Portland mayor looks forward to the end of remaining two years in office

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks during the Oregon Health Forum Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. Afterward, he muttered that he would be "glad when the next 24 months are over." (KATU Photo)

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Thursday muttered that he's looking forward to the end of his remaining two years in office.

The mayor's comment came after audience questions at the Oregon Health Forum.

Wheeler told the gathering that the city's homeless efforts were moving in the right direction, but need expansion to have an impact on reducing homelessness across the city.

"We're doing absolutely zero," one person in the audience told the mayor.

Toward the end of his presentation, Wheeler told the crowd the city was having trouble even providing portable toilets for the homeless to use.

"If you're willing to donate or work with us on a Porta Potty, we're interested because -- as I say -- no one will rent to the city of Portland anymore. So, let's keep on keeping on. It's been fun," Wheeler said.

As he left the podium, Wheeler muttered that he would be "glad when the next 24 months are over."

A spokesperson at the mayor's office confirmed the mayor's comment.

If that sentiment holds true, it would the fourth straight one-and-done mayor for the city of Portland.

"I think it’s a symptom of people who always had mayor as their goal and they got there and being mayor wasn’t what they thought it would be," said Jim Moore, political science professor at Pacific University.

Portland's last multi-term mayor was Vera Katz who was re-elected to a 3rd consecutive term back in 2000.

Moore believes Portland politics are as tumultuous today as ever, but social media may put a brighter spotlight on the process.

"Vera Katz had a lot of people that came and yelled at her. They had City Council meetings that were shut down. She had to bring in basically people to teach the City Council members to be in the same room with each other and not fight," Moore said.

Ultimately, Moore believes it will be up to Wheeler to decide if this trend continues.

"It’s going to depend on Ted Wheeler’s personality. Does he see this as really something that he likes and wants to do? It will also depend on if there’s an opponent out there," Moore said.

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