Pamplin Media Group – Wheeler to Host Online Forum on Proposed Budget

The free remote public session on the $6.7 billion proposal begins at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13.

Mayor Ted Wheeler will host an online public forum on his proposed $6.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31.

“The annual budget is the most important decision made by a municipal government each year. Budgeting is more than an annual decision about how to spend public money. Budgeting is the municipal government’s funded course of action. We are contacting you for how you think we should spend these funds,” Wheeler said in a statement announcing the forum.

Zoom session can be joined here.

“During the meeting, I will review my proposed budget and reach out to attendees for real-time feedback and questions. Ultimately, your collective insights will help inform City Council decisions on our budget. passed which will be voted on June 17,” Wheeler said. .

More information on the proposed budget is available at Residents may also submit a written testimonial for the meeting to This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The proposed budget was well received by the rest of the city council after it was released. It will come into effect on July 1.

“The people of Portland are reaching out every day to express their concern and frustration about the challenges we face, especially around homelessness, public safety, livability and economic recovery. They also share their views on how to address these issues as well as their expectation that we will act effectively and in a manner consistent with our equity and climate goals,” Wheeler said when releasing his budget on Wednesday, May 4. .

The council held a working session on this subject the following day. Although Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty asked the most questions, she also praised Wheeler and her chief of staff Bobby Lee, saying the proposed budget was “the most inclusive” she had seen in her four years in office. advice.

The first public hearing took place that evening. The last one is scheduled for June 8.

The proposed budget includes an unexpected increase of $34.8 million in discretionary dollars due to a last-minute increase in business license taxes. Discretionary funds typically represent between 10% and 11% of the total budget which includes dedicated utility costs and federal funds. Portland also received $104 million from the US Federal Bailout Act.

Among other things, the proposed budget provides $85 million for homeless services, $37 million for new investments in public safety, and $20 million for street cleaning and repair efforts. Notable requests include:

• $36.2 million for Streets to Stability, which includes funding for six Safe Rest Villages and two Creating Conscious Communities with People Outside Villages over 2½ years.

• $13 million total for gun violence prevention, including $10.2 million to the city’s Office of Violence Prevention and $1.8 million for more Parks Bureau rangers of Portland patrol the city parks.

• $11.5 million to make Portland Street Response a citywide 24/7 program. The unarmed emergency response program aims to reduce the workload of the city’s first responders by dispatching a team of health care workers and a paramedic to 911 calls involving people with mental illness or roaming. The money will bring the number of program staff to more than 50.

• $5.5 million for the acquisition of land for future affordable housing. The proposal states that the housing office will use the money to purchase land for 200 to 400 permanent affordable housing units in East Portland.

• $4 million in climate change funding. This includes $250,000 for the city to begin developing a policy to improve air quality and implementing a new parking fee to discourage driving. It is not immediately clear whether the fee will be applied citywide or only in certain districts. The mayor’s proposed budget says revenue from the levy will go towards “climate and equity issues”, such as making busy routes safer for pedestrians.

• $2.9 million to attract more 911 operators and expand 311 telephone service, which is meant to serve as an easy point of contact for accessing government services. Wheeler expects 311 to handle 180,000 non-emergency calls with the new staffing capacity.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a Portland Tribune press partner and contributed to this story.

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