PDX budget mess

Portland Mayor Sam Adams and city bureaus ask for spending hikes amid budget cuts.

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Portland currently faces a spending gap of $17 million to $20 million for 2010-11, and city bureaus are considering cutting back on essential city services to close the gap.

But the bureaus and Portland Mayor Sam Adams are also proposing 12 spending hikes, which total $2 million and are mostly opposed by the city’s budget office.

To close the gap, city bureaus have proposed eliminating programs that provide essential services. The Police Bureau, for example, might have to cut its patrol unit on horseback to save $650,000. And the Fire Bureau may have to close one of its 30 fire stations and eliminate six positions for firefighters.

Yet even in this tough economic climate, bureaus are asking for extra money in a $371 million budget to expand services that aren’t essential to the city’s core responsibilities.

Read the full story at Willamette Week.

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