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Safety requires realistic budgeting

SOAPBOX

It was interesting to see the final Multnomah County Commission budget. I guess the cuts were not as deep for some 'pet projects,' but what else is new? We will have another four years of these kinds of decisions unless the board makes an effort to make the county safe and support public safety.

I was sorry to see the commissioners close the Multnomah County Rehabilitation Center in downtown Portland, taking away another 160 jail beds. The comments about soft or hard jail beds really don't matter in our system: We need them all.

This board has shown it is not for public safety. Commissioners, you need to find the money to support the public safety system. Think about the county's core mission, and start funding the mandated services at 100 percent.

Please take another look at the budget. If you have a projected revenue gain that is more than

1 percent, you are wrong! The best number to use would be zero. Stop projecting the business income tax revenues to grow: We need to have an income that is projected at zero gain for the year. We can then take any gain and have it go into the pot to cover a potential drop in our bond rating.

Right now we are going in the wrong direction. Make Multnomah County a safe place first. Then you can work toward everything else.

Scott Farish is the treasurer of the Multnomah County Corrections Officers Association.