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A new Portland group is challenging changes to the mayor's role in proposed charter

A number of Portland officials, including several former mayors, have launched a new group that's fighting a proposed change to the city's charter.

The plan — one of several potential changes from a charter commission that will be on the local ballot this fall — would create an executive mayor system, replacing the city manager with a chief administrator nominated by the mayor.

The mayor would also direct the administrator in preparing city budgets and would have veto power over the budget and city ordinances, subject to city council override.

Proponents say the new plan would include several checks on the mayor's power, including mechanisms to remove the mayor from office.

But Tom Allen, a former mayor and chair of the group "Protect Portland's Future," says he worries the mayor's expanded role would open to the door to conflicts between local officials.

"It all depends on who's on the mayor's side, and who's not," Allen says.

Allen says the organization plans to lead a door-to-door campaign and distribute materials and signs across the city before the election in November.