Mayor Hales issues Salmon-Safe challenge to other West Coast citiesRead More…
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Mayor Hales proposed a budget that emphasizes taking care of what we have and investing in a better future.
TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2015 — Mayor Charlie Hales today outlined a proposed budget for the coming year that will focus on basic services, public safety and new resources for Portland’s youth, especially those at risk of being entangled in gang violence.
Building on his prior two budgets, Hales is emphasizing a major new effort to pave and repair city streets, more money for homeless services, affordable housing, and a commitment to dramatically increase healthy after-school activities for kids throughout the community.
The budget is released in the wake of a five-year revenue forecast that provides an estimated $49 million in additional general fund revenue. The City is expecting $484.5 million in discretionary General Funds [PDF] next year and a total annual budget of over $3.5 billion. Details on line items in the proposed budget are on the City Budget Office website.
“In 2013, when we had one of the worst deficits in city history. In 2014, we had a flat economy. And this year, we have surplus,” Mayor Hales said. “That first year, my budget was about back-to-basics. The same was true the second year, and the same is true today. For a third year in a row, my budget reflects Portland’s values: investing in a livable community, investing in safe streets, and investing in our kids.”
The mayor's proposed budget focuses strongly on his message of "taking care of what we have and investing in a better future."
Watch Mayor Hales' press conference:
Upcoming public hearings:
To submit feedback electronically:
More from the City Budget Office on how to get involved: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/cbo/57268
Visit the City Budget Office City Bureaus Performance Dashboard.
Mayor Hales discussed the government's role in the innovative new economy: ensuring safety and access.
FRIDAY, MAY 1, 2015 — Mayor Charlie Hales joined industry experts to discuss the sharing economy in Portland during the third TechFestNW, Willamette Week's gathering of leading thinkers, startups, and established companies.
Hales took the stage with David Plouffe, the architect of President Barack Obama's two innovative campaigns, and now senior vice president of policy and strategy for Uber, one of the transportation network companies Hales recently helped legalize.
"Portland has a long history with a sharing economy: Multnomah County Library is 125 years old; our community garden system is 40 years old; the North Portland Tool Library is 10 years old; and we probably have more poetry boxes and tiny libraries than anywhere else," the mayor says. "We are a community of thoughtful consumption. And government's role is to ensure that our economy operates safely and inclusively."
Attendees lauded on Twitter the discussion as insightful and compelling. Here's a roundup of their reactions:
@MayorPDX says Portland will need to deal with new business models with an agile approach. This mindset is great message for tech community— TechTown Portland (@TechTownPDX) May 1, 2015
“The more you proliferate choices, the better the system works.” —@MayorPDX— Uber Portland (@Uber_PDX) May 1, 2015
THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015 – The mayors of Eugene, Portland and Albany are urging voters to speak out in support of the Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger rail service, which serves the Willamette Valley.
A letter was distributed this week by Kitty Piercy, mayor of Eugene, with the support of Charlie Hales, mayor of Portland, and Sharon Konopa, mayor of Albany. The letter encourages residents to share their opinions with lawmakers. Direct spending is estimated at $2.8 million per year for the passenger service.
“Vibrant passenger rail, up and down the Willamette Valley, is good for the environment and good for business,” Mayor Hales said. “This year, a funding increase for transportation is a priority of Gov. Kate Brown and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek. I support their efforts to increase funding for transportation. And smart rail transportation is an important element of that.”
“Full funding of the service will demonstrate Oregon’s commitment to state-supported rail and help us meet our shared greenhouse gas reduction goals,” the mayors stated in their open letter to residents. “This support is necessary for continued federal investment in much-needed rail infrastructure, such as depot improvements and layover tracks.”
Gov. Brown singled out transportation funding as a top priority in her first-ever State of the State speech, earlier this month.
Read the letter: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/mayor/article/527596
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2015 — Mayor Hales last week attended a Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting about the Southeast Quadrant Plan, which will guide development of the city's most dynamic and evolving area of Portland's Central City. The mayor wanted to hear stakeholder feedback on the plan before a draft is published later this month. Public hearings on the plan begin in May.
In this area of emerging economic creativity and growth, the Southeast Quadrant Plan's goals include:
"I'm so impressed with their creativity and innovation," he said. "We need to make sure planning preserves these businesses' presence in the Central Eastside."
And Mayor Hales recently toured the new Ecotrust project, Redd on Salmon, which he says is a model for the new economy: "This project is so damn cool. It brings together urban and rural food movements in Central Eastside. It is revolutionary for the Portland food movement. I'm so excited about this project. I want to see more like it."
Stakeholders highlighted potential transportation issues — balancing bicycle and large vehicle traffic — and the desire to preserve the industrial character of the area, among other priorities. Issues will be ironed out as the plan proceeds through its current phase, Phase 4: Plan Development, and into Phase 5: Public Review & Adoption.
MORE ON THE PLAN: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/62130
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15 — Mayor Charlie Hales today brought to Council a policy that would require commercial buildings, 20,000 square feet and larger, to track energy performance, calculate energy use, and report to the city. The goal is to reduce energy costs for building owners and carbon emissions for the city — among Mayor Hales' goals to keep Portland living up to its green reputation.
Reducing building energy use is the single biggest opportunity for carbon reductions in the entire county. But right now in Portland, of the city's 5,000 commercial buildings — which are spending $335 million annually on energy — only 81 are ENERGY STAR certified. In a broader context, fewer than 20 percent of commercial buildings in Portland are affected by the policy, yet the policy affects 80 percent of Portland's commercial square footage.
Buildings that track energy use save an average of 2.4 percent on energy costs per year. If all 1,000 buildings covered by the policy saved 2.4 percent, that effort would save them millions of dollars each year, and reduce the city's carbon emissions considerably. In Washington, D.C., a similar policy resulted in a 9 percent reduction in energy use over three years, 2010-13.
The policy would kick in April 2016 for largest commercial buildings, 50,000 and more square feet, and April 2017 for buildings 20,000 to 50,000 square feet. The state and Energy Trust of Oregon provide rebates and tax credits for energy efficient upgrades to lighting and HVAC systems, so "green" improvements shouldn't be cost-prohibitive. In response to building owner concerns, those affected by the policy will have a year to improve energy scores before they become readily available.
"The City is leading by example," Mayor Hales said, referring to the City's target of a 2-percent reduction in building energy use per year. "This policy puts our sustainable city in the ranks of others: Austin, Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle."
Council will vote on the proposed policy on Earth Day, April 22.
More from the Twitter Town Hall the mayor hosted to answer questions about the policy:
Ready to talk about a more sustainable city- specifically re: disclosing how much energy commercial buildings use? Tweet to #sustainablecity— Charlie Hales (@MayorPDX) April 15, 2015
Policy would require commercial buildings 20,000+ sq ft to track energy performance, calculate energy use, & report to city #SustainableCity— Charlie Hales (@MayorPDX) April 15, 2015
Goal is to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, among my goals to keep Portland living up to its green reputation #SustainableCity— Charlie Hales (@MayorPDX) April 15, 2015
Competitiveness for a social good: 2014 Kilowatt Crackdown, buildings tracked energy, made no/low-cost improvements, saved $, redux carbon— Charlie Hales (@MayorPDX) April 15, 2015
Great piece of this policy is that the business community supports it. #BOMA will testify in support today at Council. Important buy-in.— Charlie Hales (@MayorPDX) April 15, 2015