Portland City Hall.

The Portland City Council voted Monday night to reject a “clean elections” proposal.

The failed charter amendment would have created a program to provide public funding for candidates for local elections.

The city’s attorney said the decision would force City Council to create a charter commission, which would take time and money, and could cause other changes for the city’s government.

The two people on the City Council, who are running for mayor, said they support clean elections, but disagreed on the charter amendment.

“Unfortunately, I have a feeling this is all going to end up in court. The worst part of it is we have a great opportunity to get big money out of politics, and last night, the City Council rejected that opportunity,” Mayor Ethan Strimling said.

“I think what we need to do is make certain that the question we’re sending out is one that doesn’t trigger a charter commission. We just got done with a charter commission less than a decade ago, and we haven’t even seen the fruits of that yet,” City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau said.

Although this plan was rejected, 8,000 residents gave their signature in support of the proposal.