A change to Beaverton's city charter appears to be headed for victory with initial election results showing 55.33% in favor of the measure with 44.67% saying no.
The change will significantly alter the mayor's role in city governance by stripping that person of their powers as chief-executive officer and giving those powers to an appointed administrator. The city, along with Portland, is the only large city in the state that employs a strong mayor-council form of governing.
In addition, the charter limits the council and the mayor's seats to three consecutive terms of four years each and would expand the council to seven voting members, one of whom would be the mayor.
The current charter allows for the mayor to hire and fire department heads, except for the city attorney and the municipal court judge. In addition, the mayor currently prepares the city budget and presides over the city council meetings but does not vote on issues unless it is to break a tie.
Although there had been talk among Beaverton mayoral candidates Cate Arnold and Lacey Beaty about reducing the salary of the mayor if they were elected to the seat, the charter itself would have made no change to the mayor's salary.
The city charter was first approved in 1980, and later amended in 2008.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with unofficial results as of 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 19.
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