Mayor proposes cutting 182 jobs to deal with budget shortfall - KPTV - FOX 12

Mayor proposes cutting 182 jobs to deal with budget shortfall

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Big cuts are coming to city of Portland offices to address a $21.5 million budget shortfall.

Mayor Charlie Hales' proposed budget asks to eliminate 182 1/2 positions and for each bureau to base its budget on 90 percent of its current cost of services. It also reduces cost of living adjustments for all non-fire bureau employees by one half.

Hales said he understands the "human cost of these reductions."

"(We) have tried to cut with as little harm as possible," he said. "But this fiscal crisis was also our best chance to build a budget based on Portland's future and not just a carry-forward of its past."

Of the 182 jobs being cut, 55 of the eliminated jobs would come in the Portland Police Bureau. Hales is proposing $707,000 in "bridge funding" to keep senior staff in position until they retire, and thus not laying off "recently hired, younger, more diverse" police officers.

The police bureau's horse patrol would be cut as part of the budget proposal.

Another 48 jobs would be eliminated via restructuring in the Portland Fire and Rescue Bureau.

The budget also asks for city water and sewer rate hikes at an estimated increase of $4.13 per month for the average single-family bill.

Additionally, the following programs are now facing elimination in Hales' budget:

  • Buckman Pool
  • LifeWorks
  • Pass-through funding for Multnomah County's SUN Schools
  • CASH Oregon
  • A needle exchange program
  • Symphony in the Park
  • A Restorative Justice program in Parkrose

The budget asks the city to operate with a $3 million contingency fund. Last year, the city began with a $1.4 million contingency fund, but quickly drained most of that money before the first month of the fiscal year was over.

To read more about the budget, visit the mayor's website.

There will be three opportunities for Portlanders to give their feedback on the proposed budget at upcoming budget forums:

  • Thursday, May 16, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 S.W. Fourth Ave.
  • Saturday, May 18, 3 to 5 p.m., Warner Pacific College, 2219 S.E. 68th Ave.
  • Thursday, May 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Jackson Middle School, 10625 S.W. 35th Ave.

RELATED: By the numbers - Hales' recommendations (PDF)

RELATED: Sewer and water bill increases (PDF)

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