As Fred Leeson reported in a small blurb from today's Oregonian, last week the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission elected its new officers.
Member Carrie Richter nominated fellow member and developer Art DeMuro as chairman, and DeMuro nominated Richter as vice chairwoman. They won approval in a unanimous vote.
For a commission that has perhaps been the most controversial entity in Portland design and construction, I was surprised to see that this vote happened with so little advance notice and public participation.
For all I know, the City probably went through due diligence to give public notice of the meeting. But given that the Historic Landmarks Commission has made some very controversial decisions all over the city, particularly in the last year--the Apple store in Northwest, the Kurisu project on Mississippi, various small projects throughout the neighborhoods--I'd have expected at least some talk about possibly changing the Commission's makeup or at least having some kind of roundtable on its mission and process.
This is not an attempt to badmouth the current Landmarks commission membership. I don't know Carrie Richter, but I've interviewed Art DeMuro before, and found him to be very nice and reasonable. Even so, there increasingly seems to be a disconnect or at least a lack of consensus in Portland on the tenets that comprise the Landmarks Commission's efforts.
How about some kind of public forum to take a new look at the group and its mission?