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Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

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State of the City

Mayor focuses on budget issues during City Club speech

FRIDAY, April 26, 2013 – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales presented his first State of the City speech Friday before a sold-out crowd at The City Club of Portland.

Mayor Hales at City ClubHales, who took office in January, focused the majority of his speech on budget issues. He took office with the city facing an estimated $25 million shortfall for the 2013-14 budget. The city operates with a general fund of around $500 million.

He also focuses on the topics of police-and-community relations, adequate funding fo rOregon’s K-12 public schools, and illegal gun violence.

He looped a tool belt over the lectern for his speech, to symbolize his hands-on approach to tackling city issues.

He has supported bills to stem gun violence at the Oregon Legislature and in Congress, adding praise for State Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, for her work on the issue. He also praised the Multnomah County Commission for Thursday’s unanimous vote extending gun violence prevention.

Hales – who was interrupted for applause 11 times during the speech – also took questions from City Club members, ranging from development of West Hayden Island, to human trafficking, to promoting citizen involvement.

The budget issue comes to a head next week as Hales presents the mayor’s proposed budget for 2013-14. The plan will be unveiled at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Lovejoy Room, second floor, City Hall, during a press conference.

A series of public hearings is scheduled for the coming weeks.

The Friday Forums of the City Club of Portland are archived, broadcast on radio at, and also on community television.

Flags to be flown at half-staff

Move comes following tragic attack in Boston

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales today issued all flags at all municipal buildings to be flown at half-staff, following Monday’s tragedy in Boston.

“Sorrow is everyone’s first reaction to such a horrible event,” Hales said. “But sorrow also is mixed with admiration for Boston’s first responders, for the hospital staffs, and for the residents of Boston, participants in the marathon, and for onlookers, who reacted with speed and courage. People in Boston showed us the best of humanity this week, and let that be the message we take away from this tragedy.”

To donate:

American Red Cross

Boston Children’s Hospital



Thorns kick off season at City Hall

Portland ThornsWEDNESDAY, April 10, 2013 – Members of the Portland Thorns Football Club, the city’s professional women’s soccer team, drop by City Hall on Wednesday to let the elected officials show their support.

Participants included (from left) Mike Golub, chief operating officer of the Portland Thorns and Timbers; Commissioner Amanda Fritz; Coach Cindy Parlow Cone; Mayor Charlie Hales; forward Danielle Foxhoven (a University of Portland alumna); Commissioner Nick Fish; and forward Christine Sinclair (another U of P alumna). Photo by Rachael Wiggins

Audit: Public Safety system overhauls largely don’t meet budget, timelines

Projects focus on data, communications

THURSDAY, April 4, 2013 – The Public Safety System Revitalization Program for the city of Portland exceeded its overall budget and schedule goals, according to an audit released today by City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

"The budget and schedule increases in the PSSRP program are largely the result of a problematic and shifting governance structure and inconsistent management," Griffin-Valade said. "Despite repeated recommendations from outside quality assurance specialists and the lessons learned from other major city programs, the city was unable to effectively oversee this significant, but expensive undertaking."

Mayor Charlie Hales reviewed the audit before it was released. “The audit shows that, of four projects, two came in under budget, and one came in on time. The others did not. That’s not great news, especially when we are talking about public safety,” Hales said. “On the other hand, this didn’t surprise anyone. The audit shines a light on serious short-comings that are being addressed right now.”

The PSSRP program was established in 2006 to manage the replacement or upgrade of several vital public safety systems, including a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system used to process 911 calls. Auditors found the CAD replacement project was largely successful.

However, two of the other three projects exceeded their cost goals and all three exceeded their schedule goals. The three remaining large projects are the Public Safety Radio System replacement project, the Portland Police Data System replacement project, and the Portland Fire and Rescue system replacement or upgrade project.

The entire PSSRP initiative was expected to cost $70 million and to be completed by December 2012. Projects are now planned for completion in December 2015, with projected costs of $80 million.

Auditors make several recommendations intended to benefit the three open PSSRP projects and other current and future city technology projects.

Hales and Chief Administrative Officer Jack Graham provided written responses to the audit.

Southeast 136th Project Launched

Sidewalks are slated from Powell to Holgate

Mayor HalesWEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2013 – A city of Portland project to create sidewalks on Southeast 136th Avenue between Powell and Holgate boulevards will get under way this fall.

The project is budgeted at $1.2 million and should begin in fall. It will stretch for 0.63 miles along 136th Avenue.

This winter, an audit of the city’s street maintenance program pointed to an historic lack of funding for street paving. In response, Mayor Charlie Hales asked Toby Widmer, interim director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, to find creative ways to increase funds for pavement projects within the bureau’s existing budget.

One of the options outlined by Widmer would have diverted funding for the136th Avenue sidewalk project to paving. Mayor Hales and city commissioners now have rejected that option.

Legislators“I asked Toby to be creative,” Hales said. “Long before we discuss any new funding, we want to make sure we were being as creative as possible with every dollar we have now. Toby did exactly what I asked of him.”

Hales said public safety remains the No. 1 factor for street maintenance programs. Paving, sidewalks, crosswalks and signage are all safety issues.

City Commissioner Steve Novick, along with Hales and Widmer, spoke to members of the media Wednesday morning at Gates Park, at 136th and Holgate, discussing the sidewalk project.

Members of the Oregon Legislature representing East Portland also were on hand, including Sens. Jackie Dingfelder, D-Portland; and Chuck Thomsen, R-HoodRiver, and Reps. Shemia Fagan, D-Clackamas; Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland; Jeff Reardon, D-Portland; and Jessica Vega Pederson, D-Portland.