PORTLAND, Ore. - Despite a large outcry by some calling for Portland Mayor Sam Adams to resign, only about a dozen people showed up at City Hall Wednesday morning to confront him in person in his first City Council meeting since his scandal broke last week.
Only about four of the anti-Adams contingent actually addressed the mayor during the meeting, and their comments were essentially cut short because they were told they were not following proper procedure.
Members of the group had signed up to address the council and waited patiently as agenda items passed the council. But when the group tried to address the scandal as part of a discussion over the appointment of members to the Independent Police Review Division's citizen review committee, they were stopped.
"If you have comments about these individuals, you can continue," Adams told the group. "Otherwise, I'll rule your testimony deleterious."
"Respectfully, I do consider this city business, so we have a disagreement," one man told Adams while sitting and addressing the council. "And, you can ask me to stop and I will do so. I don't mean to in any way upset the work of the council."
"Thank you," Adams told the man.
The mayor explained the process to the group, saying they needed to sign up one week in advance to speak on outside issues. They will get three uninterrupted minutes to talk when they do that.
"In order to make sure that the city's business gets done, I need to keep the testimony in fairness to everyone," Adams said.
"I understand, but I would like to add my comment as well," one woman told Adams. "It would be a difficult issue that the fox is guarding the hen house if you appointed the people that are going to be overseeing the police."
"Thank you," Adams said. "I appreciate your time today."
"Because I don't feel you were fairly elected," she added.
The mayor remained calm and serious despite the confrontation.
One person who testified said he believed members were signing up to get their 3 minutes of time to speak to the council next week.
Though so few people showed up to confront Adams, the ones who did said they represented a silent majority and that not everyone who shares their opinion could come. They had wanted to ask the mayor why he should stay in office.
"It's hard for a small business owner to take time off," said protester Teresa McGuire. "And I think that's my concern. He lied, and I think he's going to hurt business in Portland."
Adams returned to work at City Hall Monday after deciding over the weekend to remain in office despite calls for his resignation for admitting he lied about having sex with a teenager in 2005.
At the beginning of his campaign in 2007, Adams denied he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old legislative intern. But Adams admitted earlier this month they had sex after the young man turned 18, and that Adams had tried to cover it up.