I was looking for some general information about Portland, OR and went to their city website and there, right in full view(!), was a link labled “Request Public Records.” The link leads to a pretty amazing page considering the stonewall sometimes encountered in Somerville. There’s even a link from this to a standard fee schedule. Not always cheap, but right out in the open.
Check it out.
Their commissions page is pretty interesting as well:
“City Boards, Committees and Commissions:
Here’s a list of active boards, committees and commissions. To learn more about a board or commission, just click on the link. There you will find additional vacancy and contact information.
To indicate your interest in serving on a board, committee or commission please complete an application form and return it to the City’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement at 1120 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110 Portland OR 97204. A full list of contacts at the city for boards and commissions is also available.”
Portland has a mayor/commission form of government which, according to the Wikipedia entry on this topic, is often a precurser to the Mayor/Council form adopted by many American cities.
“In May 2007, Portland citizens rejected a ballot measure which would have changed city government to a strong mayor system. Similar changes have been proposed and rejected several times over the years.” Wikipedia – “Government of Portland, Oregon.”
Food for thought!
One additional note, members of the immigrant community and organizations that work with these communities meet once a month with Chief Holloway at the SPD. Surprisingly, to me anyway, under his leadership the SPD is more than willing to work with people to get access to records than just about anywhere else in the city (other than John Long, our excellent City Clerk). I’m impressed.