Contrary to Brian Ebersole’s letter (TNT, 7-15), Portland has the commission, not mayor-council, form of government. In fact Portland is the largest city in the United States with commission government.
The commission form was first used by Galveston, Texas, in response to the 1900 hurricane that killed an estimated 6,000 people. Under the commission system, each commissioner is responsible for an aspect of city government such as public works or public safety.
The advocates of commission government in Galveston claimed that the city government could take quicker action to recover from the damage caused by the hurricane with a …