Hales will send street fee proposals to voters, in first-ever ‘advisory vote’

The mayor will ask the City Council to adopt the most popular plan.

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The mayor will ask the City Council to adopt the most popular plan.

City Hall has been struggling to come to any kind of resolution a week before the measure was scheduled to be voted on by the city council, according to OregonLive.com.

“We will ask the voters to pick from the array of funding options, and we’ll adopt the one with the most ‘yes’ votes,” [Portland mayor Charlie] Hales said in a prepared statement. Opponents could still refer that plan to voters for a final say.

The advisory vote is thought to be unprecedented for City Hall, and some critics called it the latest desperation move by Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick to raise upward of $40 million a year for paving and safety projects.

Outside of the street fund, the Portland Tribune reports that Hales is looking to bring back some previously-cut programs while maintaining a thrifty approach.

A financial forecast released in mid-December showed the city can expect an additional $4.6 million in ongoing funds for the 2015-16 budget period and beyond, plus $14.4 million in one-time-only money.

The relatively rosy revenue picture means the city doesn’t face any mandatory cuts for the budget year that begins in July, Hales says. However, “the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, wage growth remains flat, and those most in need are benefiting the least,” Hales stated in his budget guidance issued to bureau managers and city councilors.


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