The charter could provide for election or appointment of the sheriff or chief of police position. Recall that until recently the Multnomah County sheriff was an appointed office.
Let the mayor propose who the police chief should be. Let the people ratify the appointment. Then every 4 years have the people vote to confirm that the police chief should stay in office. There is no reason that the Portland Chief of Police should not meet the same standard of public approval as the Sheriff of Multnomah County.
When during the recent Eugene State Convention of the Pacific Green Party of Oregon there came the time in the afternoon to split up into small groups, I chose the one discussing charter conventions. The Corvallis City Councilmember and senior elected Green official in the state Mike Beilstein spoke first, saying that changes in charters are not as important as good ideas. A “set of workable ordinances” could be obtained without recourse to the route of charter amendment.
If the Pacific Green Party wants truly to change the structure of power within the state, Vernon replied, then it “must tackle the hard work” of charter change.
Agreement did develop: Mike would support suffrage for all Corvallis residents in local elections, and reducing state age requirement to 16.
When invited (they had been hitherto mute) to speak, among the 5 new members comprising a new Salem chapter, Katie spoke of her interest in empowering local farmers and Katheryn identified the development of bike paths in Salem as her priority.