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Hales takes bureaus, outlines budget schedule

Approximately one month after taking office, Mayor Charlie Hales temporarily assign all city bureaus to himself at 8:00 a.m. Monday.

During and after his successful campaign for mayor, Hales said he plans to keep the bureau during the initial stages of drafting the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

Hales said the move is necessary to discourage the other members of the council from protecting their turf within the bureaus during the budgeting process. Portland is one of the few cities in the country where council members oversee bureaus assigned to them by the mayor.

According to Hales, the council is facing funding challenges this year that require the council to be objective about the budgets of all bureaus. City finance officials are already projecting a $25 million shortfall in the approximately $500 million General Fund portion of the budget. Hales says the actual shortfall is even greater because the U.S. Department of Justice is requiring the city to hire additional police officers, among other things.

Hales has said he will reassign the bureaus after the budget process is underway, but has not given a specific date.

In a related matter, the council will consider the schedule for adopting the next budget on Wednesday. It is laid out in a resolution introduced by Hales.

The proposed schedule calls for the budget to be adopted on June 20. The following key dates are set forth in the resolution:

Feb. 4: All bureaus, including the Portland Development Commission, submitted Requested Budgets for the next fiscal year and five-year budget plans. Special requests for General Fund support are also due.

Feb. 11 – 22: Bureaus and PDC present Requested Budgets to City Council.

March 11: City Budget Office reviews of Requested Budgets distributed to the council.

March 18 – April 5: Council work sessions on Requested Budgets, with presentations of the budget office analysis.

April 30: Revised General Fund financial forecast released.

May 1: Mayor releases Proposed Budget decisions.

May 14: Proposed Budget document available.

May 15: Mayor presents budget message to the council, which meets as the Budget Committee. First Utility Rate Review hearing held. And the PDC Budget committee meets.

May 16: Budget Committee public hearing on City and PDC budgets.

May 22: Second Utility Rate Review meeting.

May 29: Budget Committee approves City and PDC budgets.

May 30: Approved Budget submitted to Multnomah County Tax Supervising & Conservation Commission.

June 19: Multnomah County Tax Supervising & Conservation Commission public hearing on approved budget.

June 20: Council adopts budget.