Mayor Ted Wheeler issued an executive order assigning the city bureaus previously overseen by Commissioner Nick Fish to himself on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Wheeler also said the staff in Fish's office will continue to be employed and will serve as the liaison with the bureaus that had been assigned to them.
Fish died Jan. 2 of the stomach cancer he had been fighting for more than two years.
On Wednesday, Jan. 8, the City Council is scheduled to set a special election to replace Fish at the May 19 primary. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in May, a run-off election between the top two will be held Aug. 11.
The bureaus Wheeler is assigning to his office are: Portland Parks and Recreation; the Bureau of Environmental Services; and the Portland Children's Levy.
Wheeler also assigned the following liaison responsibilities to his office: Office of Film and Video; Venture Portland; Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission; Portland Utility Board; Portland Parks Foundation; Portland Parks Board; Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Liaison responsibilities for the Gateway Center, which serves domestic violence survivors, go to Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
In an email to the other council members, Wheeler said he and Fish had agreed on the reassignments. Here is his email:
It is with a heavy heart that I send to you an Executive Order from the Mayor making changes to the Council Bureau assignments. Before he passed, Commissioner Fish and the Mayor discussed the future of the bureaus and liaison assignments in his portfolio, so we have the benefit of being able to issue an Executive Order that reflects how he wanted the work to continue.
Commissioner Fish's staff will continue to operate as an office and will have the same or similar assignments, ensuring continuity in the important work of their portfolio. We are honored to work with them even more closely than before in the coming months.
— Mayor Ted Wheeler
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